THE RED RIDER
The New Action-Adventure Fairy Tale Thriller
by Randall Allen Dunn
Come along for the ride.
Little Red Riding Hood is heading back into the woods to meet the big bad wolves …
But she’s not little anymore.
When she was seven years old, Helena Basque was attacked by a savage wolf that killed her
with triple scars that disfigured her face, and strange tales of a wolf that
stood upright and spoke to her. Helena
Now at age sixteen, she knows it was no wolf. And it was not alone. A pack of similar animals banded together to kill Francois, the woodcutter who saved her from the first wolf. These creatures now threaten
Helena’s family and everyone in the French . To stop them, province of La Rue Sauvage must do things she
never planned to do, and become something she never planned to become. Donning
a red hood and cloak like the one she was forbidden to wear after the first
attack, she arms herself with a repeating crossbow and other assorted weapons.
She then wages a private war against the wolves, refusing to stop or slow down
until she wipes them out. She only hopes she can somehow defeat the monsters
when she confronts them … whatever they actually are. Helena
Randall Allen Dunn was raised on a steady diet of James Bond, Batman, Star Trek and Indiana Jones. His study of stage acting in high school and college helped him learn how to create vivid, compelling characters. He now shares his love of action, adventure and infinite possibilities through novels and short stories, writing instruction, and his website, Character Entertainment, dedicated to Building Character Through Fiction, at www.CharacterEnt.com.
You can find Randall Allen Dunn’s ebooks at Amazon, Smashwords and wherever online books are sold. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Goodreads.
Time for some Q&A
Q: What inspired you to write this book?
A: THE RED RIDER was originally an idea for a comic book mini-series, about Little Red Riding Hood as a teenager, discovering that wolves were attacking her village. One of them left her face scarred when she was a child.
I was intrigued by the “Red Riding Hood” movie, about Little Red Riding Hood confronting a werewolf. I loved that twist, mashing up a fairy tale and a mythical monster. The TV series, “Once Upon a Time”, furthered the idea, showing Snow White as a skilled hunter and bandit making war against the Queen.
I first imagined having a group of heroes called “The Red Riders”, who banded together to fight wolves, to avenge the death of an innocent child. But when I made Little Red Riding Hood survive to fight the wolves herself – the victim becoming the hero – the idea really took off and kept steaming ahead.
Q: How do you hope this story will impact readers?
A: I hope it will encourage people to have courage and believe in themselves, and to learn how to find friends they can trust. I hope it helps people find inner strength and conviction, and also strength to lean on others and lean on God. Little Red Riding Hood is literature’s most famous victim. So it’s inspiring to have her recover from her wounds and escape the danger she placed herself in, then overcome the bullies threatening her.
Q: What response have you gotten from the book so far?
A: So far I have only made one sale. But I’ve had excellent response and feedback from my beta readers, who reviewed the book as I was finishing revisions on it.
Q: Why did you choose to self-publish?
A: Most of my connections in publishing are in the Christian publishing market. This story doesn’t fit the mold of the majority of Christian market publications, and might bother some readers if it was presented under a Christian label. When readers choose a book from a Christian publisher, they have certain expectations of the content, so a teenage girl killing werewolves would draw all the focus. However, the same story presented to a wide audience would be better received, and people would focus less on the werewolves and focus more on the aspects I want them to notice.
Q: Do you have a sequel in the works?
A: Yes. I started the first few pages of it, to get into the flow. Now it needs to sit on the shelf until I finish other projects.
Q: What projects are you working on now?
A: I’m writing an instructional book for writers, on how to add humor into their fiction. After that, I plan to finish a young adult fantasy book, targeted to pre-teens.
Q: How do you come up with story ideas?
A: An unusual thought strikes me, and if it really intrigues me, I keep thinking of it and creating characters around that idea, making notes for scenes and character details, until I have enough material that I want to start writing the story from the beginning. I wrote a short story, “Clockwork”, when I started taking early morning walks, and noticed firefighters washing a fire engine down. It was around 6am, as the neighborhood was just starting to wake up. I realized that if I walked the same route at the same time every morning, I would know exactly how the neighborhood functions on a daily basis. That made me realize that with that expert knowledge, I would instantly notice any interruption to that routine. And that conflict gave me a great idea for my mystery story. I kept thinking of it on subsequent walks, and had the idea worked out in my head after a week or two, then later started making notes of specific characters that would pull the whole story together.
Q: You write action-adventure stories. How do you work in so much action?
A: I follow what I call the Indiana Jones principle. If I get stuck while I’m developing a scene, I ask myself, “What’s the worst thing that could happen to the characters right now?” Then I make that horrible thing happen, and try to figure out afterward how they can escape it.
Q: You also use music for your writing. Tell me about that.
A: I create my own personal movie soundtracks for my stories, putting together parts of other albums. Sometimes I play it to inspire myself about the story I’m writing. Other times I just listen to the CD in my car, and can often put together a scene in my head as I listen to the music.
Q: Who inspires you most?
A: As a writer, I’ve been in love with Ian Fleming for a long time. People don’t grasp that if they only know James Bond from the movies. Fleming was more literary than most people give him credit for, and he was a master at creating villains and developing suspense.
Q: How do you schedule your writing time?
A friend of mine, Thom Reese, told me he has to wake up at 4am to write. That was too much for me, but I felt God was telling me a year ago to start getting up at 5am. So I aim for that, to wake up, read my Bible, then take about an hour to write before starting my day job, where I spend another half hour writing on my lunch break.
Q: How do you measure success in your writing?
A: Someday I hope to measure it in sales, but for now, I have to measure it by how close I come to meeting my personal deadlines. I hoped to release THE RED RIDER two weeks before I actually published. But I feel I did pretty good for my first published novel.
Q: What’s the best writing advice you ever received?
A: Author Travis Thrasher told us at a seminar, “The best advice I can give you is, whatever you’re working on right now, finish it. That will help you more than anything else you do as a writer.” He also said that when he’s writing a story, he focuses fully on that idea, rather than let himself get distracted by too much notes or research for his other stories. I listened to that advice, started writing THE RED RIDER in July 2012 and finished my book after a full year.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
A: Don’t give up. Study your own genre, whether other people turn their nose up at it or not. If you write romance, you should study modern authors and classic authors in that genre, to find out what works. The same for science fiction, action-adventure and so on. I love reading H.G. Wells and Jules Verne and other classic authors to see how high fantasy and adventure ideas were first presented, because I know something about those stories made them endure for a century. I want to put the same quality and story structure into what I write so that my stories can outlast me and still speak to future generations.
I would like to thank Mr. Dunn for allowing me to interview him.
I look forward to reading the next adventure he writes.
I loved THE RED RIDER, as you guess from my review