Welcome to BookView Interview, a conversation series where BookView talks to authors.
Recently, we talked to Rick Wood, an award-winning former journalist and wildlife photographer, about his writing and his recently released book, The Human Snare (read the review here), a moving and powerful photojournalistic account of the unscrupulous wildlife trafficking and poaching.
Rick Wood is an award-winning former journalist and wildlife photographer from Washington State. His debut novel, “Nature Aware (Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, 2012),” reached the Amazon Kindle Best Seller list in Conservation and Ecology numerous times. In “Rough Cut: Lessons from Endangered Species (Homeostasis Press, 2017),” Wood showcased efforts to save marine mammals and sea turtles, and his experiences from filming nature documentaries.
Wood volunteers his time working with students worldwide, and he is also a marine mammal rescue responder.
Meniere’s Disease caused profound hearing impairment since 2004, and Wood is functionally deaf today. Additionally, he wrestles with combat-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder effects due to his time in combat.
Still, Wood credits his challenges for inspiring him to live life to the fullest.
BookView Review: What do you hope readers will take away from this story?
Rick Wood: Mostly, I hope readers will question the monetary value of life, both for animals and humans. Maybe it will inspire folks to seek out more information about wildlife trafficking and poaching. I honestly hope it spawns conversations.
BookView Review: What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
Rick Wood: I picked up a Mark Twain book when I was six years old. It was a collection of short essays. What really struck me was how vividly I could see the action play out in my mind’s eye. I remember thinking it was better than watching a show on television.
BookView Review: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Rick Wood: My books follow a similar formula: a couple of years of research, a year of writing, and then a year of editing. So, it averages about four years for each book.
BookView Review: How many hours a day do you write?
Rick Wood: Mid-project, I usually spend five to six hours per day writing. I force myself to adhere to at least one day off each week during the process. The edit and revision phase is different. I like to attack revisions in chunks, without breaking the flow. I can easily spend 10 hours a day doing edits and revisions.
BookView Review: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Rick Wood: Book reviews are critically important if you wish to know the impact of your writing. Without reviews, it’s hard to understand how compelling your storytelling is beyond your own perspective. Good or bad reviews can be helpful. Of course, a review that praises your work for having a positive impact is fuel for the writer’s soul.
BookView Review: Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
Rick Wood: I believe the ability to understand strong emotional states is undoubtedly crucial for a writer. It would be much more difficult to elicit an emotional response from readers without first feeling it as the writer.
BookView Review: What does literary success look like to you?
Rick Wood: If we’re talking about intrinsic reward, then a single reader could be considered a success. I mean, writing tends to be like sculpting in the dark. When your book is finally revealed, you never really know how well it’ll be seen. Pragmatically speaking, literary success should also sustain you financially in some way. If nothing else, royalties serve to remunerate an author for the time they spend crafting a novel. There’s no set dollar amount to success, but anytime a reader buys a book, it feels like you created something of value.