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Richard A Kiers: “Never force yourself to write”

I am inspired by stories of success in real life. I love that people are willing to share their secrets, their dreams and even their failures to help others. I draw inspiration from people who were at the very bottom and clawed themselves to the top, or those who managed to face adversity and survived. […]

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I am inspired by stories of success in real life. I love that people are willing to share their secrets, their dreams and even their failures to help others. I draw inspiration from people who were at the very bottom and clawed themselves to the top, or those who managed to face adversity and survived. It is not easy to tell ones story, but the courage it takes to do so is very inspiring.


As part of my interview series on the five things you need to know to become a great author, I had the pleasure of interviewing Richard A Kiers.

Richard is a survivor of an oppressive Cult, his story is about the fear, the sadness, and the desperation of trying to find a way to escape, which he does at the age of 15. This is a compelling story that must be heard so that others can learn that not only is there a way out, but life can and is great once true freedom and forgiveness is found.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?

I was brought up in a very religious home, finding out that the god we served was not loving, caring, respectful, and honorable through experiences, over time, I realized I had to find a new path, a new life, and the only path forward was to leave my entire world behind.

Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?

After a devastating divorce, I found it very difficult to shake the insuing depression so I began to write. First I wrote some poetry expressing my feelings, and then I began to feel an amazing peace when I read the words back to myself. Then I decided to write a book about my life, and the experiences I had as a child. The moment that had the most impact on my life was when my father was sick and we were told that he might die because God was testing his faith. He was not allowed to go to a doctor because that showed a lack of faith. This was the turning point in my life.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in your journey to becoming an author? How did you overcome it? Can you share a story about that that other aspiring writers can learn from?

Writing a personal story can be a challenge as there are always others who remember situations, and were impacted differently by situations than you are. The hardest thing about writing a personal story is the loss of some family and friends who would have rather that the story were not told. I have learned to move on without the support of family and I have found that there is great strength in getting is all out regardless of having the blessing or approval of others. What I have learned is that over time I have had hundreds of emails and messages form folks who are inspired to tell their stories and thank me for having the courage to publish my story.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Writing comes with many challenges. My first book was actually written on a typewriter. I had typed over 200 pages when I had to move due to employment circumstances. When I unpacked my things the entire manuscript was gone, I looked everywhere and could not find it. I then re-wrote the entire book on a computer and saved as I went along. About two days after I finished rewriting the entire book, I found the original manuscript in a box labeled “kitchen”

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I wrote a novel in the early 2000’s and am not re-doing it in script format. I am having fun and hope to find a way to have this turned into a movie.

Can you share the most interesting story that you shared in your book?

I believe the most interesting part of my current book is when I tell the story of the day I left home. It was surreal and the feeling of freedom was absolutely unbelievable.

What is the main empowering lesson you want your readers to take away after finishing your book?

It is my hope that everyone who reads my book finds the inner strength to determine their own destiny, learn to stand up to abusers, and then, ultimately learn to forgive

Based on your experience, what are the “5 Things You Need to Know to Become a Great Author”? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. It is important to know that whatever you write has to come from your own perspective, don’t try to imagine what others might think, just put down in words what you think. I have found that others have a tendency to try to provide input but remember, that means the story is no longer yours.
  2. Never force yourself to write. If you don’t feel the words flowing, take a break and wait until it comes naturally. Forcing yourself will be seen in your words. In my experience it is always best to never force inspiration or you will find yourself doing a lot of re-writes.
  3. When you are inspired to write, don’t allow distractions. I have always found that when the words are flowing, I have written for hours and hours without stopping when I am inspired.
  4. If you are a serious writer you must have a place where you can write without distractions. Have a private writing room and make sure those around you are aware that you ae not to be disturbed while writing. I live alone so this is easy for me, but for those who have children and pets, be sure to make everyone aware that writing is an important part of your life and must respected as such by others.
  5. I have several books on the go at one time. If I am feeling writers block, I simply pick up one of my other books and change my mind set. Sometimes it is best to simply put the book down and change the focus of your mind. I have many times left an unfinished manuscript for several months before picking it up again and continuing where I left off, without missing a beat.

What is the one habit you believe contributed the most to you becoming a great writer? (i.e. perseverance, discipline, play, craft study) Can you share a story or example?

Writing takes discipline! I believe that in order to be a successful writer one must commit a certain amount of time every week to writing. I have several books on the go at all times so for me, I commit a minimum of 4 hours per week to my writing. Many times I write for many more hours during the week but always set a minimum! I also find that reading is inspirational. I can learn about style, method, and plot by reading someone else’s work. Never count your pages, write until the story is finished! If you count pages you will probably run on with the story and lose intended impact.

Which literature do you draw inspiration from? Why?

I am inspired by stories of success in real life. I love that people are willing to share their secrets, their dreams and even their failures to help others. I draw inspiration from people who were at the very bottom and clawed themselves to the top, or those who managed to face adversity and survived. It is not easy to tell ones story, but the courage it takes to do so is very inspiring.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would love to work with people who have left and wish to leave oppressive cults. Cults are a much bigger problem than many realize, they are in every corner of our society. I would love to be a motivational speaker, even a counselor who can help those who are having a hard time re-integrating into society.

Thank you so much for this. This was very inspiring!

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