An Interview with Douglas E. Richards: Psyched about AMPED?

Apr 16, 2012 by

Michael F. Shaughnessy

1) Douglas, first of all, tell us about AMPED, which is the follow up to WIRED.

WIRED was my first attempt at an adult thriller, and it was received far better than I could have ever hoped, becoming a New York Times and USA Today bestseller and the number 1 bestselling Kindle novel of 2011 in two categories — science fiction and technothrillers. Along the way, literally hundreds of readers wrote to me asking for a sequel. The only problem is that I hadn’t planned on a sequel when I wrote it, and I had painted myself into a corner in many ways.

Still, I couldn’t resist the challenge. Many months later, and after pulling out my hair on many occasions, I finished AMPED. I really worked hard to put in the elements that readers seemed to like in WIRED, and the reaction so far has once again been beyond my wildest hopes. I would say the majority of readers seem to be enjoying this one as much or more than WIRED, which is very gratifying.

2) Now, tell us about the lead character in WIRED…and does this person again appear in AMPED?

The lead character in WIRED is named Kira Miller, and she is my all time favorite character to write. She is a brilliant genetic engineer who discovers how to temporarily achieve savant-like capabilities in all areas of thought and creativity. The problem is that this comes at a high cost, causing changes to her personality and threatening to unleash her darker side. When ex-special forces operative, David Desh, is sent after her to stop a bio-terror plot she is known to be behind, he learns that the bio-terror plot is just the tip of the iceberg, he is thrust into a byzantine maze of deception and intrigue, and he becomes a key player in a deadly game he can’t begin to understand, which is certain to have a dramatic impact on the future course of human history.

Kira Miller does, indeed, appear again in AMPED, but I can’t say much more without fear of a spoiler. I can say that I find her fascinating on a number of levels, and she is not only brilliant, but street smart, fascinating, and incredibly resourceful and formidable.

3) WIRED and AMPED— what would you say are their main themes or ideas?

The books are fast paced and action packed, but I’ve included a lot of concepts I hope readers will contemplate long after they’ve read the books.

The essence of human nature, the existence of God, immortality, the direction our species is headed, including the dangers and the potential.

4) Now, crazy question- but I have to ask it—how are these books available ? Softcover, hard cover, e-book or what?

WIRED and AMPED are currently only available as eBooks, but both will be out in paperback by September. They were set to be printed much earlier, but a number of very influential reviewers expressed interest in reviewing the books, but only if their publication was delayed, so I reluctantly agreed.

The good news is that more and more people are buying eReaders, and those who don’t have them often have programs that will emulate them on their laptops, Ipads, cellphones, etc.

5) Doug, whenever I do these interviews with you—I have to say- it all goes back to the Prometheus Project Trilogy, which in my mind, is the best series of books for struggling readers who might really enjoy a good story with very high interest and low vocabulary. What has been the reaction to the Prometheus Project Trilogy?

Thanks so much for the kind words. The reaction to this trilogy has been nothing short of amazing, especially in the education world. The books contain accurate science, and so have been endorsed by the California Department of Education and numerous state science teacher organizations.

Ironically, they are often used to get reluctant readers interested in reading, but are also very popular with gifted students.

Perhaps the coolest thing of all, though, was in 2010, when the board of San Diego Comic-Con International, to honor these books, invited me as a special guest to give a presentation on them. The year I was there, so was Stan Lee, Ray Bradbury, and James Cameron, among many others, which was great fun (and also very surreal).

6) Now, I enjoyed reading The Devil’s Sword. How is that book doing?

The Devil’s Sword is a mainstream thriller for kids set against the backdrop of the sport of fencing. It has been doing very well, I’m happy to say, among both fencers and non-fencers alike.

7) Obviously, you know the Hunger Games book has been made into a movie…I have to say that “I hope that the odds are ever in your favor” ( Collins, 2008) that they will make the Prometheus Project Trilogy into a movie…Have you heard anything from Hollywood?

I have had interest from several studios over the years, but nothing has come together as of yet. So many people have told me they think the books would make good movies, that I have definitely not given up on the idea. If I do sign on for this, I promise that you will be among the first to know.

8) Where can readers learn more about you and your work?

They can visit my website at www.douglaserichards.com or Friend me on Facebook at Douglas E Richards Author. I also love to hear from readers, who can e-mail me anytime at doug@san.rr.com

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