Author's Corner: A chat with Richard Uhl

jpaprocki@islandpacket.comFebruary 25, 2013 

Name: Richard Uhl

Book: "Under the Influence"

Residence: Hardeeville

Publisher: iUniverse self-publisher

Where to buy: online at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and UhlBooks.com

Plot summary in 50 words or fewer: Roger Franklin survives the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, but decides to reinvent himself under a new identity. Rex Franklyn finds success in San Diego, but nearly 20 years after he left his old life behind, his past catches up with him.

First sentence: "Roger Franklin's question hung in the air unanswered."

Previous experience: This is Uhl's second novel. He published his first, "Wrong Conclusions," in 2008.

Profession: retired food service manager in New York City

Earliest writing memory: He wrote his first short story at age 10. It was about a little boy and his fears of nuclear war. "I grew up in the Cold War. We had air raid drills in school. It was a whole different era."

What prompted the novel: "Under the Influence" has been close to 15 years in the making. Uhl began writing on his commute into the city on the train in 1994. "The bad part was the 45-minute commute. The good part was the time to write."

Writer's quirk: Started in an era before laptops, Uhl's drafts are handwritten. The first drafts of "Under the Influence" now take up three binders in his home. "Of course, no one can read it because the handwriting is so bad. I would not survive today without a keyboard."

The writing process: He started with a beginning and an ending. Then he developed an outline. But the story didn't follow his initial ideas. "My characters wanted to go in different directions."

Early influences: The epic historical novels of James Michener, Ernest Hemingway for his complex and fascinating characters, and John Steinbeck for his ability to tackle social issues.

Life beyond writing: He volunteers with the Red Cross. He recently spent 17 days in New Jersey helping in the aftermath of Sandy. "I'm sure there's a good story in there somewhere for me. I just don't know what it is yet."

RELATED CONTENT

Richard Uhl

"Author's Corner: A chat with Charlie Ryan"

"Author's Corner: A chat with Benjamin Smith"

The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service