Hi, I’m Richard Gradner, bestselling author of mythical fiction, marketer, yoga, practicing immortal, husband & father of 2 boys. AMA 😁

Richard Gradner
Jul 10, 2018

Feel free to chat to me about my love for writing, yoga, spirituality and ancient history and how I combine all of these disciplines into my passion for producing exciting tales, designed to enlighten my readers as they lose themselves to the magic of my words 🌟

I have published 3 novels:

  1. Return to Lemuria 🌋
  2. Unicorn 🦄
  3. Servant of Memory 🙇🏻‍♂️

Register for my newsletter on my website to get a complimentary digital copy of Return to Lemuria!

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Do you think the reading culture is slowly dying because of technological advancement?
Jul 17, 3:59AM EDT0

I think it has shifted but it's far from dying. People are still reading, it's just that with so many options like TV series etc, people just don't have the same amount of time to devote to reading. 

Jul 17, 11:48AM EDT0
What keeps you focused in your journey of practicing immortal?
Jul 17, 1:47AM EDT0

My strong connection to all things spiritual, my passion for my family, my writing, my work, my Yoga and my life! I believe that a healthy body = a healthy mind so I work hard at maintaining a proactive lifestyle as much as possible, I don't eat red meat, don't drink coffee, smoke or drink much alcohol. My disciplined nature keeps me in check most of the time.

Jul 17, 11:41AM EDT0

Did you know that there was a scene for publishing books, magazines, etc. even before the internet? If you were to do the same thing via a time machine and your own self, how would you handle things?

Jul 16, 8:03PM EDT0

Obviously very differently. The process would be much slower and I would probably be forced to go the traditional route but nothing would dissuade me from my writing. Once you have the bug, there's no getting away from it. Writing is my passion.

Jul 17, 11:50AM EDT0
What would you tell someone thinking of venturing into mythical fiction writing?
Jul 16, 7:19PM EDT0

No matter the genre of writing you choose to pursue, enjoy the process, enjoy the experience. It's all about pouring your passion into something that excites you. I chose mythical fiction because I am passionate about the nature of all things mystical. I have always wondered about the source of the myths that have been around for thousands of years. I have always wondered what if and maybe such stories hold a semblance of truth. What if there were ancient civilisations with advanced races of people around before our known history here on Earth? What if Unicorns actually existed? What caused them to become extinct? 

I grew up reading the Fantasy genre. I still enjoy fantasy but what intrigues me more is the speculative notion of something more plausible like the mythical aspect of a story.

Jul 16, 10:38PM EDT0
How did yoga change your life and what would you tell people who are still unaware of the impact of yoga?
Jul 16, 6:36PM EDT0

I started Yoga following my foray into Chinese Martial Arts because I already had a connection to the practice of an ancient form of exercise that had a positive impact on my life, physically, mentally and spiritually. The fact that Yoga has been around for thousands of years and still continues to flourish now more than ever, is a testament to its true nature as a positive, life-enhancing practice, no matter your belief system. My novel, Unicorn, set over 4,000 years ago, includes Yoga practice by some of the characters. The oldest Yoga-related artefact, a carving on a stone seal of a man in a lotus position, was found in Harappa, the location where my story, Unicorn, begins...

From my years practicing Kung Fu and due to a hereditary condition, I've always had a weak lower back. Physically, Yoga has strengthened my core to such an extent that I no longer suffer the way I used to. I practice Hot Power Yoga. The room is heated and the movements flow, creating a highly stimulating class, physically. My heart rate is up and I get a great , physical workout. 

Mentally, Yoga forces you to concentrate on perfecting your movements, pushing you to focus on the present moment, taking you away from the stress and anxiety of what's to come or what has been. This increased focus, provides a healthy mental environment through the meditative movements that you are pushed to endure through the class. 

The low impact nature of the movements means that there are virtually zero injuries as a result. The body becomes supple and strong at the same time. You learn to build core strength by using your body's own weight to build and tone your muscles from the inside-out. 

I practice 7 days a week for an hour a day and have cut out all other exercise because I can see and feel the benefits of Yoga and how it has and continues to promote my health, holistically. Even as a supplementary exercise to most other sports, it has been proven that the practice of Yoga helps to improve those sports.

If you haven't tried it, you have nothing to lose, only much to gain.

Jul 16, 11:00PM EDT0
What advice would you give someone thinking of writing mythical fiction books?
Jul 16, 6:10PM EDT0

I have answered this question above. 

Jul 16, 11:00PM EDT0
Given the chance and with increased opportunities in a favorable environment, would you choose to become a full time writer?
Jul 16, 5:51PM EDT0

Yes. Unfortunately, the road to get there is long and arduous.

Jul 16, 11:02PM EDT0
What is your fourth novel about?
Jul 16, 3:11PM EDT0

It’s another exciting, stand-alone, mythical fiction story, filled with magic, mystery and adventure. Unfortunately I’m not at liberty to reveal the details at this early stage. Follow my blog to stay tuned!

Jul 16, 4:11PM EDT0
What can be done to make it easier for self publishing authors to make a living as well as gain visibility for their books?
Jul 15, 8:40PM EDT0

That is the golden question that every indie author would love to have the answer to 🤩

The only thing that can be done to make things easier, is to devote time to a consistent digital strategy of constantly promoting books to a targeted audience via an author website, social media, e-marketing, AdWords, Amazon, Goodreads, Blog, etc. Before this, though, you will need professionally edited work and shit-hot book covers.

Unfortunately, there is no golden ticket, just hard work, perseverance and a good marketing plan

😅

Jul 16, 7:57AM EDT0
When writing a new novel, who is the person you go to for feedback before publishing it?
Jul 15, 5:40AM EDT0

First my wife then to my beta readers 😊

Jul 15, 6:19AM EDT0
How do you promote your work as a self-published author? How do you get people's attention to your writing?
Jul 14, 2:04AM EDT0

As per my response to a similar question further down... cross-channel digital marketing...

Jul 14, 3:50AM EDT0
As a mythical writer, can you make up mythical creatures of your own or are they all based on characters already present in the literary world?
Jul 13, 8:03AM EDT0

I have specifically chosen mythical fiction as a genre for my writing because it’s based on creatures and stories that are based on characters already out there. 

If I were to create my own mythical creatures, then I would cross over into the fantasy genre. 

I grew up reading fantasy but prefer to add a speculative element to my writing - stories about ancient civilizations, mythical creatures and unexplained phenomenon that may have been around or taken place thousands of years ago. 

Jul 13, 8:51AM EDT0
How difficult is it to have a steady income from self-publishing?
Jul 13, 3:36AM EDT0

Very difficult.

as a self-published author, you need to be publishing at least one novel a year.

It’s all about cross-channel marketing: Amazon, Google AdWords, website, social media. Then there’s book reviews which are very important, press releases, interviews etc.

I do know a few full-time indie authors who are doing ok but these are moms who didn’t have to make the transition from a full time job to self-publishing. They are writing and publishing 4-6 books a year!!!

A steady income is possible, but it takes a lot of time, money and perseverance.

Last edited @ Jul 13, 4:01AM EDT.
Jul 13, 4:00AM EDT0
You mentioned the US as the place with the biggest market for the publishing industry. When do you plan to break into it and how?
Jul 12, 7:41PM EDT0

I’m already in. 

Amazon.com

Here are the links to my novels:

1. Return to Lemuria 

2. Unicorn 

3. Servant of Memory 

Jul 13, 2:34AM EDT0
Do you have any unpublished work? What do you plan to do with it?
Jul 12, 7:19PM EDT0

I only have a file of handwritten work made up of poetry and a few short pieces that I’m not planning to ever publish.

I’m busy working on my fourth novel...

Jul 13, 2:28AM EDT0
What do your boys think about your writing?
Jul 12, 3:31PM EDT0

My youngest (13 yrs old) prefers reading teen humor but my eldest (15) enjoys my writing. He’s  busy reading Rick Riordan’s work. 

Jul 13, 2:18AM EDT0
Do you often use feedback from your readers as inspiration for new book ideas? If yes, can you give an example?
Jul 12, 11:29AM EDT0

Quick answer: no 😝

i draw inspiration from mythical stories and ancient civilizations and their unanswered mysteries.   There is so much content around this topic just waiting to be extracted and woven into tales of wonder and magic!

Jul 12, 11:50AM EDT0
You mentioned being very busy at the moment. What does an average work day look like for you?
Jul 11, 8:28PM EDT0

I write between 4am and 6am, Monday to Friday. I give myself weekends off to spend time with my family.

I practice Yoga daily at 6am and then work a day job in a Creative and Digital agency which pays the bills 🙃

Jul 12, 12:53AM EDT0
As a writer in South Africa, what do you feel is your role in developing the publishing industry?
Jul 11, 6:43PM EDT0

I write fiction. The genre is global, not confined to a country or region. At the end of the day, this industry is all about the numbers with the biggest market being in the U.S.

I’m an independent/self-published author, so my publishing channel is confined to Amazon (mostly) in the online space. 

Naturally, as a South African, I’d love to see the local market develop, but there are realities that one has to face. To put things in perspective, in order to become a bestseller in South Africa, you only need to sell around 3,000 novels. 

Jul 12, 1:01AM EDT0

Do you prefer to write in a quiet area or in noisy public spaces?

If you were to be given the opportunity to go anywhere in the world, just you, for one month to exclusively write and research, where would you go? 

Jul 11, 11:15AM EDT0

I prefer to write in a quiet area, free from distractions.

if it were possible, I would love to be stationed on or near to an ancient historical site like Stonehenge or Gobekli Tepe, where my imagination would be stimulated to run wild with speculative thoughts!

The only other prerequisite is a very good internet connection 🤓

Jul 12, 12:50AM EDT0
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