Interview with Rick L Phillips

Author of The Stranger in the Shadows

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How would you describe The Stranger in the Shadows to a new reader?
  • It's a Christian fiction about a woman named Mary. A man is following her and she wants to find out why. Her search for information gets her involved in a kidnapping, finding true love and finding out more about herself.
To what extent is The Stranger in the Shadows based on your own experiences?
  • It's not. It is however a new approach for me. Being a man I usually have a male protagonist. This is the first time I've had a female protagonist. It was interesting trying to see a story through the eyes of a woman.
Is your main character, Mary, based on anyone?
  • She is based on what I thought my mother was like when she was young and single.
You make good use of locations in the book – there’s a real sense of place. Are these locations significant for you?
  • Parts of the kidnapping are. I lived in a rural area till I was almost 13. The woods remind me of the woods near the home I grew up in at that age.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
  • Try to write every day. Once you stop it's hard to get the momentum back.
Which authors do you most admire?
  • Josh Grisham, Jerry Jenkins, Clive Cussler and Stan Lee.
The Stranger in the Shadows is a thrilling read, a real page turner. How important was it to you to write with pace and energy?
  • I found that with a female lead I actually slowed down the pace a little. It's still there but the character took over and made me realize that running at full steam, like I normally would in my stories, wasn't always necessary in this book. Mary was more into building and maintaining relationships that helped her in the end. The relationships with her friends are what gives her strength.
If The Stranger in the Shadows were to be adapted for TV or film, who would you see in the lead role? Who did you have in your mind’s eye when you wrote him/her?
  • Normally I picture this when I'm done writing. This time I don't know. Maybe Hayley Atwell.
How have readers responded to The Stranger in the Shadows?
  • It hasn't been out that long so response has been minimal. I'm sure that will change soon and with this interview and God's grace it will take off.
Where next? What are you working on now?
  • I'm working on a book about a struggling city that is helped by an unpaved gravel road in the middle of the city. I also want to get to work on the 3rd book in my Project: Hero series. That's a series about a group of superheroes. I've always loved superheroes and comic books and it's a fun series for me to write.
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Mary is being followed and wants to find out who he is and why. In her search she helps stop a kidnapping, finds true love and learns more about herself.