Richard (Rick) Yancey Interview, plus links to author biography, book summaries, excerpts and reviews

Richard (Rick) Yancey

Richard (Rick) Yancey

An interview with Richard (Rick) Yancey

Rick Yancey explains the inspiration behind his bestselling children's book, The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp.

What are your favorite children's books and why?
Charlie & The Chocolate Factory — love the humor 
The Hobbit — love the whimsy and the adventure
The Borrowers
A Wrinkle in Time

Who are your favorite children's authors
Roald Dahl — nobody was better

Who or what was your biggest influence in deciding to become a writer?
My wife, who knew how much the dream of being a professional writer meant to me and dreamed for me when I lost all hope. She rescued manuscripts from the trash, gave me pep talks and bought books to encourage me. She's my biggest fan and toughest critic.

What inspired you to write your latest book?
I've always loved the Arthurian legend, and swordplay, too! My son Jacob, who is eight, fell in love with swords and we spend hours play-fighting with them. I wanted to write a great adventure story that combined my love for swords with the Arthur stories. 

What's the best thing you've ever written?
My next book!

Is there any particular ritual involved in your writing process?
I write best away from a desk. I use a laptop, and most of my books are written while I'm sitting in the car, during soccer practices or during karate practice (like right now!) or while I wait for my son to get out of school. I've written beside pools and on porches and even on my bed at night! Somehow, if I try to set aside special "writing time" it never happens!

What is your favorite colour?
A tie: green and blue

What is your favorite food and worst?
Favorite food: Red Meat!
Least Favorite: beets

Do you have a pet?
Yes, two dogs, Maddie and Casey. Maddie is a little dog and Casey is a big dog. But Maddie is definitely in charge! It's funny to see such a little dog boss around such a big one!

What subject did you enjoy most as school... and least?
Favourite subject: reading
Least: Math

What is your favorite film?
That's a tough one — there's so many good movies! Practically anything with Russell Crowe. My favorite kid's movie has to be Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. But I also love The Karate Kid.

What music do you like?
U2 (How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb is great! My eight-year-old LOVES Vertigo.)

If you hadn't been an author, what would you have been?
A scientist. 

How long does it take you to write a book?
Usually about six to nine months, if it's any good. If it's bad, a lot longer!

How long have you been writing books?
I wrote my first book at 14 (about a year younger than Alfred Kropp), so for a long, long time. It was only recently, though, that somebody noticed.

Where do you get your ideas from?
I'm not really sure. Probably in the area around the hypothalamus. I usually start with a character, follow him around and write down everything he does or happens to him.

Unless otherwise stated, this interview was conducted at the time the book was first published, and is reproduced with permission of the publisher. This interview may not be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the copyright holder.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: Killers of the Flower Moon
    Killers of the Flower Moon
    by David Grann
    Voted 2017 Best Nonfiction by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    The long, sorrowful list of injustices done ...
  • Book Jacket: The Dry
    The Dry
    by Jane Harper
    Voted 2017 Best Debut Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    After receiving a letter from his childhood...
  • Book Jacket: Little Fires Everywhere
    Little Fires Everywhere
    by Celeste Ng
    Voted 2017 Best Fiction by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    Small towns, big drama. Acclaimed author ...
  • Book Jacket: La Belle Sauvage
    La Belle Sauvage
    by Philip Pullman
    Voted 2017 Best Young Adult Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

"Electrifying . . . as beautiful and as icy as the Minnesota woods where it's set."
—NPR

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Story of Arthur Truluv
    by Elizabeth Berg

    An emotionally powerful novel from New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Berg.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Autumn

Autumn by Ali Smith

One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year, and a Man Booker Prize Finalist

Enter

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay: $400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.