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Creative Endeavors: An Interview with Richard Van Vleet, author of Dark Traffic

van Vleet 1

I’ve been an actor for over fifty years and have appeared in over seventy-five motion pictures and television series. I spent thirteen years on All My Children and received two Emmy Nominations for the role of Chuck Tyler. I’m a Marine Corps veteran, have taught acting, and directed over twenty-four plays at Central Arizona College. I wrote, directed, and played one of the lead roles in Judge Me Not, a movie for ABC’s Monday Night at the Movies, which was not aired because ABC dropped the series. The film won a best picture award, and Amazon Prime picked it up and it was offered for rent. I have currently finished two other novels, Honeycomb and Payback. Dark Traffic is the second novel in the series which contains the same leading character. I’m also an artist and sculptor, as is my youngest daughter.

You can buy Dark Traffic here.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

Because Dark Traffic deals with drug and human sex trafficking, the title was easy to come up with.

How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?

With the help of Miss Elaine Kellett’s son (Elaine has been my long-time friend and partner), Ian O’Neil shot the background photo of the cover. I asked the designer to add a photo of a sad young girl standing in front of the headlights of the vehicle. Because I’m an artist, I really designed the cover. I knew that my name was too long for the cover, so I abbreviated to Richard Allen Van Vleet.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

I’ve written short stories, poetry, plays, and screenplays, and decided to try writing novels.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I worked as a carpenter, hod carrier, a flagger for a crop-dusting company, a private security guard, a part-time primary school teacher, college teacher, and I worked at a fiberglass plant.

What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?

Having someone who found the synopsis interesting enough to read the novel and show an interest in publishing it.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

Although my mom and dad were musically gifted, I’m afraid I’m not. I do listen to jazz and the Danish National Symphony and would leave it up to the professionals to decide the soundtrack.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

I hope they become involved with the characters and feel their grief, pain, joy, and desire, and have the reader anxious to discover what happens at the end of the novel.

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

I’m working on another thriller novel titled TYNE. It’s about a beautiful married woman in her mid-thirties whose husband she discovers has been a habitual cheater and was found murdered along with each of his mistresses. A retired NCIS agent helps her and her brother cope with her loss and attempts to find the person who killed her husband and his mistresses.

How was working with Atmosphere Press? What would you tell other writers who want to publish?

Atmosphere Press has experts in the field that help individuals like me, who have never published anything but short stories in college literary magazines, to get their work published, reviewed, promoted, and placed with companies that sell the author’s novels. I can do nothing but thank and praise the people at Atmosphere for helping me get my novels published.

You can buy Dark Traffic here.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

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