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Questions with Rick Henry Christopher


By Hannah MoorePublished 5 months ago 5 min read
Top Story - January 2024
Questions with Rick Henry Christopher
Photo by Allec Gomes on Unsplash

Thank you Rick Henry Christopher for this idea:

1. What type of writer do you feel you are?

I’m a harlot. I’m anybody’s. That’s why I’m here. I’m an avid barn dancer; I love to dance but only when someone in a cowboy hat is calling the moves. In the freedom of the disco I will cling to the wall in the knowledge my moves are hopeless. Just give me the first foothold on the mountain, I will climb it, or have a go. With varying success. I have just attempted my first ever crime story, for example, which I would not have done without a little shove.

2. What type of writer do you not want to be?

Readerless. It shouldn’t matter, but I have to own it. I know we all say we write for our own enjoyment, but part of the enjoyment is having someone receive what we have written. There are exceptions, of course, those pieces of exorcism for example, but even when I kept a diary as an adolescent, there is a sense of a reader in mind, even if it is my future self. My future self, sadly, did not want to read that shit.

3. What do you like about yourself as a writer?

I’m unafraid. By which I mean that I am unafraid to try things out, to reveal parts of myself, and to produce rubbish. But also that I am unafraid of critique. I know it might dent my ego, but that battered bit of baggage has taken far worse, and will grow bigger for having the opportunity to improve myself.

4. What do you look for in other writers?

Beautiful prose. I have been known to tear up over a beautiful sentence. I love language. Sadly, I only have one at my disposal, which is a shame, but it is my shame that I have made no endeavours to change that. But also humanity. I want to feel connected to the reality of myself or the other. Sometimes that can be about articulating something that resonates with my experience, sometimes that can be about feeling that someone is trusting me to see them without wanting to turn away. Often, it is both. I think sometimes I don’t look enough for a cracking story, because that’s what turned me on to the written form in the first place, and I believe that what, why and how we story our world is fundamental and fascinating.

5. Where do you feel your opportunities are as a writer?

Oh I WISH I had opportunities as a writer.

6. What do you not like about yourself as a writer?

Ah, let’s not beat around the bush. I am just not quite as good as I would like to be. My partner, being excruciatingly honest (and thus eternally trustworthy), reminds me that the middle ground is a very big place. And its not like I have never read a well selling novel which occupies the same plateaux on which I am stranded, but then I read things that make me go “Ohhhh, THAT’S why I will never amount to anything in my life”.

6. Which writing genre or category do you feel is your best?

Pre-vocal I would have said fiction, with no further specificity. But after having quite a few different dances called, I think I may have been kidding myself. I think perhaps my strength might be more in non fiction reflective ramblings. Well, judge for yourself I suppose. But know I am writing this in a one room holiday lodging while my partner reads a bedtime story to my kids to try and settle them into bed. And I have a headache. So I can completely justify it if its crap, ok?

7. In which genre or category do you feel the most challenged?

Post-vocal I would probably say fiction, with no further specificity. I think I am not very good at plotting. It’s just occurring to me as I write this that this may well be a learnable skill. There are probably books, or workshops or something. It is possible I could improve my plotting!

8. When did you first start writing?

I would imagine when I first started reading. I don’t remember. But I stopped writing for pleasure at the point at which I had to start writing a lot for non-pleasure. My only formal publication is a distillation of my doctoral thesis in an academic journal, and I can assure you it is the full six degrees of separation from what I write here. Ok, maybe four degrees. My doctorate is not in Maths or Physics. I resumed writing again here, after many limp attempts, as a form of self-care. Some people like to get a massage, some prefer to stare in disgust at fragments of their own souls rendered in little black symbols.

9. Why do you write?

Oops, I appear to have already answered this question. Of course, I could edit it, move what I said up there, put it down here, it would be less trouble than continuing with this sentence. But I while I do like to write, I am not a good editor. I suppose perhaps that I need to connect with something more soul baring here, rather than just alluding to my naked soul.

I write because I like stories, and I like language. I enjoy playing with it. Tossing it about. It feels nice in my hands. I want it to feel like a gym ball, round, kind of firm, but slightly springy, the kind of thing you can rest your buttocks on and bob up and down and it will resist you just enough so that you can sink in and feel buoyed all at once. I know I have got it wrong when it feels like a beanbag or a basket ball. To be brutally honest, given that we are going for self reflection here, I probably also write because when I was a child, people said I was good at it, and I’m still chasing the dragon.

10. This last question is off-topic. If you could be part of any television sitcom family, which one would it be and why?

During lockdown, we watched Outnumbered with our kids. Rather than being diverting, this felt like some new innovation in immersive television. So not that then. I did not expect to find this question hard! Am I taking “family” too literally? Have I ever seen any sitcoms ever? Maybe I would be in Brooklyn 99 because I feel like they have fun, but on a bedrock of genuine care for one another.

And apparently there is an added question from Novel Allen.

Where are you when you write, or, where do you do your best writing?

In the past, I made an assumption that in order to write, I must be in a place of pristine sensory clarity. Then I started writing. I’m on holiday at the moment, four of us in one kitchen/living/bedroom. Its messy. There is a bar which pumps out hits of the nineties and noughties with an added dance beat every night until 7 about 75m away. I am interrupted for anything from twenty seconds to two hours at irregular but frequent intervals. And I write. It’s a similar picture at home, but there while I could go to my bedroom, I prefer to be available to the family. I’ve stopped waiting for the stars to align and got down to the work. I think my best poetry tends to happen when I am walking alone though.


About the Creator

Hannah Moore

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Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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Comments (23)

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  • Paul Stewart5 months ago

    Latest congrats ever. Congrats. Harlot. lol.

  • D. J. Reddall5 months ago

    Readerless?!? That's superb.

  • Sara Frederick5 months ago

    I resonate with much of what you've said here. Congratulations on your top story!

  • Natasha Collazo5 months ago

    I understand how this got Top Story. You are a phenomenal writer! You have a way with words that I aspire to be Thank you for showing me your ways 🫡

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Kristen Balyeat5 months ago

    You are amazing. Every one of these answers drew me in like a novel. Love your reply, and totally resonated with this line in particular: “some prefer to stare in disgust at fragments of their own souls rendered in little black symbols.” Perfectly said and it’s my self care as well. I don’t need someone massaging my aching neck, I’ll deal with my muscle and eye strain in order to empty my mind by filling up the page. Enjoy your holiday, Hannah! Thank you for sharing some bits of yourself with us! 💫💞

  • Donna Renee5 months ago

    🥰🥰 thank you for sharing this!! Loved reading more about you and can definitely relate to parts 😁

  • Kendall Defoe 5 months ago

    Hey, I got a question, RHC! How did you get to be so damn cool? ;)

  • JBaz5 months ago

    Let’s be clear, you may be a self professed Harlot, but you are a very talented one.(if that helps) This was a beautiful insight, thank you fir sharing.

  • Babs Iverson5 months ago

    Fabulous and honest!!! Loved it!!!❤️❤️💕

  • Test5 months ago

    So funny and so completely you. I enjoyed your answers so much. I don'tt hink I've seen any sitcoms either. Maybe. Not sure 🤍

  • L.C. Schäfer5 months ago

    New mission: MAKE HANNAH CRY IN 2024. Gird your loins!

  • L.C. Schäfer5 months ago

    I love that you lead your answers with "I'm a harlot". That tells me straight up that this writing is wearing bold red stockings and will cheerfully go home with me with very little persuasion. What fun I'm going to have with it...

  • Rachel Deeming5 months ago

    That comment about your past journal and future self cracked me up! Ha ha! I am toying with this "If". I have a busy Jan so like a writing squirrel, I am digging out of my tired post-Christmas brain, story acorns to store. It is already combatting a cold and cough as well as social crowding so if I fry, it will be soon.

  • Novel Allen5 months ago

    I remember our trip to Romania. All packed into the same b/room, kitchen one room situation, with the music from the bars blasting all night. I did get to visit Dracula's home, so there was that. This was a roller coaster read, yet so fascinating. Great journey through your psyche.

  • Gosh I enjoyed this so much! It's an honour to learn more about you! Also, I'm so sorry, I don't do beautiful prose and colourful language 😅 But you're really good at it and I admire you for that!

  • Grz Colm5 months ago

    Hannah, interesting answers all round! I liked the phrase “pieces of exorcism” ..I’d not heard it described like that before. I haven’t written much fiction but need to learn plotting at some stage too. Would be nice if I could just download then plotting app to my brain! 😅😄 “ I must be in a place of pristine sensory clarity.” - also made me smile! 😺👏 It feels a bit like that sometimes. Thank you for sharing your ideas with us. Enjoy the rest of your trip with your fam.

  • Mother Combs5 months ago


  • Matthew Fromm5 months ago

    Well you wield your prose with the might of a Greek god

  • Shirley Belk5 months ago

    Your very first sentence, "I'm a harlot." OMG I love that! I love your fearlessness, too. And your boldness. And the way your words flow, like "I know it might dent my ego, but that battered bit of baggage has taken far worse." I want to thank you "sometimes that can be about feeling that someone is trusting me to see them without wanting to turn away. " I feel safe with you. I know your partner wants to keep you grounded, but feed that dragon inside of you and let it breathe fire. YOU ARE VERY GOOD!!!! And should not be compared to others. You might just be what we NEED.

  • Cathy holmes5 months ago

    This is wonderful. I too laughed out loud at "harlot." My favourite was your answer to question 9, the part about the gym ball. Love that analogy.

  • Caroline Jane5 months ago

    "I'm a harlot" 🤣🤣🤣 My days you can open swinging! I laughed out loud there. This is as open and honest and alive as ever. Both about you and very you. Love your answers. Wonderful to get to know you more! ❤️ Enjoy the rest of your hols. 😁

  • Paul Stewart5 months ago

    What a lovely read. A lot of this is not new news...but it was still good to have a longform long read from you about who you are and what you are not as a writer. Enjoyed this a lot! Well done for putting it together given your current surroundings lol!

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