Royce Buckingham is a Washington writer from Bellingham with an English degree from Whitman College and a Law degree from the University of Oregon. Royce worked hard for 13 years before he sold his first novel, DEMONKEEPER. When DEMONKEEPER debuted, Royce made reading lists, had his novel published in more than ten countries and hit the bestseller list overseas. He has now sold ten books, including DEMONEATER and DEMONOCITY, available on Kindle. His latest hardback in the U.S. is THE DEAD BOYS, a ghost story set in the nuclear town of Richland, WA, where Royce grew up. His German novel, DIE KARTE DER WELT, has been on the German bestseller list for over three months. His first YA book, THE TERMINALS, debuts in October/2014. For more info, visit his website.
What’s your idea of a good time?
Wouldn’t you like to know! Okay, maybe some futsal or basketball followed by a pizza at Rudy’s or La Fiamma.
Ever been told you look like someone famous?
Yes, but they didn’t specify who. So I just assumed it was Tom Cruise, since he was the girls’ favorite at the time.
Name one thing you can’t live without.
My wife and my boys.
What’s the silliest thing you have heard people say about you?
“You must be rich.” So not true. I’m a children’s author, for gosh sakes!
What did you wish to become when you grew up?
Professional athlete. Whatever sport. Didn’t matter, as long as I was awesome and famous. Either that or an archaeologist.
What’s your motto in life?
Never give up. Never surrender.
What’s the funniest prank ever played on you?
My friends and I drove to the cemetery in high school on the scariest night ever. I got out. They drove off. A “funny later” sort of thing.
What’s the naughtiest thing you did in school?
Wouldn’t you like to know. Okay, maybe stealing a cattle crossing sign and putting it on the sorority bathroom door. Or streaking across campus with a bunch of other stupid college kids wearing only hats, scarves, and sneakers.
Describe your ideal day.
Time with wife, time with our boys, time writing, time playing sports with friends, time watching Game of Thrones (or a really awesome new movie), and sleep.
If you were a road sign, what would you be?
“Cattle Xing”. Serves me right.
If you were to attend a costume party tonight, who would you be?
The shark from JAWS. It’s my favorite movie.
What’s one quality you really appreciate in a person?
What classifies as a boring conversation? What about an interesting one?
Boring = not funny, not informative, no human connection/bonding.
Interesting = emotional, informative, makes me feel that I’ve connected with another human being.
Earliest childhood memory?
Watching my best friend from next door ride off in his station wagon when his family moved away. It turned out he was only moving across town, but it seemed like a long way when I was a preschooler.
Favorite board game?
Currently, Ticket to Ride or Munchkin. Classically, Stratego or Risk. Competitively, Scrabble.
What food item would you remove from the market altogether?
I dunno…kale? That or all those artificial fatty things that are killing us.
Name someone who supported your writing journey outside of family members.
My all-star Seattle screenwriting group. I was recruited for this elite group in the 90’s. There were maybe ten of us coming and going over the years, and I think five of us sold scripts to Hollywood eventually (including me). If you know the odds of doing that (from Seattle, no less), you can appreciate the caliber of writers I was hooked up with. Thankful to this day. In fact, we just threw a reunion party for our group at the house of one of our core members, George Wing.
Was there ever a time in your writing career where you wanted to seriously give up? If so, how did you find the motivation to continue?
I was about to give it up after a decade of not getting published or selling a screenplay (which I was writing many of). I even told my wife. Then Microsoft asked me to make up a fantasy storyline for an Xbox video game they were designing. Uh…yes please! I quit my job as a lawyer pretty much that day. I did go back to lawyering, but that’s a long story.
Any advice for other writers?
Keep your plots focused and clear. Don’t wander. Start with a great concept. Be efficient with your words. Revise, revise, revise.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I wanted to write a medieval fantasy. Twenty years later, (in 2013), my first medieval fantasy, Die Karte Der Welt, came out in Germany…and it’s a bestseller.
What do you think you do best in your writing? Bragging is encouraged.
My plots are focused and clear. I don’t wander. I have great concepts. I am super-efficient with my words. I revise with a fine toothed comb.
What books have most influenced your life?
The Phantom Tollbooth, Conan the Barbarian, Where the Red Fern Grows, early Stephen King stuff, The Elements of Style.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
My latest American book is THE DEAD BOYS. It’s a Sasquatch reading list nominee (and a Sunshine State list nominee). Also a junior library guild pick. So…nope. Or maybe I’d change the sales figures by adding two zeros.
Anything you find particularly challenging in writing? What comes easily?
I have trouble describing things in rich detail. Don’t know why. But dang, I’m clear and efficient with words. My book THE DEAD BOYS is a super-spare middle grade ghost story that’s getting rave reviews and is on Washington’s 2014 Sasquatch Reading List. If you’re a middle grader, vote for it!
Favorite author? What really strikes you about their work?
I’m grooving on George RR Martin right now. He kills his protagonists and somehow it’s okay. I’m currently working on doing more killing. I have a YA novel coming out October/2014 called THE TERMINALS. As implied by the title, there’s lots of characters getting bumped off.