The Plot Thickens, or, An Undertaker Distracted

Things have been unusually quiet Beneath The Headstone.  Plots once bustling with activity have become overgrown with weeds, the limbs of their newest occupant frozen mid-reach.  The grass has withered and each of the once vibrant leaves is now curled tightly against the cracked earth.

In the distance, through the jungle of concrete crosses and weeping angels is a Gothic stone building.  The windows are stained glass representations of an undertaker in various stages of burial.  In some of the images, the casket can still be seen above the ground, while others only show the tip of the undertaker’s hat.

There is a flickering light behind a window on the south side of the building, for he is hard at work on his latest project.  Even though there are still plots that remain to be filled, he prepares the presentation for one of his prize burials, the story of a certain vampire hunter who had been the first to enter these sacred grounds.

He has not forgotten about his tasks at hand, nor will his duties remain forgotten for very much longer.  Even now, wrapped as tightly in the creation of his newest film trailer, he is thinking ahead to the completion of each of his projects.

  1. J.R. van Helsing, Book 3 in the ‘Ballad of John Rizzerio’
  2. She Has A Pretty Face Though, a webseries about a young man who is slowly losing either a battle with his mind or with a demon
  3. The Box, a webseries about three adventurers searching for a legendary artifact inside of a dragon’s lair.
  4. Trespasser, a short story about what happens when an intruder threatens the safety of a family and their community
  5. Tis the Feeding, a short story about a man who loses everything, discovers happiness in food and what he does when it runs out.
  6. The Darkness Defines Us, a collection of short stories to be released as a novel, and is part of a prize in a contest that has been one year in the making.

Six plots, the graves of some filled higher than others, lay untended and seemingly forgotten.  Time has overtaken each of these gems, but it is only a temporary inconvenience for mourner and undertaker alike, for soon something new will inhabit the plots with-in.

J.R. van Helsing’s Book Trailer


Coming Soon

To Slay A Troll

“There’s no place out there for graft, or greed, or lies, or compromise with human liberties…” Jefferson Smith, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

They come in many forms and yet, they are all one in the same.  We call them critics in film, hecklers in comedy, negative reviews on our books but it comes to what we should call them, it boils down to one word; troll.

It’s hard not to be affected by their words.  We’re pouring our hearts and souls into our work.  Some of us are truly gifted and are able to do this with little effort, but the majority of us labor over our little niche in creativity.  No matter the ease of which we get there, all it takes are the words of one troll to break us down.

Why do we let it get to us so easily?  We’re willing to give up everything for our passions, to sacrifice every comfort, and in some cases the ones who mean the most to us, in order to fulfill the desire to create.  Hours slip by, and in some cases, days, as we build our routines, write our breakthrough novels and create our next masterpieces. We’re THAT dedicated to our art that we don’t even notice.

And yet, when that first criticism arrives, it’s as if we’ve been stabbed in the heart.  We’re standing on the middle of the bridge with our aspirations behind us, our dreams ahead of us and we’re putting our gem on display when ‘it’ happens.  ;-(  I know, right?

We’re mortally wounded, or so we think.  The troll has leapt upon the bridge, taken our shining gem and then plunged it directly into our meaty ticker.  We’ve fallen to our knees.  We can feel our very essence pouring onto the unforgiving stone beneath us and for that brief moment we wonder if we’re going to survive the encounter.

I assure you, you can and you will.  You’ve taken a piece of that infinite and immortal soul of yours to create this new thing, this piece of art.  You’ve poured gallons of your hearts love sauce onto it, coating it until the material became saturated.  It’s yours, Dr. Frankenstein.  You created it.  It LIVES!

Get back to your feet, actor!  Arise, author!  Stand and remove the stain left upon you by this beastie!

What you have created, what you have labored over with love and soul CANNOT be destroyed by the words of another.  They try because they are jealous.  They attack because they cannot create this beautiful thing that you have.  They lash out, but because you possess something they can only ever dream of achieving!

Stand up and brandish your gem!  Let not the words of the troll sting you, for they are but words.  These creatures exist only to inflict pain upon others.  They thrive upon hate, even when they don’t understand what it is they are attacking, for they are but children lost in an adult’s playground.

You may think it’s hard to find your footing once more, but you need only but remember what you have done to get here.  You arrived on this bridge for a reason.  You are here to show the world beneath you the treasure born of your hands.  Let the troll come forth I say!  Let them fling their measly weapons at you!  And when they do, allow your creation room to breath.  Give the troll it’s fair chance, and when it fails so miserably?  Ask it if it would like to sit down now.

Chins up, artists!

Your determination brought you here.  You’ve labored, you’ve sacrificed and you have suffered worse things than what the troll can inflict upon you.


This is for those of us who have received a negative review, who have been heckled while performing our routines and for those who find the occasional negative criticism when we’ve given it our all.

Upcoming Interview

In just a few short days, I will find myself with an opportunity that is bigger than I can possibly imagine.

For those of my readers who have yet to read my post regarding my book signing, I invite you to take a few moments to go check it out.

Are we all caught up?

Good!  So then you know about the photographer I met while there?  Excellent.

I took his advice and contacted the news reporter and with-in a couple hours I had a delighted response and invitation!

Just so we’re all clear here; I will be appearing on a local news station, for an onscreen interview, regarding my vampire hunter trilogy!

This is unheard of for me.  When I sent off the email, at best I expected to be politely let down.  I figured that a reply would find its way into my inbox, at the end of the week, explaining how they appreciated my candor, but this wasn’t something they weren’t interesting in doing at this time.  Imagine my surprise when I was proven wrong a short time later!

There are a million questions running through my mind, but, am I nervous?  Years ago, I participated in a trombone trio that went to State, as part of my band class.  I had to perform before two thousand of my peers and the judges.  I’ve given a few speeches to small crowds of people, mostly family, but also before my peers in Speech class.  Of course, and most recently, I spent an evening describing the plot and story of the my first book to several interested readers.  In every instance, once I got in front of the mic, everything else fell into place.

The question remains.  Am, I, Nervous?

A little, admittedly.  But it’s not like I will be speaking before a huge audience.  At most, it will be myself, the interviewer and the cameraman.  It will be in a comfortable setting that will make it seem like the interviewer and myself are having a friendly discussion, so I’m not to worried about the pressure.  Of course, I don’t know what will be in the panoramic that isn’t seen from the viewer’s point of view, but that shouldn’t be too bad.

It feels more like I’m preparing to give exactly what it is; an interview.  He will have questions, I will have answers, and before I know it we’ll be shaking hands and parting ways.

Do I have concerns?  Of course I do.  This is the first time that anyone in my immediate family will appear on TV for a good reason!  *laughs*  Okay, in all seriousness and joking aside, this is something that has a lot of potential to get my work out there.

Sure, I’ve sold some books.  I’ve also donated some to the Little Free Libraries around town!  Add in the signing and I have had a fairly good run these last two months.  My concern is as to whether or not I am able to be concise, and more importantly, professional about the work I’ve invested so much time in creating.  This is, after all, going to be my first author interview!

My plan is to treat it as if the reporter interviewing me is an interested reader.  Since I will be speaking to him about the trilogy, I simply need to give my best synopsis, offer the baited hook and hope he takes a bite.  If he believes it, the rest should fall into place, right?

Oh, but we shall see, won’t we…?

For now, I try to make sense of the hurricane in my mind, capture my thoughts as they are violent whipped to and fro and start writing some notes.  I should prepare my best synopsis, practice reciting it and go from there.

Wish my luck, my friends.


R. Richardsson Interview with Ralph Hipp, WIBW Channel 13, 4:00pm Central Time, November 11, 2013

For those unable to view the program, I will be later capturing the video and uploading it to my YouTube Channel.