Cox, Richard 1970-
COX, Richard 1970-
PERSONAL: Born December, 1970, in Odessa, TX. Education: Texas A&M University, B.A. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, basketball, golf, traveling.
Rift, Ballantine Books (New York, NY), 2004. The God Particle, Del Rey Books, 2005.
WORK IN PROGRESS: A novel about men haunted by their teenage pasts.
SIDELIGHTS: For Richard Cox, publication came in a rather roundabout way. As a player of fantasy football, Cox got to know some of the other players online. When he mentioned that he was working on a thriller, one of his online friends replied that he worked in publishing, helped him with the story, and sent him a list of agents who might be interested. In the end, only one agent showed interest, but he was able to sell Cox's manuscript, titled Rift, to publishing giant Random House. After six years and eleven rewrites, his first novel was finally published.
The story is centered around Cameron Fisher, an accountant who agrees to test a teleportation machine for his company. Naturally, things do not go smoothly, and Fisher finds himself in a world that is not quite the same, and soon he is on the run, suspected of murder and pursued by assassins. For a Publishers Weekly reviewer, "Cox's debut techno-thriller offers a far-fetched plot, a fast-paced narrative and a well-drawn protagonist," though the other characters, such as evil corporate executives and a stripper with a heart of gold, seemed to the reviewer to be more one-dimensional. A Kirkus Reviews contributor found the protagonist himself rather boring, but "the main plot device keeps you hanging in there." More favorably, a Library Journal reviewer found the book "electrifying and provocative."
Cox told CA: "I first became interested in writing when I was a child. I enjoyed reading, particularly speculative stories, so at age eleven I wrote one of my own. It was only six pages, written in longhand, and was about a third world war being averted by a missile defense system. Later I discovered Stephen King, and for many years my stories closely mirrored his work, or at least I thought they did. I didn't try my hand at a novel until I was out of college. I was twenty-two. I worked hard on that novel, but after four years I gave up on it. I worked on other novels along the way, but Rift is only the second novel I wrote all the way through.
"I have a day job, so my writing process is to sit down in the evening and work on my current project for two or three hours. Working may include research on the Internet, but I try to get a good two hours of actual writing done each day. I may turn out 500 words or 2,000 words; it depends on the scene. I usually review the previous day's work to bring me back into the story. What I particularly enjoy is the rewriting process, because that's where the story actually begins to shine. I don't outline very well, so I do significant and sometimes complex rewrites, but I really enjoy that process of discovery—sometimes more than writing the first draft.
"I don't presume to hope or believe that my books will have any sort of effect other than entertainment. In The God Particle I go to some length demonstrating how science is inseparable from our daily lives, but I think people who are interested in science already know this, and those who aren't probably won't be swayed by my argument. I used to think that I could use stories as my own personal soap box, but later I realized that the most enjoyable thing about writing is what I learn about the world, or myself, along the way. Okay, so maybe that is the second most enjoyable thing. I guess the first is when someone tells me they genuinely enjoyed reading something I wrote!"
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2004, review of Rift, p. 346.
Library Journal, February 15, 2004, review of Rift, p. S6.
Publishers Weekly, April 12, 2004, review of Rift, p. 34.
Texas Monthly, August, 2004, Mike Shea, review of Rift, p. 60.
Richard Cox Home Page,http://www.richardcox.net (December 14, 2004).