Our third literary guest is Richard Godwin, who has recently released Apostle Rising, a thriller about the man crucifying politicians. He writes dark crime fiction with a touch of horror and has his stories published both in traditional and digital form plus stories published all over the net. You can read more about him and his work at www.richardgodwin.net, where he also blogs, features interviews with fellow writers (Chin Wags At The Slaughterhouse), has links to great many of his stories, etc … His second novel is called Mr. Glamour – so, keep an eye on this guy!
Hi, Richard. Thanks for giving me chance to have a conversation with you. Tell our readers something about yourself, please.
I write crime and horror fiction, poetry and also literary fiction. I started writing plays. I used to lecture in English and American literature at London University. I was born in London and travelled the world extensively as part of my career and cultural interests. I blog at The Slaughterhouse, where I hold unusual and popular interviews with authors.
“Candy lost a tooth giving the mayor of Spruceville a blow job”, that’s how one of your stories (Welcome To Shitsville, Asshole) starts – now, that’s a line, that does not allow you to walk away until you reach the end of the story. How do you approach your writing to pull the reader in?
I try to evoke a world in the first few lines, a world that will entice and engage and then allow the characters to develop within it.
That story just goes to show that sex with politicians can cause dental problems.
In your genre you certainly need a lot of thought and research? Or you just write the whole story in your head, think up all the twists and turns and then spread it on the paper like pizza dough?
Stories and novels require a different approach. I write my stories organically. I research my novels and plan them. Sometimes, depending on the material, that may require more research.
A visit to your web page proves, that you’ve done a lot. There are literaly countless links to your stories all over the net. What exactly is your typical workday like?
I write every day. I see it like practicing my tennis serve. I answer my emails. I also do a lot of online networking.
Politicians in my country are quite unpopula herd, we expected new faces, new names, but there are only old ones on the current scene, just changing positions – an idea of a man punishing them should have appeared in some of our writers’ heads. How and where did you get inspiration for your debut thriller?
In Apostle Rising I wanted to write a serial killer people would empathize with. Given the level of dishonesty politicians are capable of globally, my protagonist, who is crucifying politicians, won the hearts and minds of readers. It seemed natural to me that a killer would target politicians. Historically we have seen assassinations of politicians, why not take that to serial killings?
I am thinking of lobbying for a new tax that will restore the correct distribution of wealth. It is a tax on political lies, every time a politician is exposed in a lie, he is taxed between 10 and 90 % of his salary, depending on the severity of his dishonesty.
What I find wonderful is, how you and your fellow writers unselfishly support and cross-promote each other: doing interviews, spreading the word of new works, etc … via your blogs, Twitter and Facebook. There is no sign of jelausy or envy …
I think crime writers are mutually supportive. It is a strange anomaly and one an outsider would not suspect. Unlike those who sneer at genre fiction and wish to label themselves literary, there is little bitchiness among crime writers. There is also some of the best writing in the world. Personally I see literary fiction as just another genre.
How would you describe your style?
I write crime fiction, horror fiction, literary fiction and poetry. So I change styles a lot. I would describe my style as descriptive and dark. I would say it as also lyrical and tight. I am known for changing direction in my stories and for shocks. I am also known for psychological depth and good dialogue.
Are there any writers you admire most?
I think Dostoyevsky and Dickens were geniuses, as were Shakespeare and Ben Jonson, I love the works of Grahame Greene, TS Eliot, Elmore Leonard and Cormac McCarthy. The list could go on.
Yor second novel is on its way – what is coming after Mr. Glamour?
Mr. Glamour is out now. It is about designer world full of designer goods, beautiful women wearing Versace and Gucci, visiting their lovers while watched, and a killer in their midst. Here’s the synopsis:
Something dark is preying on the glitz of the glamour set. DCI Jackson Flare and Inspector Mandy Steele investigate a series of bizarre killings targeting the wealthy and glamorous. Cameras, designer labels, beautiful women and wealthy men fill the pages of this dark narrative that will keep you guessing until the unforeseeable end. All part of a gripping mystery novel about a glamorous world with an unknown intruder. The killer in Mr. Glamour knows all about design, he knows what brands mean to his victims. He is branding their skins. He is invading and destroying at will. And he has the police stumped.
Detective Chief Inspector Flare and Inspector Steele try to catch a killer who has climbed inside their heads. As they investigate they step into a hall of mirrors and find themselves up against a wall of secrecy. The investigation drives Flare and Steele—who are themselves harbouring secrets—to acts of darkness. And the killer is watching everyone.
I am currently writing two novels. I have been commissioned by an Italian publisher to write a Noir novel lite, it is set in London and evokes the city. I am also writing the sequel to Apostle Rising, many questions will be answered. I have stories going into various anthologies, among them Pulp Modern. And the anthology of my Mustard Man stories has been published as an E Book by Pulp Metal Fiction, It contains some previously published and new stories about this favorite culinary killer.
Any advice to fresh young (and not so young) writers?
Try to write every day. Try to read as much as you can and ask yourself how the author achieves his effects.
Thank you, Richard – it’s been a pleasure talking to you.
Thank you Renato for being such a great host, it’s been my pleasure to be here.