Welcome to the three hundred and forty-second of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with multi-genre author and spotlightee Richard Godwin. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Welcome back, Richard. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Richard: I write crime and horror fiction, Bizarro and sci fi, poetry and literary fiction. I lectured in English and American literature at London University. I always wanted to write and my first break came with the production of my play ‘The Cure All’ on the London stage. It is a satire about a group of confidence tricksters using the New Age to rip off venal customers. I am best known for my crime fiction.
Morgen: My favourite genre. What have you had published to-date?
Richard: The list is exhaustive. Please go to my magazines page for a list of over 60 stories published.
In terms of novels I have two published, Apostle Rising and Mr Glamour, both with Black Jackal Books, both out in paperback now. Apostle Rising is about a serial killer crucifying politicians. It received excellent reviews and has sold foreign rights in Europe.
Morgen: Wow, congratulations. Mr Glamour sounds interesting…
Richard: Mr. Glamour is about a glamorous world of wealthy men and beautiful women with a predator in its midst. It is a novel with many twists and turns, and two cops who are most certainly not what you expect. DI Jackson Flare has a dark side and his partner DI Steele leads a double life. The killer seems to know a lot about his victims. And he seems to be watching everyone. Mr. Glamour is already receiving excellent reviews.
Morgen: That’s wonderful. With so much published you’ve obviously had plenty of practice. Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
Richard: Everyone gets rejections. You have to accept it.
Morgen: You do, just the right thing for the wrong person. Have you won or been shortlisted in any competitions?
Richard: I’ve been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and Apostle Rising was shortlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award.
Morgen: Wow, the Pushcart Prize especially is a real achievement. I’m not up on my prizes I’ve heard that being revered. Do you have an agent? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
Richard: Of course. If they’re good, they are.
Morgen: Like any business, I guess. I have a simple theory – if you go into a shop and get good service it’s likely that they enjoy their job, and are therefore good at it. Are your books available as eBooks? Were you involved in that process at all? Do you read eBooks or is it paper all the way?
Richard: I have stories in E book anthologies. I haven’t been involved in the process. I was approached by magazines. Apostle Rising will be out as an E Book in a few months. I read both E Books and paperbacks.
Morgen: How much of the marketing do you do for your published works or indeed for yourself as a ‘brand’?
Richard: I do a lot. Unless you are a major name you have to.
Morgen: That is true. From memory only one author has said they leave it to the publisher although she’s active on Twitter so I’d say that counts as marketing. What are you working on at the moment / next?
Richard: The sequel to Apostle Rising. Many questions will be answered.
Morgen: I like the sound of that. Do you manage to write every day?
Richard: I write every day. I see it like practising my tennis serve.
Morgen: It is, isn’t it. If you don’t play the piano you won’t get better (ditto painting). Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Richard: It depends on the length. I let my stories occur, while I plan most of my novels.
Morgen: We’ve had this discussion in my forum and the replies have said pretty much the same as you. What point of view do you find most to your liking: first person or third person? Have you ever tried second person?
Richard: I’ve tried them all. I like first but the publishers want third, which I also like.
Morgen: It does seem to be the most popular with readers. Where can we find out about you and your work?
Morgen: Ooh great – I love interviews. Well, thank you, Richard for taking time out today, all the best with Mr Glamour.
I then invited Richard to tell us more about his latest novel…
Designer goods, beautiful women, wealthy men, a lifestyle preyed on by a serial killer.
A killer who is watching everyone, including the police.
No, an outline of my second novel, Mr. Glamour. My debut novel Apostle Rising was published in paperback by Black Jackal Books last year. It was about a serial killer crucifying politicians, and sold extremely well, received excellent reviews, and sold foreign rights to the largest publisher in Hungary.
Settings are exotic, and the pages drip with wealth. The story’s told in my usual style, and my readers will know what that means. I have been told I write with a blend of lyricism and graphic description. I like to explore what motivates people and I certainly do so with the leading characters in Mr. Glamour.
The two central cops, DCI Jackson Flare and Inspector Steele, are unusual and strong in their own ways, as reviewers are already picking up. At the beginning of the novel Steele hates working with Flare for personal reasons. She doesn’t by the end, and the investigation takes them both on a journey which changes them and their opinions of one another.
Let me give you the setting if you are tempted to read Mr. Glamour…
Something dark is preying on the glitz of the glamour set. There is a lot about designer goods and lifestyles in Mr. Glamour. The killer knows all about design, he knows what brands mean to his victims. He is branding their skins. And he has the police stumped.
As Flare and Steele investigate the killings they enter an exclusive world with its own rules and quickly realise the man they are looking for is playing a game with them, a game they cannot interpret. The killer is targeting an exclusive group of people he seems to know a lot about.
The police investigation isn’t helped by the fact that Flare and Steele have troubled lives. Harlan White, a pimp who got on the wrong side of Flare, is planning to have him killed. And Steele has secrets. She leads a double life. She is an interesting woman who pushes her sexual boundaries in private. She travels a journey into her own past and rescues herself. And in a strange way she is helped by the killer she is looking for. And Flare has some revelations in store.
As they try to catch a predator who has climbed inside their heads, they find themselves up
against a wall of secrecy. The investigation drives Flare and Steele to acts of darkness. And the killer is watching everyone.
Then there is the sub plot.
Contrasting this lifestyle is the suburban existence of Gertrude Miller, who acts out strange rituals, trapped in a sterile marriage to husband Ben. She cleans compulsively and seems to be hiding something from him, obsessed that she is being followed. As she slips into a psychosis, characters from the glamorous set stray into Gertrude’s world, so the two plots dovetail neatly with one another.
And when Flare and Steele make an arrest they discover there is far more to this glamorous world than they realised. There is a series of shocks at the end of the novel as a set of fireworks go off. Watch out for the highly dramatic ending. It is already picking up some great reviews.
Advance praise for Mr. Glamour:
“Richard Godwin knows how his characters dress, what they drink and what they drive. He knows how they live –and how they die. Here’s hoping no one recognized themselves in Godwin’s cold canvas. Combines the fun of a good story with the joy of witty, vivid writing.” Heywood Gould, author of The Serial Killer’s Daughter.
“Smart, scary, suspenseful enough for me to keep the light on until 3AM on a Sunday night, Richard Godwin once more proves to fans of crime fiction the world over with Mr. Glamour, that he is not only one of the best contemporary writers of the procedural cop thriller around today, he is a master storyteller.” Vincent Zandri, author of Scream Catcher.
“Richard Godwin’s top-of-the-line psychological police procedural driven by its heady pace, steely dialogue, and unsparing vision transfixes the reader from page one.” Ed Lynskey, author of Skin In The Game.
“Mr. Glamour is a striking effort from one of the most daring crime writers in the business. It is the noirest of noir…and hellishly addictive.” Mike Stafford, BookGeeks Magazine.
“This first rate detective thriller will have you gripped from the start. Richard Godwin is an author not to be missed.” Sheila Quigley Author of Thorn In My Side.
“Mr Glamour is, in every sense of the word, the real McCoy: genuine hard boiled detective fiction. Lean, gritty, and tough, it’s a journey into the heart of darkness … you won’t soon forget. Connoisseurs of Nouveau Noir will have to add Richard Godwin to the list of writers to watch!” C E Lawrence, author of Silent Kills.
“Involving and compellingly sinister, Richard Godwin’s Mr. Glamour portrays cops and criminals, the mad and the driven in a novel of psychological noir. Read it while snuggling with your stuffed teddy bear for comfort.” Gary Phillips, author of Treacherous: Grifters, Ruffians and Killers
“Read this outstanding dark novel and learn more about what happens when you enter the hall of mirrors and find a reflection that just might do more than frighten you. Outstanding, spell binding and keeps the reader guessing until the very end. This is one outstanding novel written by one amazing author.” Fran Lewis, Reviewer.
I think Mr. Glamour will appeal to mystery and crime aficionados, to readers interested in psychological profiling and designer lifestyles, to thriller and noir fans, and to anyone who enjoys a fast paced narrative with strong characters. Mr. Glamour can be bought now at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and at all good retailers online and in stores in April. If you Google it you should see a range of options come up. And you can find out more about me at my website and my stories here.
Richard Godwin is the author of Apostle Rising which has just sold foreign rights to the largest publisher in Hungary and has received excellent reviews worldwide. A widely-published crime and horror writer, his second novel Mr. Glamouris out now and is available online and at all good retailers. It is about a glamorous world with a predator in its midst and is already attracting great reviews.
An author with 14 distinct works to his name, his writing has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, not least recently the Tarrantino-based series of sketches Pulp Ink, and The Big Book of Bizarro.
His ‘Chin Wags At The Slaughterhouse’ are interviews he has conducted with writers and can be found at his blog on his website here where you can also find a full list of his works.
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