To complement my daily blog interviews I recently started a series of weekly Author Spotlights and today’s, the twentieth, is of the multi-talented (I’m not jealous at all… oh no, not one little bit :)) Richard Godwin.
Richard Godwin is a crime and horror author as well as a produced playwright and poet. He has been widely published in magazines and anthologies, including recently Pulp Ink and the Pulp Metal Magazine Anthology Laughing At The Death Grin.
Apostle Rising is his first published novel. Detective Chief Inspector Frank Castle never caught the Woodlands Killer and it almost destroyed him. Now many years later and still suffering from nightmares, he is faced with a copycat killer with detailed inside knowledge of the original case. Someone is crucifying politicians, and Castle and his partner DI Jacki Stone enter a labyrinth. At its centre is the man Castle suspected was guilty of the original Woodland Killings, the psychopath Karl Black, who is now running a sinister cult, The Last Brotherhood, and playing mind games with the police. And the ritualistic killer keeps raising the stakes and slipping through their hands. The body count is rising. Castle employs a brilliant psychologist to help him solve the case, and he begins to dig into the killer’s psyche. But some psychopaths are cleverer than others.
And now from the author himself:
Why do I do it?
I write because good writing asks questions and sometimes finds answers. I write because I am interested in people, all sorts of people and always have been.
As Elmore Leonard said, you don’t pen a million words in order to find your own voice just for the money. Novelists, poets, playwrights are engaged in the active exploration of what makes men and women behave. I am best known for my crime and horror writing and these genres allow for the dramatisation of extreme human acts, the kinds of acts we read about in the papers or gasp at on TV and distance ourselves from, maintaining a necessary cushion of comfort.
But killers do not wear horns and often resemble the guy next door, the one you had a cup of tea with this morning. My detectives are not necessarily good men, they are men and women struggling to maintain law and order in the presence of evil. They try to do the right thing and get it wrong, and as with Frank Castle in Apostle Rising, often walk close to the edge of the law itself.
Reviewers have commented that much of the novel is about the effect of evil on the lives of police officers. It is also about the pernicious nature of fanaticism, as illustrated by the Karl Black and his cult. In writing crime fiction I am interested in the forces that motivate men to break the law. That may be the desperation to please a wife leading a man to commit fraud, that may be extreme beliefs engendering psychosis that lead a man to kill.
As the author of Apostle Rising I think that its strength lies in the fact that it does not offer easy pat moral answers to complicated issues, and in the revelation that occurs towards the end. The case changes Castle and Stone. It was intended to.
I also write horror, and many reviewers have said that the novel slips into horror. This has been favourably received since the crimes are of a dark nature with politicians literally being crucified.
It is structured in such a way that readers have said they find it easy to read. The chapters contain short sections, so the novel is one you can dip in and out of.
I would like to add that I also write poetry, which is very different from my crime and horror writing.
Apostle Rising is still selling well, six months after its release, with several foreign rights offers on the table, and has received extremely good reviews, which can be accessed on the Media Page on my website (links below).
Mike Stafford writes in the magazine BookGeeks: ‘Apostle Rising is a fine contribution to the genre. Rare for a crime novel, it has a lyrical, almost poetic style, beautifully written and well constructed. On the strength of this offering, Godwin is a welcome addition to the world of the full-length novel.’
Leslie Wright writes in Seattle PI: ‘The suspense and mystery are superb; you never understand the emotional depravity until the end. It is an end you never see coming. Castle is a charismatic and likable character. Jacki is tough and yet she too is a figure that draws your sympathy. I would recommend this novel for those who love thrillers. The tension keeps the read going, and leads you in an unexpected direction. Godwin has created a great whodunit. This book stays with you long after the final page.’
To find more about Richard and his writing…
He conducts popular and searching interviews with writers at his blog.
Apostle Rising can be purchased at all major retailers as well as online at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, The Book Depository and direct through the publisher Black Jackal Books. His next novel is due to be released shortly.
Thank you very much Richard… and I thought I was a busy person!
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with mystery / humour author Marja McGraw* – the one hundred and fifty-fifth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, directors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. *You can read Marja’s interview of me here. A list of all my interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; so do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me. You can also read / download my eBooks here.