As the first in a long line of author interviews I need to catch up on posting, I’ve decided to begin with author/screenwriter Doug Richardson, whose latest book, Blood Money, has just recently been released. It’s a mystery/thriller that certainly packs a punch. In this interview, Richardson discusses the book and his life as a writer.
First of all, it’s a thriller. Hopefully, for the reader, it will be a page-turner, something exciting to escape into.
2. How much of the book is based on real life (either yours or someone you know)?
It takes place in Los Angeles, which is where I was born and have spent most of my life.
In that way, the city is a character along with the people who inhabit it. As much as
the novel is fiction, the characters, their motivations and their agendas are very much poured out of the world where I live.
All I’ve done is place them in a particular situation and try to chronicle how they deal with it.
3. How did you get the idea for the novel?
I can’t say exactly where or when. It was more of an evolution following my last novel, THE SAFETY EXPERT. I wanted to tell a story with an ensemble of characters, all with opposing agendas. Which is very much how I view the city in which I live. Los Angeles is an incredible mash-up of cultures and subplots, much of which is a mystery to the people who live here.
4. Which came first, the title or the novel?
Hmmm. I might’ve been halfway through the novel when the title came to me. Sometimes the titles stick, and sometimes they don’t. This one did.
5. What scene or bit of dialogue in the book are you most proud of, and why?
I’d have to say that I’m very pleased with the sequence leading up to the bomb explosion in Long Beach. I’d spent much of the book building up to it and hooking most of the characters into having reasons to be there, only to have each and every one of their circumstances both literally and figuratively blown up.
6. What inspired you to write your first book?
My father, a career politician, had retired from the California State Senate. After a few years away, he’d decided to re-enter at the congressional level, but found himself in a
dog-fight of a race against a very deceitful candidate. It was moving to see my father, who
has a very thick skin, shocked at the depths to which politics had lowered. Thus came the germs that would grow to become my first novel, DARK HORSE.
7. Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?
Prior to my first novel, I’d written a host of screenplays for Hollywood. Some successful; others still gathering dust on movie studio shelves. I suppose what I’ve learned – and
what I continue learning to this day – is to never take my reader for granted.
Be it a movie producer, actor, or somebody who’s picked up my novel out of a bookstore rack, they deserve a good read. Well-written, entertaining, and/or thought provoking, not to mention a helluva page-turner.
8. Considering a book from the first word you write to the moment you see it on a bookstore shelf, what’s your favorite part of the process? What’s your least favorite?
I’d have to say my favorite part of the process is the blank page. Nothing written yet. Just
the story in my brain and the unknown world that lies ahead. The moment words begin to slap the page it feels like I’m hitting the road on a grand adventure.
My least favorite part? I suppose waiting for my wife to read those early pages, hoping to
heck I’ve written something she thinks is worth continuing.
9.What’s up next for you?
I’m writing the second Lucky Dey novel. Another thriller tentatively titled 99 PERCENT KILL. That and a variety of continuous film and television projects.
10. Do you have any advice for other writers?
My advice is generally pretty consistent. Write, get some good and honest critique. Then rewrite and rewrite and rewrite.