– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Fair Means Or Foul’ blogtour, organised by Book On The Bright Side.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but b
About the Author :
Keith Wright is the Author of the crime novels in the ‘Inspector Stark series’ available on Amazon, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited|Audiobook on Audible and iTunes.
The man sitting at the wheel of the car was 100 yards from his moment of destiny. He was oblivious to it, of course. Murderers don’t necessarily realise they are killers until a few seconds before it happens. Murderers are sometimes just like you and me. He would never have dreamed that such a thing might happen. Ridiculous. If anyone had told him that today was the day he would turn into a killer, he would have looked at them quizzically; questioning their sanity; instead of questioning his own.
The murder investigation into the death of a young girl at Nottingham’s Goose Fair throws up several suspects, close to home and further away. The stream of inquiries spirals into a climax, and suddenly another young life hangs in the balance.
Detective Inspector Stark and his team prepare to do anything to stop further bloodshed. They are willing to use any means necessary, whether it be fair means or foul.
In his fourth crime thriller, critically acclaimed author, Keith Wright, once again regales the stark reality of murder, derived from his hands-on experience as a CID detective sergeant working in an inner-city area.
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I am from a working class background and went to a comprehensive school before joining the police. When I retired from the force I went on to become Head of Corporate Investigations for a global retailer.
I still live in Nottingham with my partner Jackie.
I have four wonderful children, twins, Chris and Andy, who are also writers as well as being a teacher and another works for Cancer research. My son, Harry is at university and is an actor. Then there is the lovely chatterbox, Lily, who is 10 years old.
I began writing when in the police. I had always enjoyed reading crime stories, notably Ed McBain, and I thought I could combine real life experience as a Detective with good story telling.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I enjoy autobiographies actually. I am interested in people and what makes us all tick and so I do enjoy reading a person’s life story. It doesn’t have to be someone famous, it can be anyone. As a young man, as I have mentioned, I read the fabulous American crime writer Ed McBain, from around the age of fifteen. Bizarrely I went on to meet him for dinner when I was speaking at the international mystery convention, which was a great honour for me. It was around 1994, I think. They say to never meet your heroes.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I suppose it would have to be Charles Dickens. I love his work. Despite the victorian setting I think he was way ahead of his time, both with his characterisation, recklessness of style and lyrical prose.
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I would like to have tea with my main protagonist Detective Inspector David Stark. I would like to help him defeat his nemesis DI Lee Mole, and also give him some advice about his anxiety. He does not know what it is he is suffering from, but I want to help him. These things were not talked about as much in the 1980’s which is when my books are set.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I don’t go in for rituals as such. I am a very disciplined writer, I write pretty much all day every day. I guess I am used to the work ethic from my time in the police and private sector, which were quite hectic. I also enjoy it so much. I finally have the opportunity to devote myself to writing full time and I want to make the most of it and embrace it. I know this is a lucky situation to be in.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
I tend to use my experience as a Detective Sergeant from back in the day for how things unfold. The ideas themselves however are from using my imagination. I can critically think and come up with ideas fairly easily. It is picking the right ones that can be the tricky bit.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I have done both. I am going to have to say I am a ‘plantser,’ in other words a bit of both. I don’t want to write down huge skeletons any more, just key points, that I want to happen along with the theme and a little characterisation, for new characters.
This makes the process more enjoyable as I dont have a clue what is going to happen in the detail until the characters start involving themslves on the journey to the next junction.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Do your own thing. Tell your own story. Be careful what advice you listen to, as most people know nothing, or if they do, it fits them not you. Keep it real. I share Stephen King’s advice to ‘show don’t tell,’ up to a point; while the bulk of the book should do this, sometimes you have to ‘tell’ to keep the pace right and avoid reader yawns.
Be adventurous, even reckless, if you can. Don’t be obsessed with too many writing ‘rules.’
Also make sure you write your ideas in your notes on your phone, if you don’t they will be gone forever, no matter how much you think you will remember them.
As for don’ts – Don’t write for anyone but yourself. (Some will disagree with this), if you are trying to write for others, who is it? Your neighbour? The postman? Be true to yourself. Not everyone is going to like your book. If you like it there is a chance that others will too and you can keep consistent and make the whole experience less arduous and more enjoyable.
What are your futureplans as an author?
I am in the process of completing a short story anthology I have compiled, which will go out later in the year. I am thrilled with it as it is a departure from my usual characters and contemporary. There is usually some sort of sting in the tale.
I have been working on my second Audio Book – ‘Trace and Eliminate.’ As with the first I have narrated it with my son Harry taking some parts and producing it for me. This will be out in the next two or three months, I would think.
I also have a little secret project I am undertaking.
And finally I will be starting my fifth book imminently.
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Thank you for the opportunity for us to chat about all things writing. I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I have selected the opening passage to ‘Fair Means Or Foul.’ I hope you like it and want to read on.
The man sitting at the wheel of the car was 100 yards from his moment of destiny. He was oblivious to it, of course. Murderers often don’t realise that becoming a killer is their fate until a few seconds before it happens. Murderers are sometimes just like you and me. We are not immune. There is no vaccine. He would never have dreamed that such a thing might happen. Ridiculous. If anyone had told him that today was the day he would turn into a killer, he would have looked at them quizzically; questioning their sanity; instead of questioning his own. His car was stuttering along in the grid-locked traffic. Stop. Start.
100 yards remained to the point of no return.
Nottingham’s Goose Fair, held the first weekend of October every year, hadn’t changed that much over the decades, it had just increased exponentially in size. Victorian children had slithered down the Helter-Skelter just the same as the squealing kids did now, in 1987, a hundred years later.
Thousands of people, young and old, streamed, from all directions, towards the beacon of bright lights and music. From a distance, they appeared hypnotically drawn to a pulsating Godhead, like a zombie apocalypse of shuffling, disengaged humanity, with only a Gregorian chant missing from the seemingly dystopian scene.
One of Nottingham’s oldest traditions, the Goose Fair, was more popular than ever, with a million visitors every year. A vast array of monstrous and exhilarating rides and ‘prize every time’ sideshows were the attractions nowadays, rather than a brace of geese and a cut of cheese, to temper Anglo Saxo hunger, such as it was when it first began. The living sea of humanity ebbed and flowed through the main thoroughfare, in a continuous wave, with tributaries of people filtering to various attractions, while attempting to avoid elbows to the body, spilled drinks, and stepped-upon toes.
This year, however, there would be a sinister visitor, a spectre at the feast. Death would lay its grim, heavy shadow over the festivities, as random and indiscriminate as ever. This was not the first time that murder had swung by the fairground, nor would it be the last, but it would be the saddest of them all.
The younger children, wide-eyed and agog, were lifted on and off the merry-go-rounds. At the same time, the teenagers queued at death-defying rides with appropriate names such as ‘The Paratrooper’ and the spinning cages of ‘Rock n Roll.’ The more adventurous fairgoer might head for the ‘Wall of Death’ where motorbikes would swirl around a caged wall at breakneck speed, and where occasionally people might indeed break their neck. Others would head towards ‘Ron Taylor’s Boxing Booth’. Boxing in various guises had been at the fair for two hundred years and had contributed to many fighters taking the sport up professionally. Here the local hard man could make the humbling discovery that he wasn’t as hard as he thought, or a delusional drunkard could embarrass himself for the jeering crowd’s entertainment.
Older visitors, stalwartly clutching their brandy snaps, were drawn nostalgically towards ‘The Cakewalk’ and would try to keep their feet, as the wooden floor jerked back and forth. Others headed for the more sedate, yet majestic galloping horses, of the ‘Carousel’.
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Keith Wright.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!