Good morning! I hope you’re all coming off an incredible weekend.
Today I welcome Doug Richardson, author of 99 Percent Kill.
IDI – In your new novel 99 PERCENT KILL, we meet Lucky Dey is your first franchise character. What took so long?
DR – Though 99 PERCENT KILL is only my fifth novel, it took me awhile to get here considering all the film projects that kept me so busy over the last twenty-five years. That and I hadn’t met him yet. In fact, it was when I was trying to develop a TV show where I discovered him. Then instead of meeting him via some actor playing him, I introduced him in my last novel BLOOD MONEY. From there it was no looking back. I knew I had a character I could live with and write for in the years to come.
IDI – I think that is a big draw with readers, characters that come alive and become a part of their world. Readers become as eager to see them again as they would an old friend.
When did you have your Eureka moment? When did know that you were born to be a writer?
DR – Is there supposed to be some eureka moment? Because for me I’m not sure it happened all at once. Though my sixth grade teacher proclaimed me as a future writer, I only began putting words to paper as a means to making movies. I thought I was going to pen my way to being a film director. Eventually, I found writing for movies to be rather limiting. I wanted to expand beyond the sight and sound demands of motion picture into a more elastic form of narrative.
IDI – Think back to the first book you wrote and then the last book you wrote. In what ways have you grown?
DR – Seems like a million miles since the first and the last. The first book I was just hoping to finish. Get it down. Prove I could succeed in that milieu. Now, with 99 PERCENT KILL, the wondering of whether I could do it has vanished. Now it’s all about making it as great and entertaining and exciting a read as humanly possible.
IDI – I believe I was thinking the same thing when I wrote my first book – ‘Can I do this?’ What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt maybe to tickle our taste buds?
DR – The next Lucky Dey novel. It’s called REAPER. I could tell you more, but I’d have to kidnap you and deprive you a Facebook and Twitter until it lands in the spring of 2016. And I’m just too nice of a guy to do that.
IDI – Do you have a blog and if so, what types of posts would a visitor find on it?
DR – I do have a blog. Weekly over at dougrichardson.com. It’s extremely popular and addictive if you like true Hollywood tales from the screenwriting trenches. Some are amusing. Some are bloody. Most are hair-raising. They all come from actual experiences from my years of succeeding and failing and succeeding again as a Hollywood screenwriter.
IDI – I’ll have to check that out.
Who’s your target audience? What aspect of your writing do you feel targets that audience?
DR – Lovers of crime fiction. Or LA noir. If you read Michael Connolly or Harlen Coben or James Elroy, I’d hope you’d give 99 PERCENT KILL a ride. It’s not just and exciting read, but my own experienced illumination on the thin moral line between Los Angeles life on the straight and the underbelly which always threatens to suck us under.
IDI – We all draw from within and I believe there is an element of ‘us’ in everything we write. How much of you will a reader find in any given book?
DR – Oh, I’m everywhere and on every page. My thoughts, opinions, but mostly my perspective channeled through the prism of the characters. I have incredible empathy for them all, good and bad. That’s what I was talking about the thin moral line. I think, in so many ways, we’re all alike and share so much. Back in my novel THE SAFETY EXPERT, the idea sprouted from an afternoon in a Panorama City movie theater. The picture was sparsely attended. Just me and a few other groups, two of which were very clearly gang affiliated. But for the time while the movie ran, we shared the movie. Laughed at the same jokes. Were thrilled by the same sequences. Film lovers all. After, I wondered what else we shared besides oxygen and the traffic as well other the other annoyances and banalities of living in Los Angeles.
IDI – Speaking of L.A., why there? Why not write about crime somewhere else?
DR – I’m from here. I know it so well. Yet everyday I discover something new, different, and/or frightening. Man. Researching my next Lucky Dey book, I’ve done a number of ride-alongs with LA County Sheriffs. Some of the things I’ve seen. It’s truly a place that could be defined by “what lies beneath.”
IDI – What’s the best advice ever given to you, and by whom?
DR – Maybe not the best, but certainly the most memorable. It was the moment our first child was born. The OB, this wonderful little man full of all kinds of affection and wisdom, handed me my newborn baby boy and said, “Remember. They are small for only a very short period of time.” His words said and meant so much to me. Still do. I’ve done my best to savor their childhood as well be available to them as their father.
IDI – As a writer, what is the one thing you would most like people to know about you?
DR – That as much as I seek to connect with my audience, I hope they feel free to connect with me. It’s a two-way street. That’s one of the awesome benefits of social media. It levels the playing field between readers and writers. I want to know their thoughts and complaints and issues and, most importantly, what moves them.
IDI – Who is the most supportive of you and your dream to be a writer?
DR – My wife, Karen. AKA The War Department. I can’t imagine where I’d be without her.
IDI – Doug, I’d like to thank you for joining me today. It’s been a pleasure. Best wishes in your writing and you’ll have to come back and visit when Reaper comes out.
To learn more about Doug and his work, be sure to visit his WEBSITE.
DR – Thanks for having me, Kathy.