Today we travel to South Devon in England to chat with Richard Dee about how the Merchant Navy, Tower Bridge, Agatha Raisin, a persistent dream, independent authors, spring, sourdough bread, Ripples, a tailor’s dummy, and a cloud of plaster come together as part of Richards’s past and present life.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Richard Dee and I’m from Brixham in South Devon, England. When I left school, I went to sea in the Merchant Navy, qualifying as a Master Mariner and serving on all sorts of ships. When my children were young, I left the job, with its five-month trips and worked ashore in several different places, before becoming a Thames River pilot. I took ships of all sizes up and down the river, including through Tower Bridge and loved every minute of it. Following a shoulder injury, I took early retirement and moved back to Devon, to a house near the cliffs, where I walk every day.
In which genre do you write?
I write speculative fiction, either sci-fi, steampunk or futuristic psychological thrillers. I also chronicle the exploits of a reluctant amateur detective called Andorra Pett. She’s a cross between Agatha Raisin and Miss Marple, a sleuth for the space age.
How many published books do you have?
I have eighteen novels, three books of short stories and a textbook published under my own name. I’ve also appeared in several anthologies.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and what ignited your author’s flame?
I never wanted to write, my teachers despaired of my ability at school. Even when I was at sea, visiting places and seeing incredible things, I found it hard to think of anything to write home about. Then, one day, I had a dream that wouldn’t go away. Every night it was the same one. I ended up writing it down, when I did that, more dreams appeared, and I realised they were connected. The rest is history. In a twist, one of my dreams was about a man who had vivid dreams, that became my favourite story of all the ones I’ve written.
What is an interesting writing quirk you have, that we wouldn’t know by reading your biography?
All my ideas come from a moment of inspiration. It might be an overheard remark in a coffee shop or an item I see on T.V. Whatever it is seems to stir some part of my brain and I’ll have a dream, either when I’m asleep or when I’m relaxing. I sort of watch a film of the story playing in my head and just write down what I see. I can rewind or slow the action but I can never fast-forward. So I never know the end until I get there, just like the reader will.
What does your ideal writing space look like?
I have a small office room in our house. It’s untidily tidy, if you know what I mean. It appears to be disorganised but I know where everything is. There are pictures on the walls of special memories, family members and places from my life.
What are you currently reading?
These days, about 95 per cent of the books I read are by independent authors, people who you might never have heard of. I was fed up with the continual repetition of the traditional publishing setup, once they have a best seller, they tend to go wild promoting clones and derivatives of it, you only have to look at bookshop shelves to see that. Indies, being unbound by that sort of restriction, are producing original and different work, that (in my opinion) is far superior.
What is your favorite season and why?
I love spring, with all its promise, when the Earth starts to wake up and there’s new life everywhere.
What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?
I cook, bake Sourdough bread and walk along the cliffs, when I first retired, I set up an Organic bakery in my hometown, I thought it would be something to do. I started supplying local cafés and shops. The business grew far too quickly and I couldn’t keep up, yet I wasn’t making enough to be able to finance expansion, reluctantly, I had to close it down. I still bake for a favoured few but mostly for myself.
What songs hit you with a wave of nostalgia every time you hear them?
There are so many that have that kind of effect, I guess it comes from having a long life with many experiences. Music from the 70s is the biggest source of emotion, especially from bands that I’ve been lucky enough to see. Songs like Ripples by Genesis or the opening of Hot August Night, the live album by Neil Diamond are just two.
What is your favorite time of day and why?
Early morning, the world is quiet and it’s just me, either at my keyboard or out walking in nature.
Have you ever had any Do It Yourself disasters?
I was investigating the loft of a house we had just bought. I had a torch and suddenly saw a tailor’s dummy, looking at me. I stepped back and went through the ceiling, landing in the bedroom in a cloud of plaster.
What are you currently working on?
I have about ten half-finished projects, which I alternate as I get ideas. It can all get very confusing.
Thanks for sharing about yourself with us, Richard. It was great getting to know you a bit more. I absolutely love the mouth watering photos of your bread creations posted on social media. Here’s wishing you all the best! – Camilla
When Saul is paralysed in an accident, he thinks it’s the end of his life. In fact, it’s just the beginning.
While trying to come to terms with his injuries, the mysterious Dr Tendral offers him a way to make a difference. All he has to do is join his project. There are no other details until he agrees, he’s either in or out.
What choice does he have?
Agreeing is just the beginning. Saul undergoes drastic surgery, only then is the full depth of the project revealed.
Or is it?
As time goes on and he learns more about Tendral’s scheme, Saul’s new life becomes increasingly difficult.
In the end, he has to abandon everything as he learns the truth.
All second chances come with a price.
Where to purchase the book:
Connect with Richard:
You can keep up with me at https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/ where you’ll find free short stories, regular features on writing, book reviews and guest appearances from other great authors.
There’s also an offer for a FREE novella, when you join my subscriber’s newsletter.
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