MA: Today’s guest-blogger is Richard Brawer, a multi-published mystery-thriller author. After graduating the University of Florida and a stint in the National Guard, Richard worked for 35 years in the textile industry. He spends his retirement years writing novels, sailing and gardening. He has two married daughters and lives in New Jersey with his wife. Beyond Guilty is his fourth published novel.
Welcome, Richard! How did you go from the textile industry to writing? Is there some connection to or inspiration from your years in the textile business to your fiction?
RB: I started writing as something to do in retirement. But as friends and family said I should try to get them published, I became serious about writing. Did my professional career inspire my writing? Absolutely. My novel, Silk Legacy, is set in early twentieth century Paterson, NJ in the height of the silk era which Paterson was famous for. My grandfather started a silk business in 1904. It is very, very loosely based on vignettes about his early years in the silk business. And of course my years in the textile business helped me as I knew about weaving and selling textiles. If you go to my website www.silklegacy.com and click on the silk legacy tab you will see all the great reviews it has received. Silk Legacy was the book published just before Beyond Guilty, my latest book.
MA: Tell us about your latest novel and some of its characters.
RB: Beyond Guilty is a high concept thriller where a wrongly convicted woman escapes from death row and fights to prove her innocence, and the development of the latest nanotech drug that has the potential to virtually wipe out all disease. Again if you go to my website you can read reviews and more about the book.
Characters for Beyond Guilty? This is really an interesting question. My daughter is a lawyer at NBC/Universal in California. She also writes scripts. One of her scripts, Beyond the Evidence, (note similarity in the title) won a number of awards plus $1000.00 in a writer’s digest contest. Despite her contacts she could not find a movie company to produce the movie. The screen play has an African-American male as the protagonist. I said let me write it as a book with an African-American female protagonist as there are many African-American actresses, but very few have leading roles. Most are supporting characters. So I did, but the book took on a life of its own. There is no nanomedicine (see website) or island in her story (click on scenes from the book at the top of the home page in the website.) She has now written a second screen play from the book and is showing it around. The heroine’s strength is her strong female character, but causing the deaths of her sisters continues to torment her.
MA: It sounds like you’ve got a good corporate-conspiracy type of thriller, can I assume there’s a greedy tycoon antagonist of some sort?
RB: Yes, the CEO of the drug company that kidnapped her to experiment on her and others. Also his henchman who chases her after she escapes the island. Both are antognists.
MA: Since you came from the textile industry, and draw inspiration at least from it and your knowledge of the silk industry in New Jersey, did any of your real-life experiences help fill in the plot?
RB: The only real life experience in the plot is the nanomedicine which is real. See my website for Robert A. Freitas, Jr. who edited the references to nanomedicine and wrote an essay at the end of the novel explaining where the research on nanomedicine is today.
MA: What comes next for you?
RB: I have just finished another suspense novel about a conspiracy with the military/industrial complex. I am now working on a conspiracy story involving Japan. Although in my early writing career I wrote a series of three mysteries with the same detective set at the Jersey Shore, two of which were published by small presses, none of the characters in my latest novels will appear in future novels.
MA: Thanks for stopping by The Child Finder Trilogy today! Folks, read more about Richard Brawer and his stories at his website: www.silklegacy.com.