Fiction. An intense, moving psychological thriller. James Shannon, a middle-aged widower with no criminal background or history of mental illness, commits a heinous crime. Shannon confesses immediately and the crime lacks obvious provocation. For family and friends seeking to come to terms with Shannon’s actions, the primary question remains: WHY? Once incarcerated, Shannon becomes mute and refuses to talk to his family and his lawyer. After a transfer to a facility for mentally ill offenders, Shannon befriends Hal Gottlieb, a psychiatrist who slowly develops a relationship with him. As Gottlieb pieces together Shannon’s background and the facts surrounding the case, it becomes apparent that things are not as they appear.
Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author R.C Goodwin whose book Model Child thrilled me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love thrillers but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight for R.C Goodwin, a biography of the author and an interview between us both will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful R.C Goodwin!
R.C. Goodwin grew up in Springfield, Illinois. He majored in history at Yale, attended medical school in Dublin, and completed an internship and psychiatric residency in Connecticut. He has worked in correctional facilities, community mental health centers, and at the University of Connecticut, in addition to maintaining a private practice. Model Child, his debut novel, was published in March 2018 by the SideStreet Press in Chicago. His previous fiction includes The Stephen Hawking Death Row Fan Club, a collection of six short stories and a novella, a Kirkus Indie Notable Book of 2015. To date he has had seven short stories published; three have won literary competitions. His current project is a memoir titled Making God Laugh, taken from a proverb: Do you know how to make God Laugh? Tell Him your plans.
Now, how wonderful does R.C Goodwin sound?! The author is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of the author’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between us both, I hope that you enjoy the author’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!
Thank you for joining us today at Red Headed Book Lover! Please tell us more about yourself.
The basic facts: I was born in New York City, grew up in Springfield, IL, went to military school in Indiana. Majored in history at Yale before deciding, a bit belatedly, to become a doctor. Medical school in Ireland, followed by internship and psychiatric residency in Connecticut, where I’ve lived since the 1970s. Married, with children and four world-class grandchildren. I currently practice at the main campus of the University of CT. There are 23,000 students and one shrink: me. It gets busy, but it’s still the best job in health care. I worked for over twenty years in correctional settings. This led to my first book, a prison-centric collection of short stories and a novella called The Stephen Hawking Death Row Fan Club.
I think random facts can be more revealing and interesting than the standard ones, so here are a few. I heard Jim Morrison and The Doors at an English Rock Festival, on the Isle of Wight in 1970. I was strapped into an electric chair when researching a piece of the death penalty (no longer hooked up, but still pretty creepy). I’ve been to the Sistine Chapel and Auschwitz, good candidates for the bookends of the human experience, the best and worst mankind can offer.
Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?
I liked the idea of a Whydunit as opposed to a Whodunit, a thriller that focused on motivation. Model Child deals with for an inexplicable, horrific crime committed by a highly unlikely perpetrator. Also, without giving too much of the plot away, it concerns the nature of evil. I’ll acknowledge that I’ve always been interested in evil. It’s one of those words, like love, that’s ultimately undefinable. My American Heritage Dictionary gives nine definitions, and none are quite right.
What would your advice be for aspiring writers?
First, and maybe the most important, be prepared to deal with rejection. Unless you’re very good or very lucky, you’ll most likely face a lot of it. It’s not fun, but at least you’re in good company. John Gresham and Stephen King, among others, faced a lot of it too.
Second, read everything – the good, the bad, and the ugly. And read critically. Why did this book move you, and why did that one left you cold? Could you have done it better? If so, how? What can you take away from it that might improve your own writing?
Third, edit yourself mercilessly. Everyone else will, so you might as well beat them to the punch.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book?
For fiction, I believe it’s basically about the story. The writers I revere most include Geoffrey Chaucer, Mark Twain, and Isaac Bashevis Singer. They’re profoundly different, they lived in different centuries, but they have this in common: they’re all masterful storytellers. They’re people you’d like to spend an evening with. You wouldn’t have to say anything; you could just sit back and listen to them.
For nonfiction, I think the big question is what you learn through it. Does it challenge you in some way? Does it bring a different part of the world to you? Does it make you look at your own life differently? The right book (or the wrong one) can change your life profoundly.
I might add that these distinctions are arbitrary, and there’s obviously a considerable overlapping. Fiction can teach you a great deal about the world, and nonfiction can provide you with wonderful stories.
What is your writing process like?
I’m kind of a binge-writer. There are days – quite a few of them, as I grow older – when I’d be hard-pressed to write a restaurant review for TripAdvisor. There are other days when I can go nonstop for five hours or more.
Apropos, if you want to write, you have to find out what modus operandi is most useful for you. If you do your best work between two and five AM, listening to bagpipe CDs in your underwear, so be it. Of course this might not help your intimate relationships.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
As a rule, I don’t do much research before beginning, but I do a great deal of it once I’ve started. It depends on where the characters and plot take me. Personally, I love to do the research. I’ve delved into such things as submarine warfare in World War II, eye injuries, atomic bomb testing in Nevada in the 1950s, glassblowing, and the history of the insanity defense in criminal law.
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or do you only write when you feel inspired?
Mostly I write during weekends, or at night if I can summon up the energy. Increasingly, I’ll take a day off and write then too. Inspiration helps, but it’s not mandatory. If I’m not inspired, I’ll reedit; I enjoy the fine-tuning.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I’m always reading something, and my reading is all over the place. It might be a novel, followed by a biography, followed by a book on biodiversity. Quite a while ago, it dawned on me that I can only read a fraction of what I’d like to read, and this was actually quite freeing. Since then, I’ve read pretty much what I’ve wanted to. I might have a clear idea of what I’ll read next – but, if I find a review of something that cries out to me, I might move it to the head of the queue.
My favorite authors – so many candidates! They’d include George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Ann Patchett, and E.L. Doctorow, among many others. But my candidate for the best novelist writing in English today is John Le Carré. Characters, plot, style, and sense of place: the man can do it all. And there’s one thing he does better than anyone else, his capturing of moral ambiguity.
Lastly, when can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you?
There are a few things I’ve already written that I’m in the process of rewriting and reediting: a novel that’s kind of a prequel to Model Child; a book-length collection of short stories. I’ve also written a screenplay about Lady Macbeth, whom I regard as the most interesting woman in Western literature. I’d love to see a movie made of it before I’m 100, but I’m not counting on it.
My main project is currently a memoir. The title will be Making God Laugh. It comes from a Jewish proverb: “Do you know how to make God laugh? Tell Him your plans.” I daresay I’ve given the Old Boy a few chuckles from time to time. I hope to finish it this year . . . we’ll see . . .
Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with R.C Goodwin! If you have liked what you have read about the author and are interested in learning more about R.C Goodwin, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.
Goodbye for now book lovers,