Starting a new Sunday Series
of taking a look at some fabulous authors!
Hello Richard, welcome to our Discovering Diamonds Guest Spot. Along with my readers and visitors I love to hear from authors who write wonderful stories. There’s nothing better on these long, cold winter evenings, than curling up with a good book in front of a cosy fire, box of chocs and glass of wine to hand. (Unless you’re in the southern hemisphere, in which case it’s still the wine, but a platter of cheese, crackers and grapes to hand, while stretched out in a deckchair in the garden on a warm, sunny, evening...)
Q. Would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself....
A. Hello everyone. I’m Richard Dee and I write Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures. I also chronicle the exploits of Andorra Pett, a reluctant amateur detective. I spent forty years in shipping, first as Navigator and Master Mariner on merchant vessels, latterly as a ships pilot on the River Thames, guiding ships of all sizes through the estuary, the Thames Barrier and Tower Bridge.
Q. Where do you live?
A. Glorious South Devon.
Q. If you had a choice to live anywhere – where would it be?
A. See above. I’ve travelled the world yet there is nowhere else I liked as much.
Q. Modern house, old cottage, castle or something else?
A. My house is modern, my last was old, there were too many ghosts.
Q. Cat, dog or budgie?
A. We used to train guide dogs and had several Labradors of our own, now all sadly at Rainbow Bridge.
Q. Are you a ‘dining room for dinner’, or a ‘tray on your lap in front of the TV’ person?
A. It depends, no rules here.
Q. TV preferences – documentary, drama, comedy, soap or thriller?
A. I do love a good documentary. As for fiction, anything that blurs the line between what is and what could be.
Q. What was your first published novel about?
A. A trader with a past (not autobiographical), this one was not sailing the seas, but the galaxy.
Q. What was your last novel about?
A. It was a space-based crime mystery, starring Andorra Pett, the aforementioned amateur detective.
Q. Do you write in one genre or several?
A. Sci-fi is such a broad church. Everything so far is set either in the future or (like my Steampunk adventures) an alternative, quasi-Victorian now.
Q. Have you ever considered exploring a totally different genre?
A. For this years NaNoWriMo project, I wrote the first draft of a fantasy adventure, with magic, flying creatures and all sorts of new ideas.
Q. If you could, which two of your characters would you like to invite to spend an afternoon with you?
A. My Steampunk hero Jackson Thwaite and amateur detective Andorra Pett.
Q. Where would you go / what would you do?
A. We’d sit in a bar and swap stories about life in a country powered by steam and clockwork, how to commit the perfect crime and talk about our adventures. Hopefully, I’d get some great new material.
Q. How do you prefer to travel? Plane, boat, car?
A. I love to travel on water, failing that a good walk on the cliffs can’t be beaten
Q. You are out for a walk. You see a chap sitting on a wall, looking right fed up – but there’s something odd about him... What? And what do you do?
A. His clothes looked wrong, not fashionable or even retro, just; different. He was fiddling with a small box, “I want to go back but I can’t make it work,” he said.
“Go back where?” I asked. He looked up, seeing me for the first time. “Oh, that complicates things, I thought I was alone. Now you’ll have to come back with me.” Before I could ask him what he was talking about, he grabbed my hand and pressed at a button on the box.
My world dissolved….
We have a long-running Radio programme here in the UK called Desert Island Discs on which celebrities talk about their life and select eight of their favourite discs... so changing that slightly...
Q. If you were shipwrecked on a desert island, what eight books would you want to find left in an abandoned hut? (There’s already a Bible, the Quran, and the complete works of Shakespeare)
1. On Writing, by Stephen King
2. Extraterrestrial Civilisations by Isaac Asimov
3. All last year’s copies of Focus magazine (great for research)
4. The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury
5. Shogun by James Clavell
6. The day of the Jackal by Fredrick Forsyth
7. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
8. Whatever I’m currently reading, so I could finish it.
Q. What sort of island would you prefer, and why? (e.g. Desert Island... Hebridian Island...)
A. Somewhere not too hot, I’ve grown to dislike intense heat.
Q. And you would be allowed one luxury item – what would you want it to be? (a boat or something to escape on isn’t allowed.)
A. The abandoned hut should contain the ruins of a well-stocked bar. Fortunately, the stock has escaped destruction.
You can keep up with my writing and find out more about me on my website at richarddeescifi.co.uk. Head over there to see what I get up to, click the PORTFOLIO tab to get all the details about my work and join my newsletter for a free novella.