Hi, folks! Today, we’re hosting a quick Q&A with Carl Richardson, the author of Sting of the Scorpion. Read on to find out more.
Hi, Carl! Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your work.
I was born in Leeds, Yorkshire. I left with my parents when I was ten to live in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). I relocated with my family (young boy and a girl) to Johannesburg in 1976 where I worked as a copywriter and creative director at a number of leading advertising agencies. I returned to England in June 2017 and now reside in Thorpe Bay, Essex.
Tell us a little bit about Sting of the Scorpion. Where did the idea come from?
Like millions of others around the globe, I have always found the assassination of John Kennedy intriguing. So many theories abound as to who actually pulled the trigger on that fateful day in Dallas. If not Oswald, who? The FBI?, CIA, Castro, Ku Klux Klan, KGB, Mafia, Vice President Johnson, etc. Then I thought… what if it was none of the usual suspects but someone who’d undergone a traumatic experience at the hands of a young JFK and only now, some forty years later, does the memory of the rape/murder surface? Ever since reading The Count of Monte Christo, I have been fascinated with tales of revenge. I thought that this, the killing of an American President, would be the ultimate tale.
Given that the book was published before the election of President Trump, do you think that there’s anything you’d change or add to reflect that if you were to write it again? And is your fictional president Thomas Brunswick inspired by a real American president?
I think that there might be a number of people who have cause to take Donald Trump down a peg or two as a result of a business deal gone sour. But I think any assassination attempt would be made by a party, or parties, who were totally against his policies, domestic or foreign. Whether he will live out his term in office is a debatable question! Just let’s say that President Trump should never take a drive in an open limo.
Who worked on the cover design? It looks fantastic!
The cover was designed by a graphic artist I once worked with. My brief was for her to make it visibly impacful so that it would stand out on a shelf in a bookshop, while being relevant to the story line. Hence the scorpion with blood on its claws against an American flag.
What can new readers expect from your work? What emotions will they feel and what will they take away from it?
For those readers who might not be au fait with the American political arena of the early 60s, I would like to feel that Scorpion, although a work of fiction, might enlighten and inform them of the deceit, envy and fear that surrounded JFK (Brunswick). We know that JFK was a womaniser but he was also a brave man who loved his family as much as he did his country.
I see that you work with an illustrator and an editor. Could you tell us a little bit about what the publication process looks like to you?
I first asked the illustrator to read the book so that she could get a feel for the design. I asked her to keep the cover simple and eye-catching. The editor, who is a close friend, gave me invaluable advice in helping to streamline the book and make it more readable.
Here do you get your inspiration from and how do you plan/prepare?
Like many others (and especially Americans) I can remember precisely where I was and what I was doing when I first heard of Kennedy’s assassination. The concept for Scorpion must have been fermenting in my brain for many years because the idea of having a revenge killing came quite suddenly one day when I was trying to think of a plot that would be unique and highly readable. I first wrote the book using Kennedy himself as the American President as a fact/fiction book but a few publishers turned it down because they were concerned that they might be sued by a member of the Kennedy family. So I rewrote the book and exchanged names (e.g. Brunswick for Kennedy) and relevant places (e.g. New Orleans for Dallas).
What was the last book that you read and what did you think of it?
It is a book by Nelson de Mille, one of my favourite authors, entitled ‘Up Country’.
What’s next for you? What can we expect to read in the future?
I am presently working on a book which is set in South Africa during the Apartheid era around 1985 and is about the life of an albino boy.
How do you get the word out about your work and where can people follow you?
Mainly on Facebook and through family and friends.
Big thanks to Carl Richardson for stopping by SocialBookshelves.com. Be sure to check out Sting of the Scorpion on Amazon. You can also follow SocialBookshelves.com on Facebook and Twitter for further updates. I’ll see you soon!