Tuesday 21 January 2020

Addressed To Kill by Keith Wright @KeithWWright BLOG TOUR @BOTBSPublicity #AddressedToKill #MyLifeInBooks

Christmas is Murder! It is 1987. A perverted criminal sociopath is on the loose. An innocent young woman is murdered in horrific circumstances.DI Stark announces, ‘Christmas is cancelled,’ and his team investigate; aware that every second the maniac is on the loose, moves him closer to his next victim. A second woman is raped and brutalised.How is the killer discovering intimate secrets about his victims? Why does he insist on terrifying them on the lead up to the attacks? What is driving this depravity? Who will the next victim be?In his attempts to protect the public, DI Stark makes a huge error of judgement, which will have appalling consequences.

Addressed To Kill by Keith Wright was published in October last year. I'm delighted to welcome the author here to Random Things today, as part of the Blog Tour organised by Sarah Hardy from Book on The Bright Side Publicity.
He's talking about the books that are special to him, in My Life In Books.

My Life in Books - Keith Wright

When I was around 14 years old, a stack of books suddenly appeared in the house. My Mum had been given lots of novels by someone.  They were crime novels written by the American Ed McBain. I began to read them, and they were a revelation to me. I couldn’t get enough of them.
I could have chosen any of Ed McBain’s books for the list, but if memory serves, this was the first one I read. It features Steve Carella, (as they all do) a homicide cop in New York. Not only did they turn me on to reading crime but also the thought of joining the police.
By strange quirk of fate, I had dinner with Ed McBain and a handful of other authors when I was on the main panel at The World Mystery Convention Bouchercon in the late 1990’s. How strange is that?  An incredible coincidence. He had come over to promote a showing of The Birds, - he wrote the script as Evan Hunter. If you like noir and hard-boiled crime, for me at least, Ed McBain is the master. Whilst modesty forbids, I like to hope that my books are written in a similar vein.

This was the first autobiography I read, and I loved it.  The actor, Kirk Douglas was before my time, but as I have discovered, autobiographies written by anyone can be fascinating, regardless of whether they are known to the reader or not. This book has a marvellous anecdote in it where Kirk explained how when a little boy and living in abject poverty, he asked his mother where he came from. His mother said that one morning she found a large box on the windowsill which was covered in precious gems; diamonds and rubies and made of gold. When she opened it there was a baby inside and it was Ivan (Kirk Douglas). Kirk asked where the box was, and his mother said that he was so precious that they threw the box away. This instilled in him a feeling of being special from an early age. A lovely story.

This may seem a strange choice, but it is a wonderful book which never mentions death. It is a children’s story about underwater water bugs who, every now and then, climb the stalk and are never seen again. Occasionally the water bugs see a glimpse of them flying around as dragonflies above the water line, and they are really happy. No matter how they try, however, they cannot break through the water to see their former loved ones.
  I read this story to my children when my Mother died, and they immediately saw the connection, ‘That sounds like Nana Wright’ was the response. I have used the essence of this story when talking to bereaved children when in the police and gave the book to my brother’s daughter when he passed away. It helps young children get an understanding of what is happening and a way to come to terms with death of a loved one.

I first met Peter Robinson, and his wife, Sheila, at the Bouchercon Conference back in the early 1990’s. He is a lovely, understated person. We hit it off and he sent me a series of questions about police procedure for his book Wednesday’s Child, which I was happy to help with. Author’s help authors, right? It was a thrill to see my name mentioned in the acknowledgements when it was published. He is a great writer and deserves every bit of success he gets. His main protagonist: Inspector Alan Banks was played in the popular television series by the actor, Steven Tomkinson, I believe.

I mention this book as when I was about 15 my history teacher asked me to do a special project: read an Anglo-Saxon book. Fair enough. He then presented me with Beowolf, written in a West Saxon dialect of Old English. I couldn’t make head nor tale of it. After a little while I managed to salvage parts of it into some semblance of sense. Never again, mind you! His trust in choosing me as the only one who could possibly translate it was empowering at the time.

Not wanting to drop too many names, but I feel I have an affinity with Ian. We have met a few times, back in the day, and he’s a terrific down-to-earth guy. The affinity stems from a short story I was asked to contribute, in an anthology called ‘City of Crime’, whereby Nottingham Authors offered up their wares; Alan Sillitoe, John Harvey, little old me etc. I wrote a story called ‘From The Cradle.’ It is a moving piece; I like to think. Anyway, Ian Rankin took the trouble to write me a lovely letter (that’s how long ago it was!), explaining how much the story had moved him, for personal reasons, and other kindly words.  As a writer, when you get that reaction, it is an incredibly humbling experience.

As can be seen above, the thrill of this book was my being included along some writing giants, notably Alan Sillitoe. As a kid from a council estate with no higher education; to be deemed to be worthy for inclusion in such a work, was one of the highlights of my writing career thus far.

Again, when younger, my mother somehow acquired several of these Spike Milligan war memoires. They are hilarious. If you like that kind of thing. It shows another side to war, where a few daft friends, go about the business of being soldiers and avoiding being killed, which would be highly inconvenient. Laugh out loud funny, but sometimes poignant, such as when Spike is nearly killed by an explosion and has a break down.
I guess it resonated in parts with my own father whose tank was hit in the D Day offensives, killing all his friends and badly burning him. As he put it, it made him ‘bomb happy.’ He suffered with his mental health throughout his life thereafter, which was a strain on our family and indeed my childhood. Anyway the books are an easy, and entertaining read.

I mention this book because it was the first time anyone on the planet acknowledged a piece of my writing. I was only ten or eleven and somehow entered a short story competition at the local Sunday School, which I don’t remember attending. I won and my prize was this book; Swallows and Amazons. I may have been able to write a decent short story for my age, but I was too young to get on with this classic tale.

I first met Andy on 30th November 1989 at 9.29pm. I remember it well. We got on immediately, because he is my son, and that was when he was born. He has recently published a book and it is terrific, even without my bias! It is a SciFi /Alien world book and so outside of my genre. It involves humans living in a world ruled by aliens of superior intellect. It is really well written. I hope he has a great writing career ahead of him. Regardless he is the loveliest, kindest man you could ever meet! That makes me proud.

Keith Wright - January 2020 

Keith is re-mastering his murder/mystery novels, first published in the early 1990’s and set in the late 1980’s; introducing new characters and additional scenes and has decided to open them up to a new readership on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited and Paperback available on Amazon.  It is remarkable how much life has changed in the last thirty years and the novels are now period pieces and an insight into what life (and death) was really like before mobile phones and the internet!
Keith was brought up on a council estate in a rough area of Nottingham and attended the local comprehensive school.  His father was an alcoholic and left when he was ten. His mother; Marie, brought him, and his four siblings up on her own, whilst balancing a full-time job.  His mother loved reading and he too became interested. His mother would usually be later home from work than school finishing time, so he would call into the local library on his walk home.  Whilst at the time this seemed inconvenient, (although it was a good place to get warm and dry in winter), it was, of course a blessing, as it enabled him to evolve his own love of books. 
After being told by his careers officer at school that he had no chance whatsoever of getting into the police force, he decided to try himself, and wandered into the local police station at the age of fifteen to enquire what he must do.  By some fluke he managed to pass the entrance exam and interviews and he was accepted into the police force. He worked the area where he had grown up, and this meant that everyone knew him, and so he was trusted, and was able to understand what was going on in the area.  He also, occasionally had to arrest some of his old school friends for various crimes. It was always good to catch up with these mini- re-unions!
Keith spent 25 years in the police service retiring in 2005 as a Detective Sergeant.  He then began working for a global business, leading investigations and up until recently Headed the Serious and Corporate Investigations Team dealing with bribery and blackmail within the corporate world.
He still lives in Nottingham and is engaged to Jackie.  He has four wonderful children, twins, Chris and Andy, and Andy’s. fiancĂ©e Katie, who is an operatic singer. Chris and Andy are also writers and have done some amazing bodies of work.  His son, Harry is at university, doing a degree in Computer Science but has discovered a love of acting and has performed in various productions. ‘Follow your heart, son’. Then there is the lovely chatterbox, Lily, who is 9 years old and without knowing inspires Keith to keep on going.  There is a lot of creativity in the Wright family!
Keith has a great relationship with Jackie’s grown up children, Aron and his partner Ayla, Ashley and his wife, April, and Callum.  With all the family interaction it is a wonder any writing gets done at all!
Keith’s novels are set in the 1980’s and involve the investigations of DI Stark and his team of detectives in Nottingham CID.  It is no coincidence that the author was a Detective in Nottinghamshire CID in the 1980’s!
Keith ‘For his sins’ (obligatory comment) is a lifelong supporter of Nottingham Forest Football Club and played for the youth team with Steve Hodge, when Brian Clough was manager and League and European Champions.
His books, first published in the early 1990’s as contemporary fiction, achieved critical acclaim and his first novel One Oblique One was shortlisted for the Crime Writers Association John Creasy Award for the best debut crime novel of the year in 1991.  This was the first year that the award was opened up to global competition and Keith was pipped to the award by the fabulous Walter Moseley’s ‘Devil in a Blue Dress’.
Keith was asked to contribute to a short story anthology for the Crime Writers Association called Perfectly Criminal published by Seven House, among such luminaries as Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and HRF Keating.  He wrote ‘The Missing Link’ for inclusion in the book.He was also asked to contribute to a short story anthology called City of Crime published by Five Leaves Publications, alongside great authors, Alan Sillitoe, John Harvey and David Belbin.  Keith’s contribution was ‘From the Cradle’.
Twitter: @Keithwwright
Amazon Author Central Page: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/profile

No comments:

Post a Comment