What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted a challenge. In my early years I didn't actually read much and wrote nothing but poetry. It wasn't until I realized that practically nobody likes poetry that I decided to try my hand at writing stories.
Please tell us about your latest release.
Something wicked has returned to Elmwood, and it longs to continue the study it began over a century ago. It's looking for volunteers, but few seem worthy of the gift. Isaac Winters might be the one. He's a detective with a damaged past, and something to prove. Still haunted by his wife's murder sixteen years earlier, Isaac has thought more and more about turning in his badge. Over the years, he's seen the worst mankind has to offer. Until now. A strange fire has consumed the life of a young girl. But she won't be the last. There are no witnesses and no evidence except a small stone figurine, a gateway to the past. Accompanied by a partner with questionable experience, Isaac must discover and defeat this faceless villain before it takes from him the greatest reminder of his dead wife.....their daughter.
Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?
Lucius, the villain of the story. He's extremely intelligent, a master of manipulation, and he's been dead for over a century.
What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?
One of my favorites is toward the end of the book. Detective Isaac Winters is searching this old mansion and comes upon a small room full of mirrors, like a funhouse. When he goes inside, he sees his wife's murderer reflected in the glass. What makes the scene so chilling is that Isaac had spent years blaming himself for her death and it was as though the reflection in one swift moment confirmed all his guilt.
Do any of your characters have similar characteristics of yourself in them and what are they?
I think there is a little of me in all the characters. It's not something I do intentionally, just a natural part of the character creation process.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you deal with it?
Yeah, except instead of writer's block I call it television or movies or video games or anything that can divert my attention from writing. Over the years I've found that having a strict schedule is the best policy to achieve results. Even if the muse doesn't feel like coming, you sit in the chair and do it without him.
Do you write in different genres?
Most books tend to be a blend of genres. The Gift of Illusion is part thriller, horror, paranormal, and mystery. I think of myself just as a writer and not a voice of any specific genre. I'd like to think I could write in any genre if I choose.
When did you consider yourself a writer?
A few weeks ago when I published The Gift of Illusion. Up until then writing was just a hobby. Once you put your work out there for public consumption everything changes and you begin to realize your potential.
What are your guilty pleasures in life?
What was the last amazing book you read?
I just finished reading Liquid Fear by Scott Nicholson. It had some very unique ideas, and some of the characters were just crazy. It had the perfect blend of a good psychological mystery with the pace and brashness of a thriller.
Where is your favorite place to read? Do you have a cozy corner or special reading spot?
Yes, my Papasan chair in my office. I can curl up in a ball and get lost in a book.
What can readers expect next from you?
Well, I thought I'd test my theory of nobody likes poetry by releasing a poetry book. It's called The Rebirth, and it's inspired by the works of Poe and Percy Shelley. It should be out in a month or so. I'm also working on my next novel about a woman who is given an opportunity to get back a child she lost during labor. It's an insane idea but one I think people will really enjoy. I hope to have it out by the beginning of next year.
Where can readers find you on the web?
www.richardbrownbooks.com or they can go to my Facebook page Richard Brown Books and become a fan. I love hearing from readers.
Would you like to leave readers with a little teaser or excerpt from the book?
Since it doesn't give away any major plot details, here is the scene with Isaac and the mirrors.
- - - - - - - - - - -
The small room had no door. In fact, the room was so small Isaac wondered if it wasn’t a room at all, but a closet.
Just beyond the doorway he came to a full body standing mirror facing the opposite direction, and when he looked around, he saw more mirrors, seven in all, placed into a circle facing inward. Burning on the floor in the center was a single red candle, hardly melted.
Somewhere in his mind, far beyond where simple thoughts become reality, a voice was telling him not to do it—not to step inside the circle of mirrors, but he did it anyway. He turned to the side, nudged his body between the first two sheets of glass, and stood inside the circle. Then he looked at his reflection many times over in the mirrors.
He had never seen himself so abused, so pathetic. What happened to the man he used to know? What happened to the man who wasn’t afraid of anything, the man that knew how to keep his emotions hidden in that dark closet of feelings? Where had he gone, and who had taken his place?
Who was this?
Isaac glanced down at the floor and took another deep breath. He didn’t want to look at himself anymore, didn’t want to see the broken man in the mirror. Finally, he picked his head back up, but this time he could no longer see his reflection. Now there was someone else in the mirror, and it only took Isaac a second to realize who it was.
Isaac's hands began shaking, his lips quivering. It can’t be, he thought, Jacob is dead! He wanted to run out of the closet but his head had begun to spin and he no longer knew the way out. He stood there, silent and spinning, never removing his eyes from his wife’s murderer reflected in the glass.
Jacob wore the same clothes he had worn the night he took his revenge. He had the same psychotic look in his eyes, the same resolve. And in his hand was a gun, lowered by his side. It was the same .38 caliber revolver that had carried the four bullets that had killed Linda, the four bullets that had bloodied her white nightgown leaving her breathless on the bed.
The room spun faster, a whirlwind of glass.
Everywhere, there was Jacob.
Isaac could see the gun rising from Jacob’s side, and the room spun faster.
Somewhere, a baby cried.
Lay thee down now and rest, may thy slumber be blessed.
The gun was now pointed at him, Jacob, behind it, grinning.
Shrieks now accompanied the cries, voices, sounds fused within some dark closet of feelings, under the layered dust of some hidden shelf of memory.
The shrieks belonged to Linda.
A familiar voice asked: what are you waiting for?
Linda called his name, begged with her last breath for him to come and save her.
Tears flooded his eyes. If he only could.
Someone—was it Isaac?—whispered: Kill me.
Then a bright light blinded him and the sound of expanding gases filled his head, followed by a shattering of glass.
When he hit the floor, Isaac writhed and latched tightly on to the left shoulder of his coat. A cold tremor ran up the ladder of his spine to his heart.
How it ached.
How it burned.
But only moments later, the spinning stopped, as did the screaming, and the bitter sting faded away. Isaac removed his hand from the scarred spot two centimeters to the left of his heart and looked up at his shaking palms.
There was nothing but a dark closet and a circle of broken glass on the floor surrounding him.