Welcome to my virtual café. Today's guest is Aussie indie author Bob Goodwin. Bob says that some of his best ideas come first thing in the morning. "I will often lie in bed developing the next chapter, plans for the next book or the next play." So I'm guessing, before I even ask my first question, that he likes strong coffee.
On a serious side, out of a few disturbing dreams and real life mental health encounter have come inspirational in character and plot development. So let's welcome Bob Goodwin to my virtual café.
DL: Firstly, as this is a coffee chat, what's your favourite coffee/tea/other? And what's your favourite time of the day to partake; morning, afternoon?
BOB: For me coffee is an essential ingredient to a good start for the day. After my 2 double-strength morning lattes I am good to go! Now and then I will have a 3rd depending on the night before. I rarely have coffee in the evening unless I am working a night shift or need to drive somewhere. I would say I drink a cup of tea, on average, once per year.
DL: Your books have a theme of mental health issues, insanity, the minds of killers. I imagine you've seen quite a bit in your time in this industry. Does writing these dark, thriller plays and novels act as a salving balm for yourself?
BOB: Any issues related to a “salving balm” were resolved many years ago and, yes, there were times when I needed a good rub down! But now, after over 30 years in mental health, I have developed a sufficiently corrupted and warped mind, dark sense of humour and active visual imagination. This lends itself perfectly to developing devious and deadly tales of fiction. I so enjoy writing these stories and working with my dark characters – it is sheer joy.
DL: Have you found that your experience in mental health helps you develop characters and bring flavour to the story? And are any of your characters based on actual patients?
BOB: Oh, I do so like tasty stories! In fact, the flavour of blood features strongly in my 2nd novel “The 13th Black Candle”. Some characters in first 2 books are sort of composite characters of real people who were patients in various hospitals or who I met through Community Mental Health Work. I have found though, that the characters who I have as the staff in the psych wards are near clones of some actual people I worked closely with – the names of which are of course changed to protect the guilty! I really think I have more characters in my head (based on actual people) than I could ever use in one lifetime but I intend to give it a good try!
DL: Has anyone performed any of your plays? If so, who and when and where?
BOB: I have written ten One Act Plays and several very short plays. It is a dream to one day have a play performed on stage. I regularly enter competitions and have made several short lists. Recently I received a letter saying I had 2 plays in the short-listed top 10 – I felt sure I would get at least one in the top 3 (only the top 3 were performed) but alas it did not happen! Mental health themes are prominent in most of these plays. Some of my short plays and short stories are free on my website http://storiesandplays.com/ - where there are also links to my 3 novels.
DL: And lastly, are you a biscuit or cake sort of person? And what is your favourite biscuit/cake?
BOB: This is a difficult decision. I think I must be a bis-cake person as they both hold equal appeal. A nice moist carrot cake with a creamy icing rates highly, as does a warm bendy ANZAC biscuit. And it’s hard to go past a quick Tim Tam late in the evening. Let’s not get started on scones!
About Bob's latest novel
Read more about or buy Max Justice
Following severe personal tragedy Maxwell Judd has become a self-styled vigilante. With help from friends, contacts and informants, he goes about his business of bringing together the victims (and/or their families) with the perpetrators of violent, often sexual, crime. Now justice can be delivered in any way the victims see fit. Max provides the venue and the necessary tools for the purpose. But when notorious offender, Walter Robinson, escapes his clutches his own friends and family become targets for assault and murder by this devious predator and his associates.
Bob Goodwin was born in Nottingham, England in 1953. He moved with his parents, brother and 3 sisters to Australia in 1961 on board the Oriana. The early years were spent mainly in Taringa, Brisbane, with education at Ironside State School and then Indooroopillly High School. Most of Bob’s working career has been in the area of mental health. He completed General and Psychiatric Nursing training and followed this with a Degree in Counselling.
This experience is reflected in much of his writing, and since 1987 he has written many short stories, short plays, one-act plays, short screen plays and feature length screenplays. In recent years his focus has been on writing fiction novels in the thriller / suspense genre. His third novel will be completed in 2016. “Strike Me Dead” and “The 13th Black Candle” have had some great reviews and are available in all formats.
Where to meet Bob
Thanks Bob for stopping by. And thanks to all the readers for supporting these coffee chats.
D L xox