Can innocence ever be an incentive to murder?
A quiet seaside town is thrown into turmoil. Tammy Pierre, London
based private investigator, accompanied by her sometime lover, Israeli
art dealer and martial-arts coach, Dov Jordan, has just been brought
close to tears by police photographs shown to her by an hysterical
Eleanor Goldcrest, at the home of three innocent toddlers whose brutally
murdered bodies have been found on the beach at Lyme Regis.
Wealthy financier, Eric Goldcrest, alarmed that his partner of three
years, together with the local police has him nailed as guilty of
murdering the children, now retains Tammy to prove his innocence and
find the real culprit. But has his involvement in all this been
In this investigation, with no apparant motive or forensic evidence,
Tammy’s skills will be tested to the limit. In a twist that muddies the
waters, Eric Goldcrest, laments that he’s simply never made it clear to
Tammy about his position in the family and his relationship with the
children, all of which have been assumed by the investigation.
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What initially got you interested in writing?
I’ve always been an avid reader, so my occasional question to myself in the past was, can I myself write? Over twent-five years ago an idea had occured to me for a horror short story based on the relationship between a timid, ineffectual little man and his pet cat. Encouraged by my wife and daughter I wrote, Cat & Mouse. Not too difficult to see who took each part. Well received at home, I joined a writers’ group and read them the story, and was bowled over by the shocked response and the applause that ensued. More short stories followed, and I now have enough for four collections of horror stories. These stories all have a theme, so they’re not just horror for its own sake. Themes include, domestic violence, transsexualism, murder, bullying, courage in the face of impossible adversity, endurance, survival, autism, comic horror and satire, to mention but a few.
What genres do you write in?
I write in several genres. I’ve mentioned horror short stories above, But I have also written several children’s books, all in verse, for the very young. With alliterative titles like, Clarissa the Clown, Roberto the Robot, Majesty the Magician, Stephen the Statue, Papa the Puppetmaker and more, the object being to encourage children to like books and stories from a very early age. The rhymes should also assist with reading skills.
I also write thrillers. The Hamilton Conspiracy, a thriller based in Hamilton, Bermuda, London, New York, Paris and Mauritius, had excellent reviews when first produced by US publishers, and has recently been re-released by Clare Newton’s, Happy London Press. Also, now on release, The Lyme Regis Murders, a crime thriller based in the English seaside town of the same name, is my first foray into the world of crime fiction. A follow up with the same principal character, The Black Candle Killings, delving into murder with links to voodoo, is in the course of being read by a number of interested parties.
What drew you to writing these specific genres?
This is a harder one to answer. What drew me was, in each case, simply an idea occuring and the desire to see if it could be converted into a narrative. When I started getting positive responses to what I produced the natural desire was to see if what had been started could be replicated. And it has been.
How did you break into the field?
After publication of The Hamilton Conspiracy, I spent more time concentrating on my career, dealing with people and businesses facing major financial problems. This area alone has proved a fruitful source of material for my brand of fiction. After publication of The Hamilton, writing took something of a back seat, until 2017 when publishers in Ireland expressed a wish to promote a book of 10 of my horror short stories. Beads of Blood gained mainly five-star reviews on Amazon, and encouraged me to spend more time at the keyboard.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
I think reading is meant to be a pleasurable activity. I’ve no pretensions to being a writer of modern Classics. If people gain a sense of satisfaction reading my stories, that’s as much as I can hope for. Five star reviews are worth working through the night to achieve.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
What writing does, as a creative exercise, is to allow one the luxury of producing something unique, something special. Ideally, one needs the praise of others as evidence that what you’ve produced, ‘works,’ and obviously not just for you. Looking at the finished article, the statue, the painting, the book, the short story, if it ‘works,’ gives the writer an indescribable buzz. You can’t begin to explain it. You need to do it to understand.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Giving characters a real voice. Making them plausible. Engendering a desire in the reader to identify, sympathise and empathise with them, so that they are drawn to read on to learn of outcomes. The story is important, of course, but the characters populating it make the story.
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
Probably the only advice would be, if you want to do it enough, you will. Be prepared to be disappointed, rejected, laughed at, even mocked. But keep going. Comedy playwrite Noel Coward said, and I’m paraphrasing, ‘There are thousands of talented people out there. Those that succeed do so simply by having staying power.’ There’s your answer. Keep plugging away.
What type of books do you enjoy reading?
I’ve pretty eclectic taste in my reading. With the Classics I like, among others, Dickens and Trollope. Modern authors of repute would include, Hemingway, Graham Greene, Somerset Maugham, Ruth Rendell, Margaret Attwood. Dozens more. I like drama, comedy, thrillers, psychological crime. The multi-talented, Sybil Bedford, a journalist who reported on the Nuremberg Trials, an historian, gourmet and author wrote, A Legacy. It’s a stunning story of the entwining of a wealthy bourgeois family with that of a vastly different aristocratic one, in the years prior to the first World War when detailed against the backdrop of a newly unified Germany. Lots more on my, have read, or, to read list.
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?
I like cooking, when I get the chance. When I departed my primary school for secondary education, all the class gave our main teacher, chocolates and flowers. I baked her a cake. Also, I’m sorry to say, I have to admit to a love of fast cars. I’m not pretending I could afford a Bugatti Veyron. But one lives in hope. Guns and weaponry are always a source of fascination, and serve to add authenticity to my stories.
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
You can connect through happylondonpress. com. Also, andrewsegalauthor.com has some info available.
He was a contract killer, and he was in my car!
I’d been lost, looking for West Thurrock in Essex, and asked a little
old man in a shabby coat, on the opposite side of the road, the way. He
offered to show me if I gave him a lift, and whilst I make it a rule
never to give lifts to anyone I don’t know, I reasoned, he could hardly
be a contract killer, could he. Could he? Of course not.
As we drove he casually informed me that he’d, ‘Done it for the
Kray’s, mate.’ That would have been the notorious East London gangsters
he was referring to, known to kill, or have killed, without conscience.
Once I’d dropped him off and recovered my composure, I realised I was
looking at fodder for a short story. What then followed was a raft of
short stories, including, ‘I am a Gigolo,’ something I told my wife when
I first met her, and which almost ended our relationship before it had
begun. That title is now the heading for a book of short stories.
Jokingly, over lunch, I told a fellow professional I’d once been a
contract killer, and devised a story. He believed every word, and left
me at some pains to disabuse him. That title, I am a Contract Killer,
now heads a further collection of short stories.
Writer of scary short stories and full-length novels like The Lyme Regis Murders.
It’s been a fascinating journey… I hope you’ll want to share with me.
WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS
AnchorFM Podcast: https://anchor.fm/living-a-life-through-books/episodes/Author-Conversations-International—Andrew-Segal–Part-1-e4homt/a-aibjav
Podcast Reading: https://anchor.fm/happyldnpress/episodes/Lyme-Regis-Murders-Extract-reading-by-Andrew-Segal-e7r5df