Interview with Dick Woodgate

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I’m 56-years-old and I’m British. I live in rural Kent, the garden of England, with my partner and six-year-old son. As well as being a father and a writer, I’m also a furniture maker. One day in a beautiful garden on a long, languorous summer holiday in Normandy I was relaxing in a sun lounger, looking up at a line of silver birch trees, watching their leaves catching the wind. That was the moment when I decided to start writing something. The story I began in my notebook that day would, several years later, grow to become Cold Star, my first published novel. I’ve also written a short story, Treasure Hunter, a spin-off from Cold Star which is available to members of my mailing list.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

The skies are dark down here in Kent. I bought a telescope soon after we moved here from London and watching the skies with it inspired the idea behind my first novel, Cold Star.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

With Cold Star, there are a few themes and ideas expressed within the story. Firstly, there is the idea of things not always being what they seem and there is no better time in history than during the cold war for this idea to be presented. The obsfercation which was endemic within the soviet’s state-controlled media at that time in Russia is unparalleled. And beyond this, I feel the story explores failure – a subject that is not so often examined in literature. Cold Star is the first book in the Agent series, charting the race to the moon in the sixties and so there is also a sense of that pioneering decade of space exploration expressed in parallel with both the plot and the theme of each book in the planned series.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I just love espionage stories and most especially, Fleming’s James Bond. With Fleming, I think it’s the escapism that Bond represents which I love, not just in place but also in time. Reading Fleming is a nostalgic experience, a link to childhood and to simpler times. And I love the plot-driven nature of the spy story genre, the intrigue that’s always present. I believe Fleming to be hugely underrated and, once you get past the anachronisms of the period in which he wrote his Bond books, you find a highly accomplished writer able to draw perfect pictures with beautifully descriptive passages throughout his stories.


5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

Valentina Primakova. ‘Will you have dinner with me?’ Do I need to say why?

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

It’s early days for me as an author but I will say that I’ve enjoyed posting on Facebook. I never thought I would ever say that!

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Write the book you want to write, the way you want to write it, and enjoy your writing. Concentrate on getting your story down, all the rest of the process of becoming an author and publishing your book can be dealt with later, just don’t think about it for now. Don’t start re-writing until you get your content down, you’ll never get to the end if you do.

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I’m nearing completion of my follow up to Cold Star, provisionally called Silverbird. It features the Agent again but alongside him this time there’s also a strong female lead. Silverbird is set a little later on in the sixties in Europe, Russia and California.It will be the second book in the Agent series. And besides this, I shall be continuing to promote Cold Star.


About the Author

As well as being a writer, I’m also a furniture maker. I moved from London to rural Kent seven years ago to start a family. The skies are dark down here. I bought a telescope soon after we moved and it was this – and a love of espionage fiction, Fleming in particular – which led me to start writing my first novel, Cold Star.

Cold Star is the first book featuring the Agent in a planned series charting the race to the moon in the sixties. A sense of that pioneering decade of space exploration is expressed in parallel with the plot and theme of each book – I’m nearing completion of the second book, set later on in the decade in Europe, Russia & California. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I have writing it for you. 





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