Saturday, April 28, 2012

Author Interview - Peter Hindley and Susan Goodsell

Peter Hindley has written a book about the circumstances surrounding his brother's death.  A story that started as a mere record of events, The Perfect Crime ended up being something much more.  I had a chance to sit down with Mr. Hindley recently, and here's what he had to say.

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.

A: Let us start by saying that I am Peter, born in South East England. I left England 5 years ago with the intention of having a quiet life in Southern France; I bought a house just outside a quiet village, walking distance to the bakery for the all important daily bread, which is so much part of French life. It was my intention to shut the gates, to relax and write but events took over and I soon found myself being accepted within the village and the social whirl started.

Sharing, especially a meal with friends and relatives, is of prime importance to the people here, perhaps it is because they are the descendents of the Cathars. So although I arrived here with a very limited French vocabulary, I managed to greet the people politely and correctly in the streets or shops; so it could be said that my new life here started with a simple ‘bonjour’ (perhaps that could be a title for a later book).

As a ‘thank you’ for the welcome I received here I started to give a dance class within the village; I had been a Ballroom and Latin American dancer many years earlier and competed and won many national competitions before qualifying as a teacher; a broken arm with complications and certain pupils caused me to stop that class, nevertheless for my pleasure, I continued working with one couple who compete here in France and Spain and organize dance events; that in turn lead me into serving on the juries of competitions in both these countries. Now you can guess that my life is far from tranquil as I had intended but it is great.

I still managed to complete “The Perfect Crime a story of truth or fantasy” with the help of my niece, Susan Goodsell, and the sequel has been started as the story did not finish within the final pages of the book.

Q: How long have you been writing?

A: I started writing in 2002; recording the strange events that started around the time of my brother’s death. I knew, as did Susan, his daughter, that we were living a story that needed to be told.

I had loved words and their usage so I set forth to write; this was not something I had done before but the process was fascinating for me. Then the work was transferred to a web site in order to gain public awareness of what can and does go wrong when dealing with matters of the deceased; that piece was added to over time until one day we received information that was to prove the perfect ending for a book. We immediately started the conversion work, to add and edit, ready for publication and were very surprised that we had several offers to publish relatively quickly; in fact everything worked very quickly and within months the book was launched.

Q: What is The Perfect Crime about?

Peter Hindley, Author
A: As I mentioned earlier, I started to write after Alan’s death in March 2002. As I was nearing my 60’s and was the youngest of my generation I had seen many family deaths, I was no stranger to the grim reaper’s works, but strange things were happening regarding Alan’s demise which although I could not pin point all of it at the time, I knew that nothing was normal: People’s reactions and attitudes changed, the normal obligatory formalities were not adhered to, as you will discover as you start the journey with the book. One thing I will mention here is the fact that within the first few days we were given at least 4 different stories of where Alan died within his house and more than a year later we heard of yet another version, what actually happened at the time of death I will not say but that is only one of many anomalies we, and you, will discover: Did Alan die naturally or was he helped in some way? Nothing was quite as it should have been or what it appeared to be; nor is it now. Over time our investigations and discoveries were accurately recorded ultimately developing into a far reaching expos√© that even extends into the corridors of Whitehall, the seat of British government, the police and legal system and beyond.

Q: Is this a work of fiction or non-fiction?

We added “a story of truth or fantasy” to the title of the book because we had been asked many times whether the story was fact or fiction when a version appeared on the internet: Certainly readers still ask the same question but normally they know the answer by the end of the book.

Q: Did you have any specific goals when writing the book? Any themes or ideas or concepts that you wanted to get across to the audience?

Initially we ad no other motive than to record what was happening, little did we know where that would take us or how things would develop; that is probably just as well.  Now we want to make people aware of what can happen, what can go seriously wrong, and does daily in England and we have learned that similar problems are not restricted to the British Isles since publication. New Inheritance Laws need to be installed now to prevent a recurrence, what is in place now is open to abuse by anyone: but although they are fully aware of the sloppy laws, change is something the Ministry of Justice is not interested in implementing until there is sufficient demand from the people; how do we know this; because the aids to the Minister of Justice told Susan just that.

What is interesting for us is the fact that readers take different subjects from the book that relate to their lives; some we had expected but others have been totally unexpected.

Q: How long did it take you to write The Perfect Crime?

A: The writing stared in March 2002 and continued until the middle of 2011 when we were given what was to become the perfect piece of information to form the end of this book: Naturally that was not continual work as we had to await or research each piece of information.

Q: Did you hire any outside help such as a cover artist or editor?

A: The cover was organised by the publishers and I think they and the artist have done a splendid job; certainly when I first saw it I was shaken, no shocked, it took me several days to appreciate how well the design works.

Editing we did ourselves; the style of writing and format changes as the story twists and turns and we deliberately broke many writing rules in order to ensure everything was clearly understandable.

Q: What do you feel are the most important aspects of a great book?

A: Communication must be the priority but also the reader’s attention and interest must be held.

Q: As I'm sure you know, many readers like to find their favorite authors on social networking websites like facebook and twitter. Do you have any social network links you'd like to share?

A: Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/peter.hindley3
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/snakehips99

Q: Do you have any future projects in the works that you'd like to tell us about?

A: As I have mentioned, a sequel to ‘The Perfect Crime…’ has been started but we have also been closely monitoring a case of negligence and injustice in Britain involving a house owner, a European bank, an insurance company, several firms of solicitors (lawyers, if you prefer that term) and other members of the legal trade; perhaps we will include that in the next volume; we will watch developments and wait and see.

Q: What do you think of the changes taking place in the publishing industry? With authors gaining more control over the creation and distribution of their work, what do you think readers stand to gain/lose?

A: On this subject I am no expert but I fear that the quality of work may, and I repeat may, decline; you only have to watch what has happened to television since the growth in the numbers of channels: Having said that it is quite possible that the selection of subjects printed could grow and even State censorship may take a fatal blow: We live in hope.

Q: And just for fun, can you share three random facts about yourself?
  1. I am rapidly approaching retirement age, so could be said to be ‘past my sell by date’.
  2. The best decision I have made was to leave England 5 years ago for a new life in France, even if that life is not the quiet the one I had envisaged.
  3. Each day is now an adventure, a new experience; I never know what is going to happen after I wake up, even if something is planned for that day; it is great.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your work with us!  We hope to have you back again when your next book is released!

The Perfect Crime

2 comments:

  1. It's great to hear Peter and Susan's story getting out there. It deserves attention.

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  2. A book that should be read by All in the UK. it could happen to them, so be Warned. Read and Learn dont allow the same mistakes to happen to YOU. I know Peter and Susan and know all this to be true.

    ReplyDelete