Monthly Archive for June, 2011

Interview with Steve Hockensmith


More Talk, Less Hock #2: Heywood Gould


A funny thing happened after I launched the new “More Talk, Less Hock” writer spotlight on my blog a few weeks back. Someone took me seriously. To be honest, I really didn’t think there was going to be a “More Talk, Less Talk #2.” #1 was going to pimp my buddy Russel D McLean, and that would be that. But then I got an e-mail from a publisher pitching an interview with another writer — a non-buddy, someone I’d never met — and I thought, “Why the hell not?” So I said yes.


 I’m glad I did. Heywood Gould is one interesting dude. I mean, how many writers have you met who’ve not only met Michael Keaton, they’ve directed Michael Keaton movies? The guy wrote Cocktail, for chrissakes — the movie and the book! (Yeah, I didn’t know it was a book, either.) Heywood’s newest novel is the wild chase-thriller The Serial Killer’s Daughter. Here’s what he and I had to say to one another.


Me: Back in the day, you wrote the screenplays for some pretty memorable movies. The Boys from Brazil. Fort Apache, the Bronx. Cocktail. So when I hear you’ve got a new thriller out, I get the sneaking suspicion it began life as a screenplay. How far am I off the mark?


[Aside: Quite a bit, it turns out.]


Serial Heywood: Writing a spec screenplay is like shoveling manure for three months and getting paid with a lottery ticket. I’ll never do it. The book was inspired by a story I read about how a suspected serial killer was caught by matching the victims’ DNA with his daughter’s Pap test. I had always wondered what happened to the families of these monsters. How did they live in a town where Dad had wreaked havoc? There was never any follow-up on the families of the victims. How were they dealing with this sudden intrusion of evil into their lives? Also, a la Hitchcock, I wanted to take an ordinary guy, in this case a nerdy movie buff, who lands the one girl he never thought he could get, and then has to run for his life.


Me: Whoa. Seeing as I was so incredibly off with my first guess, there’s only one thing to do — make another one. Is it safe to assume you can relate to “nerdy movie buff” types? You had quite a run in Hollywood as a writer/director. I can only assume you had the gumption it takes to make that happen because of a deep love of film.


Heywood: Busted! I am the original nerdy film buff. Movies were a rainy Saturday diversion until I was 15 and discovered a little theater in my Brooklyn neighborhood whose crotchety owner showed old comedies (Keaton, Chaplin, Fields, Marx Bros., Stooges, etc.) and Warner Bros. antiques (Cagney, Bogie, Edward G.) I was hooked. Still am. I can see the same movies over and over. It’s like reading the Bible — you always find something new. Manhattan in the ’60s had at least 10 theaters that showed old Hollywood or foreign films. It was the era of Fellini, Antonioni, De Sica, Bergman, Godard, Truffaut, Chabrol, Reed, the Boulting Bros., Kurosawa, etc. Every week brought another revelation. The Apollo in Times Square showed triple features. We’d get meatball sandwiches and spend the night. You could see great films, wash your socks and score a little cheap weed. The balcony smelled of garlic, dirty feet and stale tobacco. Suggestive moans and groans came from the last seats. We kept our eyes on the screen. I read Film Quarterly, Sight and Sound, Andrew Sarris in the Village Voice. It all seemed so far away and glamorous that I never thought I could ever be a part of it. I wanted to be a cynical reporter like Ben Hecht or a suffering novelist like Fitzgerald. Tragic artist was my pimp. I thought a little alcoholism plus a touch of T.B. a la Orwell was just the ticket for getting the girls. Boy, was I wrong.


Me: So how’d you go from being a Brooklyn film nerd to a published author and a Hollywood writer/director?


Heywood: That’s War and Peace.


1947: A blizzard in Brooklyn. I’m 5. It’s warm in the kitchen. My mom does freelance typing at the table. She leaves a page in the typewriter and gets up to make lunch. I move into her seat and start to bang on the keys. It’s the first piece of clean commercial work I destroy.


1951: I’m 8 1/2. A big, fat 10-year-old slob is bullying me, taking me into the stairwell of our building and putting me in a choke hold until I promise to bring him a dime, which I steal from my mom’s purse. Promises to kill me if I tell, and I believe him. I write a story about a machine that magically appears and helps a boxer win a big match. I disguise the characters so my parents won’t recognize the bully.


1956: I’m graduating from Public School 154. I write an essay about what the future holds for our class. Make a few jokes about my friends getting arrested, me getting drunk and falling off the Ferris Wheel in Coney Island. All my friends think this is uproarious. The teachers don’t agree. I don’t win the English medal.


1959: The high school literary magazine snubs me because I’m on the basketball team. I win a fountain pen in a citywide contest for writing an essay about They Came To Cordura and Northwest Passage, both of which became pretty good movies. I get the pen, but no respect. My English teacher asks me one day, “Are your parents immigrants?” When I ask why, he says, “All immigrants use too many adjectives.” He advises me to forget writing as a career. “The prize was an aberration,” he says.


1960: The college literary magazine rejects me. “I don’t have the time or the inclination to tell you all the ways that this is inferior,” says the editor. I have violent sex dreams about her. Still do.


1962: A newspaper strike lasts for seven months. When it’s over, the New York Post has no copyboys. I write a letter to the managing editor. I have just spent nine months in France trying to be Fitzgerald. I mention that I speak French. His wife is French. He has the personnel manager call me for an interview. “We’ll put you on a tryout basis.” My first day the managing editor yells at me across the tundra-like city room: “Apportez-moi un cafe et un bagelle avec fromage de creme.” [Translation: "Get me a bagel with cream cheese."] Ever the wiseguy, I answer, “C’est une bagelle.” [Translation: He corrected the managing editor's French.]  Thank God they like wise guys in the newspaper business. He laughs and I’m hired.


1963: Kennedy is assassinated. I work the whole weekend in the wire room. It’s a national tragedy, the country will never be the same. I’m thrilled to be working on the biggest story of the year.


1963: I’m given a three-month tryout as a reporter. I cover Mafia hits, civil rights, cool burglaries, gory murders. I’m sent to a Spanish class for police officers. Thirty red-faced Irish cops squirm angrily while a nice Puerto Rican lady teaches them rudimentary phrases so “you can communicate with the community.” All the six papers and three networks are covering this love fest. But I’ve been around cops for two years now. I know this is too good to be true. David Halberstam of the New York Times, back from being expelled from Vietnam by the U.S. Army, is covering, complete with clipboard and assistant. When he decides there is no story he leaves and is followed by the entire press corps. I make myself small in the back of the room. The cops reach critical mass. “Why do we have to learn Spanish? Why can’t they learn English?” “These people are animals. See the way they throw their garbage on the street?” “When some junkie pulls a knife on you, you don’t have time to pull out your dictionary.” I take it all down. Next day I scoop the city. I’m hired.


1963-65: I’m a 20-year-old with a press card that gets him in anywhere in New York City. I cover MLK’s “I Have a Dream Speech” in D.C. Also the rise of Malcom X and the Nation of Islam. The anti-war movement, demos and sabotage. Harlem erupts in riots. Then Newark and Elizabeth and Paterson, N.J., explode. Break a story about rats infesting a Harlem housing project. Ride with civil rights activists trying to stall cars on New York’s highways to prevent the opening of the World’s Fair of ’64. Great idea, but nobody shows up and the fair is a big success. A California surfer breaks through the skylight of the Museum of Natural History, going under and around the electric eyes, and steals the Star of India, a huge sapphire, providing the inspiration for Topkapi. An epidemic of fat dentists drugging and raping their patients. Seems they have a club and a newsletter. A spoiled Park Avenue scion kills his girlfriend and rides around for days with her body in a blanket in the back seat of his ’56 Jaguar convertible. Mafia Don Frank Costello arrested for vagrancy. Flashes a wad of hundreds and the judge laughs as he dismisses the case. Occasionally on the 4 to 12 shift I’m a leg man, picking up quotes and items for Earl Wilson, a syndicated gossip columnist (604 papers around the world). I sit at the press table in the Copa, drink Chivas, smoke Camels and hear Sinatra, Nat “KIng” Cole, Vic Damone, Joe E. Lewis, Sammy Davis Jr. The Latin Quarter, another famous nightclub, has ten “leggy chorines,” 6 feet and taller. I’m tall, trim and 20, look good in my suit and have a fund of witty (at least to me) repartee. Plus, I’m making $95 a week. But they go for the short, fat and 50 guys, pinky rings and big cigars, look exactly like they do in every movie. Hard to tell who’s imitating whom.


More stories. The South Bronx is a war zone. Drugs, street crime, grinding poverty. An occasional short, fat 50 guy is found in the back seat of a Caddy with a bloody hole in his head, cigar between his fingers. A Chinese crew mutinies on a docked Greek freighter. I sneak on board pretending to be a doctor. I will go anywhere, do or say anything to get a story. There are six newspapers in the city and I want to scoop them all. I live in a sub-basement on Barrow Street in Greenwich Village. Fifty-three dollars a month. I eat myself into a stupor in Chinatown for three dollars. (If you don’t believe me ask someone who was there.) It’s too good to last.


February 1966: I’m drafted.


1966-68: A roaring darkness descends over the world. I discover the “control class,” people whose only skill is to acquire power over others. I will spend the rest of my life scuttling out from under their hobnailed boots.


1968-69: I surface from a weird dream to discover I have a wife and a baby son. Somehow I convince IBM that I’m the head of a cutting-edge media company. (See Corporation Freak.) I play basketball on LSD and dominate. One of my teammates is the story editor of a TV show called N.Y.P.D. I tell him some of the stories I covered as a reporter. He brings me to David Susskind, the biggest TV producer in New York. Susskind is eating a corned beef sandwich and working three phone lines. “Sure, give him a script,” he says. I’m so green I put quotation marks around the dialogue. Nobody cares. I get loaded at  the Xmas party and puke all over Susskind’s desk. Next day, I slink in to apologize. “That was some party, huh?” he says. “Were you around when that hooker chased Jack [Warden, the star] around his trailer?” Ah, the good old days.


1970: N.Y.P.D. canceled. All the writers go to L.A. I stay in New York because I’m going to write The Great American Novel. I write for Stag, a men’s magazine. Make up news stories like “Diving for Nazi Gold Off the Florida Coast,” “Rabbi Officiates At Lesbian Wedding.” The editor-in-chief is Mario Puzo. I write porno novels, five bucks a page. Ghost write books on Swedish massage and college basketball. Write a biography of Sir Christopher Wren. A medical book called Headaches and Health. Anything that pays. I play poker to make the rent. Finally have a losing night and have to borrow from a shylock who lurks around the edges of the game like a jackal around the campfire. Can’t pay him back and the vig is mounting. He knows if he breaks my legs nobody will borrow from him so he gets me a job as a bartender in the Hotel Diplomat in Times Square. I discover cognac and ditch all the other drugs.


Fortapache 1970-73: Short stories rejected, novels rejected. I’m divorced. Hack work and bartending pay the child support. An agent needs a writer for a movie about two cops who work the 41st, or “Fort Apache,” in the South Bronx. The cops keep putting his candidates through an ordeal by fear and alcohol and they all quit. I go to the Bronx. “You took the subway?” they ask in amazement. We go to a mob bar. They try to get me drunk, but I’m in training. After a few hours they’re so loaded that I dump my drinks on the floor and they don’t see. They drive me to the Bronx Zoo. Hookers patrol the perimeter. They get the biggest, fattest hooker into the back seat with me. This time my experience as a reporter pays off. I know how cheap cops are. “Is this on you guys?” I ask. They throw her out. I get the job.


1973: I write the first draft of Fort Apache, the Bronx for $1,250. The producers can’t sell it. Susskind reads it and says, “I’m going to make this movie.” I file the script and forget about it.


1973-75: Rejections and general dissipation.


1976: I finally learn how to write fiction well enough to get a novel published. I think the screenwriting taught me how to structure a story.


Rolling thunder 1976-78: An agent circulates Fort Apache in L.A. I get jobs on Baretta and Kojak but fight with the producers and Robert Blake and never finish the scripts. I write a pilot for John Houseman, which later becomes The Paper Chase. Bill Devane prevails on Larry Gordon to hire me to rewrite Rolling Thunder. I spend six riotous weeks in San Antonio. The laws of God and man are suspended on a movie location. The producer of Fort Apache hires me to adapt Ira Levin’s The Boys from Brazil. Six more great weeks, traveling super-first class in Lisbon, London and Vienna with Peck and Olivier. Susskind sells his company and gets financing for three movies. He calls me. “I’m going to do Fort Apache,” he says. I finally think it’s safe to quit my bar job.


The rest is war stories.


Me: Wow — what a saga! So tell me what life looks like now.


Heywood: Life is trying to turn out as much coherent work as I can before they put me in the Old Hack’s Home.


Me: I’ve got a question about how you’re putting out that work these days. Lately, all writers seem to be able to talk about is e-publishing. Yet it looks like The Serial Killer’s Daughter isn’t available as an e-book. Is that a temporary situation, or are you making a bold one-man stand against the Kindle and its ilk?


Heywood: It’s part of my agreement with the publisher. I maintain e-book rights and I promise not to put the book on Kindle until it goes into remainder. Kindle has been a boon for me. It’s revived a lot of my books that were out of print. I sell between 20 and 30 a month, and the number is inching up. I’m publishing all my books and have started a company, Tolmitch Press, to put up other worthy, forgotten titles. So far we have five new titles and are acquiring more. There’s no real money in it, but it’s great to give good books a new life.


Me: Obviously, publishing has changed a lot since you got your start. What do you think of the state of the industry? Are you in the “We’re the orchestra on the Titanic” camp or are you more hopeful?


Heywood: It’s always been a struggle for me to get a book published, so that hasn’t changed. The publishers that were content to give writers like me a small advance, take a share of the paperback and foreign sales and make an incrementally increasing profit as I took the 10 years to build up an audience are now non-performing divisions of industrial conglomerates. Their structure is no longer geared to the modest earner. They need a mega-hit to cover their overhead and justify their existence as the poor relation. They publish best-selling authors only and insist that they replicate their previous success by writing essentially the same book every time out. Marketers don’t innovate; they repeat a formula until it no longer works. Thus, the same tired heroes labor through 20 or 30 iterations of the same story until even their fans cry for mercy.


I could not follow my career chronology if I were a young writer today. The hundreds of magazines and scores of paperback publishers who kept so many of us alive no longer exist. It’s almost impossible to break into the movie business the way I did. Studios don’t make the kind of movies I was hired to write. Success was always based on luck colliding with talent. Now success is just a happy accident.


For me the future is with the small independents. Everybody wants to make money, but these people are in publishing because they love books. I sold my last two books by e-mail. Never met the publisher of Leading Lady [a thriller put out by Five Star in 2008] and just met the publisher of Serial Killer at the book launch. If I were a young writer today I might never be able to quit my bar job. But I’d keep writing anyway.


Read more from Steve Hockensmith at 

Interview with Richard Godwin

 Off on a book tour—signings, interviews, panels, car washes, eating contests, targeted assassinations, but you have to order at least twenty books—for the next few weeks. Will post a few of the interviews along the way….Best, Heywood

Interview with Richard Godwin


Heywood Gould is the author of 13 novels and 9 screenplays including ‘Fort Apache the Bronx’, ‘Cocktail’, ‘Rolling Thunder’, ‘The Boys From Brazil’ and ‘Double Bang’. His new book ‘The Serial Killer’s Daughter’ was released May 1st and is about a fantasist who gets caught up in the underworld. He is a highly accomplished author who is also a film director and screenwriter.


He met me at The Slaughterhouse where we talked about detectives and killers.


To what extent do you think revenge is lawless justice?


Revenge is a prehistoric impulse.

Revenge on a large scale is war.

As the human population grew into ever larger groups something had to be done about the chaos of retribution.


Religion was invented.

“Vengeance is mine saith the Lord,” meaning, let God get even for you.

“An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” meaning if someone steals your ox don’t throw his children into the campfire.

“Love thy enemy” and “turn the other cheek.”

That never caught on.


Laws anointed the monarch as the official avenger.

Trials, prison, even execution.

Doesn’t satisfy the impulse.


People who call themselves God-fearing and law-abiding take blood-thirsty vengeance when they can.

Culture celebrates the avengers, from Hamlet to Charles Bronson.

Revenge has a nice mathematical symmetry. You do it to me plus I do it back to you=justice.


But justice can mean many things.

Divine justice: Hitler killed forty million. God sees the truth but waits. Hitler was defeated.

Not good enough.

Legal justice: Two evil men invade a Connecticut home rape, strangle and burn a mother and her two daughters.

They are condemned to death.

Big deal. They’ll be on Death Row for years pending appeals.

They won’t suffer the terror and torture they inflicted on their victims.


There is no justice.


Tell us about ‘The Serial Killer’s Daughter’.


I’ll let Peter Vogel the protagonist tell you.


This is so typical of me. I’m not a jock or a stud or a campus player. I’m an English major at a mega UC whose only interests are old movies and dead authors. I haven’t had a fight since I was nine. I’ve never had sex with a really hot woman. In other words I’m an intellectual. I am secretly obsessed with Hannah, a whacko chick in my American Lit. class, fantasizing epic encounters, but barely daring to say “hello.” Then one day she offers me a proposition: she’ll have sex with me if I ghost write term papers for her. I accept and she complies. She sticks around just long enough to make me fall crazy in love then disappears. Six months later she’s back like nothing happened. But then the weirdness starts. My apartment is invaded. Bodies are found in a dumpster. Thugs try to run me off the road. One night she confesses: she’s the daughter of a notorious serial killer, doing life in a super max for eleven murders. Somebody is trying to kill her and I’m the only one who can protect her. But now they’re stalking me, too. On the road, in hotels, everywhere. The cops don’t believe us. They think we’re renegade drug mules being hunted by the cartel. I get so freaked out I kill a dude who’s been tailing us. Now the cops are after us, too. Our only chance is to figure out who’s after us and get them first. And the only person who can help us is this insane, vindictive mass murderer– her dad. I’m running for my life, trying to figure who is trying to kill me before they succeed. But there’s one plus: the sex is getting better all the time.


Do you think the film industry despises writers and if so why?


Writers are outliers in the film business. They don’t fit socially. They don’t know how to act in public. They’re not photogenic and not particularly sexy. Not for nothing the old joke.


Question: What did the blonde actress do when she went to Hollywood?


Answer: She screwed the writer.


Yet a movie needs a script. Can’t get a director, a cast, a studio, a budget without a script. Which means a writer. Which  used to mean a neurotic, unattractive, obstinate individual who refuses to give you the feel-good ending you need for big box office. Who haggles over obscure character traits. Who has a tantrum when someone changes a word and if he/she hasn’t been fired by the time picture shoots has to be banished from the set because he/she is annoying the director and eating all the croissants.


Hollywood has finally solved the problem of the despicable writer by doing sequels and remakes which don’t require an original story. And by allowing actors to make up their own dialogue, which leads to a harmonious set and a long winded movie.


There are exceptions, of course—King’s Speech, Social Network and True Grit this year. They did pretty well, didn’t they? But notice: two producers of King’s Speech did not thank the writer when receiving their Oscar.


Do you think it is possible to write a made for film novel and if so what components does it need to have?


If you write a novel with an eye to making it a film you will leave out the elements that make a novel great—character, complexity, multiple points of view–and, paradoxically, draw the attention of film makers. A good novel can be put down and picked up again, a movie can’t. A novel can go off the path of its narrative (a little bit) to tell a side story or feature subordinate characters; a movie has to speed like a bullet train toward its conclusion. The same audience that will read a novel full of side steps and digressions over a period of days or weeks without losing interest will get bored and downright hostile if a movie meanders.


The best way to get a movie made out of your novel is to establish yourself as a novelist. Pick up any well-written thriller and you can see the film possibilities. But only the books of the popular writers get picked up by Hollywood. A thriller is an expensive proposition so the studios are looking for the “marquee value” that the prominent writers provide.


There are exceptions, but the general rule is: Write a best seller and you’ll get a movie deal.


Do you think the best detectives have strong criminal shadows?


Criminals can hold two different ideas in their minds at the same time.

1. I want to be caught.

2. I’m going to get away with this.

Detectives don’t want to be caught.


Criminals are in rebellion against a social order that is denying them the wealth, fame and unlimited gratification they think they deserve.


Cops are fervent believers in that order, even though they know that it is corrupt, immoral and unfair.


A criminal has an idee fixe. Something inside of him/her finds a crime that fulfills some obscure need. He/she fetishizes this crime, doing it ritualistically the same way every time. Establishing a pattern that eventually leads to his/her apprehension. But not before he/she has destroyed innocent lives.


You can’t know what Detectives have repressed because you never see it. On the surface they operate like reverse statisticians, compiling and ordering information until it leads them to the culprit. They have erased emotion because it doesn’t help them do their jobs. Conventional morality is a given, although they like to bend the rules. They are occasionally repelled by the repellent creatures they deal with and will work long hours to make a case against them.


Criminals are romantic narcissists and only like to talk about themselves.


Cops are cynical opportunists, who have a dark view of humanity. But they tell great stories and are more fun to hang out with.


Who are your literary influences?


1. The Bible, which I read every day before I start writing for its engrossing narrative told in simple, vivid language.

2. Shakespeare to remind me that you don’t have to be a Jew, a Moor, a woman, young, old, a king, a murderer, a cripple, a thankless child, a woman scorned etc. to understand and empathize. That the trappings may change, but people remain essentially the same and if you get them right your work can last for centuries

3.Georges Simenon to learn how to turn the environment of your story into an important character. Simenon makes the arena come alive, whether it be Paris, New York, Connecticut, Africa, small towns in Holland and Belgium. With repertorial economy he makes you feel the place.

4. S.J. Perelman to see how laugh out loud funny prose can be.

5. James Joyce because all modern literature is a commentary on Ulysses.

6. The 19th. Century novelists–Balzac, Dickens, Thackeray, Tolstoy, Turgenev, Flaubert, etc. to steal from.

7. Hemingway’s “The Old Man And the Sea” because it’s the best portrayal of the ordeal every writer endures.

8. Fitzgerald’s Pat Hobby stories to remind me of what happens when you’re not welcome in Tinsel Town anymore.


Has any one event influenced your writing and if so why?


When I was fourteen I was fired for stealing money from a legal service where I worked as a messenger. I knew the culprit was the dispatcher, an eighteen year old zit picking degenerate horse player. He looked me right in the eye in front of the bosses and lied. I went home in tears. Everything I had been told by my mother and my teachers was wrong: the world was unfair and unjust. People could not be trusted. You could never know what someone was really thinking. The helpless indignation of outraged innocence has haunted me ever since.


Do you think the media are involved in the mainstream manipulation of what we perceive and if so to what extent does fiction differ from so called factual writing?


The media are totally politicized. You can’t get a straight who what when where story anymore. Fiction is actually a better guide to the zeitgeist. It doesn’t attempt to manipulate behind a guise of objectivity. Fiction is a lie that lets you see the truth, as Picasso said about art. Journalism these days is the lie pretending to be the truth.


Do you think women killers are motivated by different drives than men?


Some women kill abusive males. Some kill their children and themselves as the supreme gesture of spite. Some kill a pregnant woman for her child. Freud said women didn’t feel guilt because they never had an Oedipal fixation on their mothers. But he had his own problems, wondering: “Women, what do they want?” And, by some accounts, stopping all sexual relations with his wife at the age of 37. Aside from a few gender-specific instances women seem to kill for the same reasons of greed, jealousy, hatred and fear as men.


We have seen many examples of authoritarianism since the Second World War which you in wrote about in your excellent screenplay ‘The Boys From Brazil’. Wilhelm Reich wrote in ‘The Mass Psychology Of Fascism’  ’Always ready to accommodate himself to authority, the lower middle-class man develops a cleavage between his economic situation and his ideology.’ Do you think he was right? And if so to what extent do you think that the deferral by the insecure of their authority to those they see as powerful and the sacrifice of or the submission to ideology is behind many of the problems we face today?


Wilhelm Reich was so right so often that they finally threw him in jail. (Anybody got a used orgone box they don’t need.)


The “Tea Party” movement is a perfect illustration of Reich’s thesis. Workers and small business people are clamoring to kiss the boots of the oppressor who is grinding them into the mud– the oligarchical Capitalist.  This is cognitive dissonance in its purest form. Every plank of the Tea Party platform is inimical to the economical interests of its drafters. People who cannot survive without Social Security and Medicare want to destroy them. They want to lower the taxes of billionaires while seeing theirs creep up in the form of fees, property assessments, new charges for government provided services, etc. They want to protect the corporations that are gutting their pensions, manipulating prices and wages and slowly driving the small entrepreneur out of business. They can’t afford private sanitation, security and education, but have embarked on a Holy War against the public employees who provide them–many of whom count themselves Tea Party members. Talk about lemmings, about Kool-Aid, about running dogs, about millions jumping on the funeral pyre of their own class.


The wealthy liberal left is the most cynical class in history. It  lives with an unbridgeable gap between its ideology and its interests. George Soros and David Koch provide a false dialectic. The only real difference between them is their taste in ballet. Wealthy liberals claim to support ideologies of environmentalism, equality, diversity while secretly undermining them. In Obama they have found a better front man than Clinton. So good, in fact, that they will make sure he has no serious opposition.


Thank you Heywood for giving a real and insightful interview.


For more interviews with Richard Godwin, please visit his website

Save On Ambien



Pick up a Copy of Serial Killer’s Daughter. Do not use if you suffer from acute paranoia, delusions of persecution or general bleakness.

 Off on a book tour—signings, interviews, panels, car washes, eating contests, targeted assassinations, but you have to order at least twenty books—for the next few weeks. Will post a few of the interviews along the way….Best, Heywood

Don’t miss interview on G-ZONE with with  host Giovanni Gelati.  Click on link below to listen.

International Thriller Writer’s Interview

 Off on a book tour—signings, interviews, panels, car washes, eating contests, targeted assassinations, but you have to order at least twenty books—for the next few weeks. Will post a few of the interviews along the way….Best, Heywood

 International Thriller Writer’s Interview 

by George Ebey

Heywood Gould, former reporter for the NY Post, and author of thirteen books and nine screenplays including Cocktail, Rolling Thunder, and Boys from Brazil, brings us his newest thriller, The Serial Killer’s Daughter.

Peter Vogel has just made a deal with a wacko chick in his American Lit class.  If he ghostwrites her papers, she’ll sleep with him.  Seeing as how Peter has had his eye on this girl for quite some time, the deal seems like a good idea.  She stays around just long enough to make him fall crazy in love then disappears.  Six months later, she shows back up like nothing happened.  Then things start to get weird.  Peter’s apartment is invaded.  Bodies are found in a dumpster.  Thugs try to run him off the road.  One night, the girl confesses: she’s the daughter of a notorious serial killer, doing life in super max for eleven murders.  Someone is trying to kill her and Peter is the only one who can protect her.  But now they’re stalking him, too.  On the road, in hotels, everywhere.  The cops don’t believe them.  They think the two are mules being hunted by the cartels.  In order to survive, Peter and this beautiful, yet mysterious girl have just one chance: to figure out who’s after them and strike first.  And the only person who can help them is an insane, vindictive mass murderer – the girl’s dad.

Your book’s title is certainly an attention grabber.  Did it come to you early on in the writing process or did it have to percolate for a while?

The title came before the book. I had always wondered what it would like to be related to a serial killer. What happened to the families. How they continued with their lives. How their community reacted. Hence the title and the book.

When we think of serial killers, most of us believe that we have a standard idea of who these people are: Jeffery Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy.  What makes the killer of your title stand out from the rest?

The killer in this book is morally oblique. He actually believes that he is the victim in a world of hypocrites and manipulators. He has found a way to completely exonerate himself for what he’s done. He is maddening because he will not repent.

Your story features a protagonist who falls for the daughter of a killer.  What interested you in approaching a serial killer story through this unique perspective?

Our daily routine is like a narrow path through a jungle full of ravening beasts waiting to pounce. The slightest misstep can send us into a world of horror. One cell grows into a malignant tumor. A drunken driver veers down a street we’re crossing. A homicidal weirdo opens fire in a bank or a restaurant. A serial killer stalks us for months without our knowledge. I wanted to show what happens to normal people who are suddenly plunged into the alternate universe of insanity that is all around us.

Your last book, Leading Lady, won the Independent Publishing Award bronze medal, was a finalist for the Hammett Prize, and was the Forward Magazine Mystery/Thriller of the Year.  Would you care to tell us a little about it?

Leading Lady has a similar theme: a normal woman suddenly forced to survive in a threatening world.

What advice would you give to any bright young college seniors (like Peter) who find themselves propositioned by that one cute co-ed they’ve had their eye on?

Go for it. One way or another it’ll change your life.