Ex-military PI, Tammy Wayne, tracks serial killers for a living in Richard Godwin's novel “Insincerity”, coming out in June. I grilled Richard about his characters and PI fiction...
Q: What makes Tammy Wayne different from other hardboiled characters?
Tammy Wayne is a unique creation, in that she is not hard boiled at all, but a vulnerable intelligent woman who uses her own grit and realism to tackle an extreme psychopathic killer. She allows herself to feel all the raw grief of her sister's violation and murder at the hands of the very man she is pursuing, a man known as The Pimp, who has her and her lover under deep surveillance. In this way she exploits his need to harden her by psychological brutality and she does do by resisting and overcoming it. She is an extremely strong female who does not lapse into stereotype once.
Q: How did you come up with the character?
I heard her voice and began writing. It stemmed from the desire to write something about a non-cop pursuing a killer, rather than the other way around.
Q: What are your thoughts on the whole eBook revolution?
Like anything else it has its pros and cons. On the one hand it has opened the world of books up to a much wider audience and allowed for an accessibility that is breathtaking and great, in that you can download a book anywhere. On the other hand there is a lot of crap out there. It has also exposed the greed and dishonesty of many publishers.
Q: What's next for you and your characters?
I have 7 more lined up for publication, including the sequel to my first novel Apostle Rising, Apostle Unbound. I am of course writing new novels also.
Q: What do you do when you're not writing?
I am a regular at the gym, training 5 times a week. I socialise a lot. I also like sport. I travel. I like Art exhibitions. I love music, most genres.
Q: How do you promote your work?
My publishers do a lot of that for me. I have two Pr's working for me. I do a lot of online stuff. I create a stir.
Q: What other genres besides crime do you like?
All of them apart from YA, which I consider to be a spurious genre cooked up by prurient and bored right wing theocrats intent on turning America into a theocracy. It is based around the control of developing sexuality and absurd. It lacks all realism. In the old days you read the classics. I say read the classics.
I read a lot of crime fiction of all types from Noir to mystery. I also like sci fi, slipstream, horror, literary, experimental, avant garde, Westerns, giallo, and erotica. There is also well written porn. Of course there is.
Q: In the last century we've seen new waves of PI writers, first influenced by Hammett, then Chandler, Macdonald, Parker, later Lehane. Who do you think will influence the coming generation?
Robots, the rise in ethnology is a foregone conclusion. We will have android PI's with huge and morally untethered sexual and Erotic appetites influenced by the canonical and prophetic works of Philip K Dick and also by incisive works such as Android Love, Human Skin, and Paranoia and The Destiny Programme.
Q: Why do you write in this genre?
Because it allows me to explore both the human condition without too much enclosure created by over labelling, and I dislike the need to genre classify, as it is primarily an academic and publisher-driven pursuit aimed at historicising the living and profiteering from them, and because in Noir, which I am best know for, you have men and women who are not necessarily criminals, nor recidivists or hardened criminals in any way whatsoever, but who step over a moral line and become criminalised by the society they inhabit and as such it allows for a lot of psychological excavation of the kind I enjoy as a Novelist. Noir is the genre of losers since they always fuck it up, be it a heist or a blackmail, be it a murder or a con trick perpetrated on the corrupt deserving gulls they may seek to fleece. It is the genre of seductions in bars. Note I also write in many other genres.