Interview with Susan Goodsell

What's the story behind your latest book?
I never thought I would be involved in writing and producing our title, Blueprint For The Perfect Crime until back in 2002 my father died in suspicious circumstances and as much as I tried to get to the bottom of the truth, my way was blocked at every turn. I have met many a closed door; doors in solicitor offices, government departments, courts and police to mention a few. The more my investigations continued, the more I uncovered about the workings of a Last Will and Testament, and what can go so terribly wrong; the deceit of family members, friends and associates and the involvement of government agencies in the cover-up of very serious crimes.

Information that was being collected was building and the more we received (my uncle and I) the more obvious it became that we were not the only ones to have experienced such awful, immoral dealings from family members and government alike.
My Uncle, Peter Hindley, first began to write shortly after the death of Alan Hindley, who had lived in Paignton, Devon. Over the years the writing has continued with both of us making it a priority to inform, warn, if you like, about what can and often does happen to families in the UK. As said to me at a meeting at the Ministry of Justice, ‘It is not uncommon to have things go wrong when trying to execute a will, but you have experienced everything that could go wrong when administrating a will.’ The question is why? Our title goes a long way to explain this and why it was so important to the perpetrators, who had much to hide, including what instigated the death of Alan.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I wish I could answer that; as I am new to the whole package of publishing and marketing I am trying everything at my finger-tips and waiting to see what works best. As well as using the Internet I have also tried fliers, postcards, business cards and bookmarks, and let us not forget the 'good old' local press. I await to see what, if any, perform for our title. I am always on the look-out for new avenues to promote our title.
How do you approach cover design?
Our cover was designed by a French man, Christophe Richard, who my uncle met through a friend. After a long chat with Peter and being furnished with the contents of our title, Christophe went away and returned with, what we think is, a very successful cover as it sums up the content of the interior pages. The image of the UK works well because that is where our tale is set; the cogs are the workings of the United Kingdom Government and the blueprint markings are appropriate for the title and content. Many crimes have been committed and with the help of many agencies, those involved have been allowed to get away with them, how that has been possible is clearly explained for all to read and use as they see fit.
What is your writing process?
I spent many years investigating and researching, which lead to copious amounts of paperwork and being our case was so involved regular note taking became the norm. Over time it was apparent that we had a story to tell and it was a very important one. Notes were rewritten and changed into chapters and over the years our writing evolved into the book we have today. Our title comes under the umbrella of non-fiction so it was a case of checking, double checking and checking again to ensure that the content was factual, accurate and 100% truthful and could all be supported with relevant documentation, which we achieved.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I am not writing I am a full time, secondary school, teacher working in an all boys school; a job that certainly keeps me very busy and can be very stressful at times. Then there is my family, which is expanding rapidly and gives me a lot of joy. I like nothing better than to spend as much time as possible with my children and grandchildren, family days out and the regular parties when we all come together.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
A couple of years ago I was lucky to have been given a Kindle as a birthday present and find it a useful tool to access reading materials on the go. I find it a handy device which fits into a handbag or travel case. I tend to carry it with me if making a visit to the beach and it is great to be able to pull it out when waiting in an airport or beside the pool on that hot sunny day.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Maidstone Hospital, Maidstone Kent and spent all my childhood in that area. My parents split up when I was very young and I lost contact with my father for many years. I moved three times during my younger years and we settled into a fairly large house with my new step-father when I was about 7 years of age. When I was 16 I got my first job working in London for an oil company and it was not long afterwards that I moved up to London into rented accommodation, I would have been about 17 at that time.

It was when I was 18 that I set out to trace my father’s whereabouts, which I did and our relationship was flourishing and continued to build right up to his death in 2002. Had I not found him I doubt I would have been in the situation I found myself and the consequence being, the writing of ‘Blueprint For The Perfect Crime’. I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason including the strong urge I had to find my father all those years earlier. I guess my life experiences have all helped me and set me up for the job I found myself having to do later on in my life.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I guess as the saying goes…’ If you want a job doing properly then do it yourself,’ comes to mind. I am also a bit of a control freak and do not mind hard work so it made sense to not only write but produce and publish as well; it certainly has been a learning curve, to be more precise, a bloody big arc.
Describe your desk
Piles and piles and more piles, but at least they are organized piles. Somebody else sitting down at my desk might have other views. I like to begin work with a tidy desk, plenty of room. As a project progresses so the piles grow and I allow them to grow, knowing what is where until the task in hand is completed, then it is time for a mass clear-up. My desk at work is cleared termly ready for the following term’s onslaught. I like to have everything I need close to hand: pens, paper, post-it notes, files being used and files in progress and there is always a drink at hand and not the alcoholic ones.
Published 2014-07-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.