Interview with Richard Cudlow

Hello Everyone!

We are delighted to have author Richard Cudlow amongst us today at Musikdiv India Online Magazine at our Special ‘Authors Festival’ interview series to tell us about his new book The Overseer – The Human Experiment !
Please read on …

Are great men born that way…?
Or are they selected…?
From primitives, discovering the properties of fire, bronze and iron, to moderns who advanced scientific knowledge, there have always been humans with special qualities. Men who were able to produce a leap forward in Mankind’s fortunes. History’s Overseers.
It was not by accident.
Peter Jennings, the latest of the Overseers, would be the last if he failed.
Granted, by the Angels, the ability to use all of the powers designed into the human mind, Peter is set apart from his fellow man. Under the strictest secrecy, he is charged with three tasks.
He must prevent the imminent nuclear war that threatens the world.
He has to show that the ancient texts, that guided mankind for so long, were not the product of some primitive, but fertile, imagination.
Finally, he must rescue the United Kingdom from the treachery that has reached the highest office in the land.
An intriguing novel, full of surprises, that not only questions what we know but offers credible alternative explanations. A satisfying read.

So Richard, we’ll start your Interview with the very first question:

1. Please introduce and tell the readers something about yourself.

I was born in London in 1945 and was lucky enough to pass the eleven plus and go to a fantastic grammar school in Croydon. It was here that my interest in science and the unexplained was first awakened (thanks to Mr Pratt and the physics department). I went on to serve for twelve years in the Royal Air Force and throughout a full and varied working life have maintained a keen interest in human history.

2. What brought you to writing?

I suppose it all began when I used to compose bedtime stories for my children. I progressed from there to writing short stories for the magazine market and had three read out on the local radio station in Sussex. During some research I was engaged in, purely for self entertainment, I came across things which caused me to question what I had previously been taught. My novel The Overseer – The Human Experiment came straight out of that. I realised that I had found the catalyst which enabled me to write my first novel, something I’d wanted to do for a long time.

3. How many books have you written?

I’ve completed one, am well into its sequel and have one other in the initial stages.

4. How long have you been writing?

I have been writing for my own amusement since a teenager but writing seriously, with a view to publication, about three years.

5. Which was your first literary project? Tell us something about it.

I set myself the task, many years ago, to see if I could write things that others might want to read when I began to think up plots for short stories. I showed them to people who I thought I could trust to be objective and was pleasantly surprised by the reaction I got. However, the necessity to earn a living curtailed my efforts so that I made little progress.

6. Is this your new/latest project?What inspired you to write your (latest) book?

My latest book is the sequel to The Overseer which will be entitled The Overseer – Going For Gold. My inspiration for this book was the realisation that I had more research material than I could use in one story. I felt that what I’d unearthed had to be written about and I chose to do this as a sequel, a continuation if you like, of the original story.

7. Traditional books or e-books? How do you prefer to see your works published? Have you tried ever publishing the traditional way?

I was brought up with books and have never lost the love of holding one. Turning pages has a magical effect as you look to see what the next turn will uncover. Because of this I will not stop trying to be published conventionally. However, I am happy that my book is available as an e-book because at least people are reading it. Conventional publishing is governed, initially by such a large slice of luck. Your manuscript has to arrive in the right place at the right time to be even considered. Best sellers are languishing in drawers all over the world and most will never see the light of day.

8. Can you give a chapter sample preview of your book here for our readers to know more about it.

I’ll give you the prologue which details two events, two thousand years apart, that will have a profound effect on Peter Jennings, the latest Overseer to be trained to use all of the powers within the human mind. As the story unfolds, Peter has to save the world from the nuclear aspirations of a rogue state as well as prove that the ancient writings were not the figment of some primitive, but fertile, imagination. Finally, he has to save his own country from the treachery that has reached the highest office in the land. He finds all these tasks linked by a common thread coming directly from what was written thousands of years ago.
( Please look at the bottom of the interview for book excerpts )

9. Do you have any funny / interesting incidents on how you came up with plots or characters?

The plot for the book came straight out of research that I stumbled upon. I realised that what I’d discovered could offer a rational explanation for things that were happening in the world. I’d discovered a fantasy plot but with the recorded science to back it up.
Some authors say that they agonise over character names, wanting to create exactly the right effect on the reader. I have to say that I did no such thing. As soon as I thought of a character, immediately, they had a name that I accepted. The name that sprang to mind, in an instant, just seemed to be what they would be called if they’d lived.

10. What are your hobbies?Things that you enjoy doing besides books of course.

I am interested in computers and web site creation. If the internet had existed when I was leaving school I think that I would have made that my career. I am also very keen on DIY and love to create or change something at home to improve it. I suppose my satisfaction with that is that working in a physical way with my hands complements the mental efforts of novel writing.

11. Who is your favourite author?

My tastes cover a wide spectrum from Dickens and Mark Twain to Frederick Forsyth and Jack Higgins. My only requirement is that the author can tell a good story.

12. Is your writing style at all influenced by those of your favorite authors?

I hope not as I would like to offer my own voice to my writing but I suppose others would be a better judge than I.

13. What is your favourite genre to read and also to write?

I enjoy stories that enlighten me about people and their situations but I also enjoy a good mystery, especially if the answer to it is unexpected. I love it when a story causes people to doubt what they’ve always been taught and to consider alternative explanations. I have tried to do this with my writing. During the story of The Overseer, I offer alternative explanations, supported by science, for what many people take for granted.

14. Do you have a role model that you get inspiration from?

I value very much meticulous research and I was very impressed by Dr Bill Cooper who spent twenty five years researching his book After The Flood and followed that with Payley’s Watchmaker, both titles throwing light on mysteries that science cannot answer.
15. Where do get your ideas from?Do you take your story ideas from real life situations?
Every day, every newspaper has ideas for novels within their pages. Read almost any report and then say..what if…?

16. Do you have a pseudonym?

My name is Richard Cudlow and I’m happy with that.

17.Whats your experience been like in the publishing industry?Postive or negative?Please share your experience with our readers.

Publishing as an e-book on Smashwords and Amazon has been thoroughly positive. My book is out there and can be read. Trying to interest a conventional publisher has been frustrating as they are so reluctant to try a new author. It would seem that the entrepreneurial publisher is being severely restricted by the accountants.

18. Where do you see yourself 10years from now?

In ten years from now I hope to have at least six titles available for public consumption and to have secured the newspaper column I seek, enabling me to comment on issues of the day.

19. What motivates you to write?

My main motivation is the conviction that I have something to say.

20. How important is good cover art for your books?

Very important, a lot of people do, initially, judge a book by its cover.

21. Do you have a price strategy for your books?

To cover my costs and survive but remain cheap enough for people to be prepared to take a chance.

22. How does it make you feel when you read a bestselling book that you don’t feel is as good as yours?

Ha ha. I think we’ve all read things that we describe as rubbish. However, we must not lose sight of the fact that before it’s published, a manuscript has been through a complicated process of editing and refining. Someone must have liked it.

23.Why do you think readers should buy your book?What can you offer them through your book?

I would like readers to buy my book because I can promise them an interesting story with quite a few surprises. Read it with an open mind and be prepared to have to question some of the things that you took for granted.

24.Where is your book available?Any Buy Link for our readers?

My book is available on Amazon for the Kindle and on for all other formats. On smashwords you can download the first seven chapters for free.

25.Do you have a website or a blog that you’d like to share here.

My website introduces the reader to the story behind the book and details some of the research materials I have used.

26. What advice would you give to other writers?

Write because you enjoy it. That way you’ll produce your best work. If you want publication, well the old maxim is still true
“all those published never gave up, all those who gave up were never published”

27.Anything else you’d like to share with our readers

Just to say thank you to all those who have read this far. Please check out my website and I hope that you enjoy what I have to say, both there and in my book. Thank you.

  • Thank you Richard Cudlow for gracing us with your presence.It was a sheer pleasure.Good luck with your book.We conclude the interview here

    Thanks again from Team MusikDIV

    Book Exerpts – Sample Chapter

    The Overseer – The Human Experiment By Richard Cudlow


    Summer 189 BC – Qumran
    Sweat stung his eyes as Nathaniel struggled to look at his work. His back ached and the stone seat at the long writing table did nothing to ease his discomfort. Lifting his eyes towards the window, he frowned at the glare from the highly polished sheet of metal reflecting the sun’s light, and heat, into the room. He looked back at his work and just managed to save another drop of sweat from falling onto his masterpiece. He had always taken such pride in his craft. He’d often been praised for the uniformity of his characters and the neatness of his lines of script.
    He glanced to his left where Joseph was busy with his own parchment. He watched as he concentrated on the character he was writing. Not a stroke misplaced. With a sense of disgust he looked again at his own work. Why had the Chief Scribe told him to write those particular letters like that? Making them smaller, with one even bigger had, to Nathaniel, spoiled the whole look of his script.
    “You want me to write them different?” he’d queried.
    The Chief Scribe smiled, appreciating that Nathaniel felt that he was being asked to provide sub-standard work. He knew he couldn’t tell him everything, but he could try to make him realise that he had been picked for this particular work just because his writing was so uniform and skilful.
    “Nathaniel, you are copying the Book of Esther so that future generations may have the knowledge that it contains. You have been specially selected. This parchment won’t be kept with the rest, here at Qumran. It will go with other artefacts from the Holy Temple to a sacred place where it will be safe for ever.”
    Nathaniel furrowed his brow as questions formed in his mind. This was all new to him. Why wouldn’t his work be stored with the others? The Chief Scribe noticed his puzzled frown and placed a re-assuring hand on his shoulder.
    “When our Grand Master Moses recorded the early history of our people, he was telling us so much more than just history. The instructions he received he has passed down to us and they are clear. As you record the names of Haman’s sons the letters tav, zain and shin are to be smaller and the letter vav is to be larger. It is not for us to question the knowledge we are given. You can take comfort, however, in the fact that you are conveying a Divine message to future generations.”
    Nathaniel shrugged as his discomfort brought him back to the task in hand. The long writing room, that had been so cool at the start of the day, was now like an oven. If only the bright illumination from the sun could be reflected into the room without its intense heat. He forced himself to return to his work. Just another ten degrees of the sun and they would finish for the day.

    March 2007 – Republic of Nair
    He couldn’t understand why he kept thinking of his childhood. Perhaps it was because that was when he could have changed his life. He only knew that whatever memory he evoked, it brought him little comfort.
    With diminishing strength he pulled his wrists against the leather straps. The large, wooden chair, stained with the blood and fluids from previous prisoners, wouldn’t let him go. His tenacious grip on the hope that he might survive kept him going. Without that he knew he would perish.
    The room was hot, a furnace burned in the corner. The stench of sweat mixed with the acrid odours of blood and fire. Sparks flew as his tormentor, naked from the waist up and glistening wet, raked the tongs in the fiery coals. Finally, holding the glowing implement high and in full view, he approached his victim.
    The prisoner trembled with terror. He felt his head yanked back, forcing his mouth wide open. With most of his teeth missing, his mouth resembled a black, bloody cavern. Now he knew he was lost. His torturer no longer wanted him to talk. The tongs were pushed in and clamped around the tongue. The sizzle of the searing flesh mixed with the pitiful screams as the glowing metal burnt through the organ, severing it completely.
    The captor grimaced when the fumes from the burning flesh reached his nostrils, about the same time that an eerie silence fell. The pain-free blackout of unconsciousness came as a welcome relief. He let go the head and it fell forward, blood oozing from the smoking mouth. With a grunt, he tossed the tongs back onto the furnace. The remains of the tongue stuck to the metal as it continued to cook, finally to be vapourised by the intense heat.
    Sergeant  Abdolali Samdii, lately of the Revolutionary Guard, looked at the unconscious victim. The slight movement in the shoulders and the trickle of blood from the mouth, being the only signs of life. He knew he wasn’t going to talk.  Perhaps he wasn’t a spy at all and really did just hope to find work at the refinery. He shook his head, he couldn’t afford such thoughts. The President himself had picked him for this work. Guilty or not, he could make men confess and that meant a lifestyle better than his father could have hoped for. If they wouldn’t talk, the President was clear. They should never talk again.
    With a last look at the helpless victim, he left the chamber. In the room outside a small table was draped with a towel and the sergeant’s uniform shirt. He picked up the towel and wiped his shiny head and torso. A shaven head was easier to clean than blood-matted hair. Two soldiers watched as he picked up his shirt and slipped it on. Fastening the last button, he nodded to them.
    “Clean him up and take him to Captain Yeganeh. He didn’t have anything to say.”
    The soldiers got up and made their way into the room. They hesitated, they never knew what they were going to pick up. In the past bodies had disintegrated as they were moved and there was no escaping the stench of burnt human flesh…

    * * *

    Silently and unseen, watching man’s inhumanity to man, Alameine sighed as she returned to the heavens. She knew that the time she had been waiting for had arrived. The latest Overseer was needed back on Earth more than at any time in history. Mankind had, at last, run out of options. The human race must decide whether good or evil would triumph.
    Appointed by the Angels, Overseers throughout the ages had guided the human race to achieve remarkable things. Men, separated from their kind by being taught to use the full powers designed into the human mind.
    Alameine knew that things had to change. Humans now had the means to destroy not only themselves but every living creature on earth. The choice was clear. The human race could progress and achieve all that they were designed to do, or they could fall to the evil that was all around.
    Alameine thought of Peter, the latest of the Overseers and a man with a task unlike any of his predecessors.  He had shown remarkable ability during his training. Perhaps he really was the one to save mankind and bring them back to the fold. Alameine sensed that if the human race failed now, there would not be a second chance; the created universe would just have to go on without them…

    Buy The Overseer – The Human Experiment by Richard Cudlow On Amazon Kindle >>

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  • Comments
    2 Responses to “Interview with Richard Cudlow”
    1. Martin Clements says:

      I bought this book from Smashwords some time ago and was so glad that I did. I questioned so much of what I had been taught. It is good to see Richard Cudlow getting the recognition he deserves. I, for one, can’t wait for the sequel.

    2. Peter Bellingham says:

      I agree with the previous statements. I bought this book for the Kindle and have not been disappointed. The pace of the story is good, the plot is fascinating and the research has obviously been extensive. Well done Richard. I recommend this book if you are looking for a good, satisfying read.

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