Re-printed with permission from USA Today, Happily Ever After by Joyce Lamb
HEA gets to talk with best-selling mystery author Richard Castle about his latest, Raging Heat. It took awhile to get this interview done, what with Rick recent driving over the side of a cliff and then disappearing for two months. We can only hope he and Beckett get to the bottom of his memory loss and mysterious disappearance soon (not to mention getting to the altar!). In the meantime, Rick took some time out of his busy crime-solving and book-promoting schedule to answer some of our questions.
Joyce: Welcome to HEA, Rick! So relieved to talk with you, for obvious reasons. Please tell us about Raging Heat.
Rick: Thank you so much. After the recent events in my life, it’s a relief to talk about my new book. I’m so excited about Raging Heat. It’s such a thrilling ride. From the moment a body drops from the sky into the Natural History Museum, all the way to the book’s final breathless pages, fans of Nikki Heat will be hooked.
Joyce: I noticed there’s a bit more romance in this one. Are you getting all squishy inside as things progress in real life with Beckett?
Rick: What? No! I’m still a hard-boiled crime novelist, with a taste for kissing. Wait … I meant a taste for murder. Why did I say kissing? OK … so maybe I’m a little squishy.
Rick: As a native New Yorker who lived through Sandy, I’d been looking for a way to explore that experience and its impact on the city. The ominous specter of the approaching storm and the chaos that it unleashed when it arrived seemed like the perfect backdrop for this story. And to answer your question, whenever you embrace an element that big in any story, it both helps and constrains you.
Joyce: How tough is it to keep what happens in real life separate from what happens in the Nikki Heat books? There are so many similarities between the characters and their histories — it must get confusing sometimes.
Rick: Most people assume that the Nikki Heat books are based on my life experiences, but nothing could be further from the truth. I mean, come on. I’m a ruggedly handsome best-selling mystery writer who follows around a smart, sexy homicide detective as inspiration for my books. The Nikki Heat books are about a ruggedly handsome Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who follows around a smart, sexy homicide detective as inspiration for his magazine articles. See? Completely different.
Joyce: Ah, yes, I see it now. What was I thinking?
Does Beckett provide input on your books?
Rick: Yes, but usually only after they’re published. And in kind of a dry sarcastic tone. Like, “Oh that’s believable.” For some reason, I find it adorable.
Joyce: What kinds of rituals do you do to stay creative when working on a book? I picture you binge-watching Firefly for inspiration.
Rick: The only problem with binge-watching Firefly is that they didn’t make enough episodes. Right when you get hooked, the show ends! They should’ve made a whole lot more. I have other rituals too. Sometimes before I write, I have to see how many pencils I can balance on my lip. That usually takes most of the afternoon.
Joyce: You’re working on more Derrick Storm books, too, aren’t you? What can we expect from the next one?
Rick: Pure awesomeness, of course! Until then, make sure you pick up a copy of the latest novel in the Derrick Storm series, Wild Storm. It’s an adrenaline-driven globe-trotting adventure, featuring America’s favorite P.I. turned spy. (Fun Castle fan fact: There’s a wild storm in Raging Heat and raging heat in Wild Storm. I call that literary synergy!)
Joyce: You’re good!
I heard there’s a Derrick Storm TV series in development. What can you tell us about that?
Rick: Details are currently under wraps, but we’re very excited.
Joyce: Aw, and I thought we had a growing BFF thing going on here.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
Rick: Yes. I’d like to add James Patterson’s net worth to mine! How does he write all those books?!? He must be really good at balancing pencils on his lip.
Joyce: Thanks, Rick! Good luck on getting to the altar with Beckett soon!
Find out more about Richard Castle and his books at www.richardcastle.net. And don’t miss Castle on ABC.