Enjoy this insightful interview featuring Richard L. Carrico, a distinguished historian, anthropologist, and the author behind the highly anticipated historical true crime novel MONSTERS ON THE LOOSE: The True Story of Three Unsolved Murders in Prohibition Era San Diego. Dive deeper into Carrico's extensive research and writings by visiting pastshadows.net, an exclusive platform dedicated to his scholarly pursuits.
Q: What book has left the most lasting impact on you as a reader?
A: To a God Unknown by John Steinbeck
Q: What inspired you to write your current book? Are there any specific events, experiences, or ideas that sparked its creation?
A: As a historian and archaeologist, unresolved historical events stoke my interest. When I discovered, through research, that three young women had been murdered in San Diego in 1931 and that the cases were never solved, I set out to document (and maybe solve) the cases
Q: What is unique, or special, or particularly interesting about your book?
A: I grew up in the neighborhoods where the victims lived and where they met their deaths—I feel a very personal attachment to them. The fact that more than 90 years after the fact, there are family members for whom the tragedies are still fresh and painful.
Q: What message or emotion do you hope readers will take away from your book?
A: A strong message is about how women were treated in the 1930s in terms of justice and the press. I think the strongest emotion that readers should feel is empathy for the young women and their families.
Q: Do you have any unique writing rituals or habits that help you get into the writing zone?
A: I live on more than an acre of rural land with expansive views of the mountains. One of my rituals is to walk the property and watch the changing shadows on the landscape at sunrise and sunset. Somehow, that ever-shifting light is a metaphor for life and death themselves.
Q: How do you engage with your readers and fans? Do you attend book clubs, signings, or events?
A: I attend book clubs, give more than twenty book signings and presentations a year, and attend multiple professional writing events. Find me on pastshadows.net.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors who are working on their first book?
A: My best advice is to read, read, read. Not as a way to avoid writing, but to see and feel how other authors deal with character and plot, how they pace their stories
Q: Can you provide a sneak peek or hint about your next writing project?
A: I am currently working on two books. One is a biography of an underrated woman author, Judy Van der Veer, who many critics compared to Steinbeck and Cather. The second will be either a non-fiction or historical fiction book on a Japanese spy ring that existed in California in the 1932-1936 period. The ring included Yoko Ono’s father!
Q: When you're writing nonfiction or for historical accuracy, how do you prevent errors?
A: If you are writing non-fiction or historical fiction, it is important to establish relationships with research institutions, law enforcement agencies, and potentially knowledgeable people who can assist you in your research and save you from making factual errors.