“It’s during the new moon, when the real monsters come out.”
Paranormal thrillers are near and dear to my heart. It’s like finding five dollars in an old pocket when I discover a new-to-me author in this genre. I’m willing to bet this author is more like finding a twenty.
This week I sat down with Richard Crofton to find out a little more about what makes this 2017 first time author tick and a little more about his book Agents of Shadow (Book I of The Keepers of White Series)
Question: Can you tell us abit about yourself?
Crofton: Originally from Wilmington, Delaware, I currently reside in Florida with my wife and five children. Though I’ve been writing stories for most of my life, I’ve only recently gained the courage to share my work. Holding a Bachelor’s in English and a Master’s in Education, I taught English Language Arts for ten years, but now work as an instructor in the art of Shaolin Kempo Karate. I’m an avid lover of animals, backpacking/camping, bowling, chess games, baseball, and homemade Italian food (also love my Philly cheese steaks!). However, creative writing and martial arts are my two main passions, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to pursue both avenues.
Question: Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
Crofton: My favorite character is the mysterious man who goes by Michael Dawkins. He is mysterious and only plays a minor role in this book, but in the series as a whole he happens to be the main character. He’s my favorite because he represents goodness and hope, as well as strength and defiance against injustice. But he is not without flaws as he struggles with much internal conflict.
Question: Please describe him/her/they a) physically b) their personality.
Crofton: Physically: Michael is in his early thirties and is about six feet tall with short, light brown hair. His most noticeable feature are his piercingly cold, bright, blue eyes. They seem to narrow naturally as if he watches everything like a hawk or peers into one’s very soul. He has a thin frame, but very tone with well-defined muscles. Though he’s not extremely tan, he resides in St. Petersburg, Florida, so he’s not pale either.
Personality: Michael’s character is somewhat balanced between two polar opposites, yet they are opposite sides of the same circle. He can be very gentle and kind, as he has a soft spot for children and animals, and he holds a confidence about him that draws others to look to him as he always seems sure of himself. However, he suffers from an internal rage within him, having dealt with painful losses from his past. There is a secret evil in society that he is determined to defeat, but out of a desire for revenge against that evil. So in short, he is torn between a certain code of honor he is bound to, in which he must act out of love for all humanity and nature, and a need to quench his thirst for vengeance. There is a dangerous power within him that is fueled by his pain and bitterness, and he is constantly keeping it in check.
Question: Could I have a couple of quotes from your book of dialogue that shows that personality?
Crofton: The kind and gentle side: The man who called himself Dawkins placed a gentle hand of the girl’s head. “Now you sit here and watch your show. And don’t forget to save some of those precious hugs for Mommy when she comes home.”
The vengeful side: “Yeah. I know the risks I’m taking. But I have to make them pay… for everything. Everything they’ve done… And they will pay… Every last one of them. I owe you that much.”
Question: What genre would you say the book falls into?
Crofton: It’s a supernatural/paranormal thriller or horror, with a bit of spiritualism.
Question: Are there any trigger warnings and/or explicit content readers should know about?
Crofton: This book is for mature, open-minded audiences. It has graphic and violent scenes, sexual content, and demonic rituals. The Agents of Shadow sacrifice virgin women to the demonic forces in order to obtain dark powers.
Question: Do you have any upcoming events?
Crofton: Nothing like any book signings yet. I’m still newly published. But the second book, The Paladin’s Message will soon be available for pre-order, and should be released sometime this summer. Kind of eventful since most of the readers of the first book who talked to me afterwards said they can’t wait for the second book because they’re dying to know what happens next.
Question: What is next for you? Do you have anything in the works?
Crofton: The second and third books in The Keepers of White series are finished and being edited. I’m currently working on the fourth book as well as an anthology of short stories. One of the short stories in the anthology will follow a short adventure by the main character, Michael, from The Keepers of White when he was a teenager. I hope to publish this anthology in between publication of the fourth and fifth novels of The Keepers of White.
Question: Do you have any special mentions? (Editor, cover art etc…)
Crofton: Melissa Rinaldi: a fellow teacher and former coworker was a huge help in getting Agents of Shadow ready for publication as she diligently proofread my manuscript for errors during her free time (free time is highly valued by teachers!).
David Karner: a friend of mine and owner of Thunder Mesa Designs, did an amazing job creating the cover for the book. They say that the two most important aspects that help a book’s sales are the synopsis and the cover, and I therefore am indebted to him for offering his talents.
Question: If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? Please describe the place rather than just a name. The weather, the time of day, the ground, the surroundings, foliage, etc…
Crofton: Where I find myself most at peace is when I’m hiking and camping in the forests of the northeast region of the United States, particularly Pennsylvania in the fall. There is something about the scent of the fallen autumn leaves and the crisp, cool air that is both serene and energizing, and there’s nothing like relaxing and keeping warm by the campfire with a few good friends and a couple of beers under a clear, starry sky, listening to the gentle breeze rustle through the dry branches of endless trees.
Question: If the character from above were in that place what would they be doing?
Crofton: Michael would probably take the time to meditate and center himself, lots of soul searching while also trying to silence his inner demons. Michael loves the outdoors, and for the most part is in tune with nature, so it would probably be very therapeutic for him. He would most likely go there alone, and I’m pretty sure he’d have a few beers with him as well.
Question: If your character was allowed one chance to say anything to your readers, what would he/she say?
Crofton: This one took me awhile, but I think he’d say something like “Don’t count on me living up to your expectations, and don’t judge me for my actions. Not unless you’ve walked in my shoes. I have special talents and abilities, but make no mistake: I’m not someone you should admire as a hero.”
Question: If your character could donate to any charity, which one would he/she choose?
Crofton:He would choose three:
- Defenders of Wildlife
- Disabled Veterans
- Orphaned and underprivileged children’s funds
I would like to take a moment to thank Richard Crofton for being here with me today. If you are looking for more information on this author or his book you can use the following links: