Originally from England, author Richard Woolley has lived all over the world, including in Hong Kong and the Netherlands, before moving to Ōrewa four years ago.
He says the move Down Under was, in a way, predicted by a counsellor he spoke to many years ago when he was doing his final exams at university in London.
“I was a bit stressed and the counsellor told me I needed to be ‘as far away as possible from where I was brought up – the example they gave was New Zealand’,” Richard says.
He says living on the other side of the world was about being far away, but not cut off – a way of separating yourself and getting a new perspective.
And now that he’s made the move, he’s glad he did.
Richard’s career encompasses many years as a screenwriter, academic and film director.
In the 1980s he wrote and directed films for cinema and television including Telling Tales (1980), Brothers and Sisters (1981) and Girl from the South (1988).
He now writes full time, after turning one of his scripts into a novel and discovering that he loves getting inside the heads of characters.
“It gives you total control,” Richard says. “The key is to work out who your characters are and what drives them. I love that process.”
His latest novel (his seventh), called Detachment Theory, is a psychological thriller set in New Zealand and the UK in 2015. It is described as “a dark drama that pits the easy going egalitarianism of New Zealand against the privileged, often perverse background of an English upper-middle-class family”.
Richard says he hopes readers will not only get carried along with wanting to know what happens next, but also be intrigued by the complex characters in the book.
His other works of fiction range from the historical novels Friends and Enemies (2010) and Stranger Love (2017) to the futuristic novel Sekabo (2014).
WIN this book
Hibiscus Matters has one copy of Detachment Theory by Richard Woolley to give away. To go in the draw, ‘like’ Hibiscus Matters on Facebook and message us your name and phone number with ‘Detachment Theory Giveaway’ in the message. Or, write your name, address, daytime phone number and the name of the book you’d like to win on the back of an envelope and post to Book Giveaway, Hibiscus Matters, 21 Florence Avenue, Ōrewa 0931. Entries close Friday, August 12. Detachment Theory can be found at local bookstores, or on Amazon. Info: www.richardwoolley.com