Posted November 11, 2012 by Amy in Books

Author Interview: Richard Burton


Games Fiends chats with Richard Burton, author of the new novel Godsent.

Tell us about Godsent.

Godsent centers around the child of 17 year old virgin Kate Skylar. Set against a backdrop of political turmoil and dueling factions within the Catholic Church, Godsent is a unique and fast-paced thriller.  

Godsent, because of its themes of conspiracy and corruption in the Catholic church, has obviously lent itself to comparisons to The Da Vinci Code. Do you think it is a fair comparison? Was The Da Vinci Code a source of inspiration for Godsent?
Although the comparisons are inevitable, The Da Vinci Code was not a source of inspiration for Godsent. The only real “connection” between the two stories is they are both action thrillers and deal with the Catholic Church. Otherwise, the plots are very different and do not relate to each other at all.

Have you faced any sort of backlash or hate mail relating to the content of your book?
No, the feedback and reaction to the book has been amazing and very positive. At its heart, Godsent is a very human story dealing with topics such as social issues, guarded secrets and good old fashioned family discord. People have told me that they really relate to the issues presented within the story and were surprised how emotional things got in the middle of a lot of action and suspense.

In your day job, you work full time as a lawyer. How do you think the experiences you’ve had in your career affect your writing?

As a lawyer, I write all the time. In the law, we tend to outline our thoughts before writing and proceed with writing in a fairly structured way. I carried that approach over to me when I was creating Godsent. Most professional writers shy away from outlining so they can be more creative and let the story “take them where it leads.” As a lawyer, I approached writing Godsent in a pretty structured way. Overall, being a lawyer and writing so much for my “day job,” helped a lot in writing this book.

Godsent is your first novel. Tell us a little bit about your journey from idea to writing to publication.

I first thought of the main plot in 2004 or 2005 and began writing the book in the latter part of 2006. I finished the book in early 2009. So, it has been quite a long process from beginning to end. I found it was pretty challenging to write a novel while working full time. The story first came to me while watching a CNN news story about a grilled cheese sandwich which was believed by many to contain an image of the Virgin Mother. Godsent basically came about from that one news report. It was a lot of fun writing the story and I am enjoying seeing it in print now!

What kind of advice can you offer to aspiring novelists?

The publishing world is very different today than it was even 3 or 4 years ago. It is a very difficult process to secure a traditional publishing deal. My advice would be to craft the best product you possibly can, work hard to make agents and publishers take note of your book and never give up hope that you can push through the barriers to get your work published.

The movie rights to Godsent have been acquired by Imprint Entertainment, the producers behind the popular “Twilight” movies. Tell us a little about that.

That part of this process has been the most fun and rewarding to see. Ironically, it was the quickest part of the process as well. Once the creative team at Imprint read the book, they fell in love with it and immediately wanted to place it under contract. That happened right before the book was officially released. It was a dream come true to have the movie rights acquired and the book come out all at the same time. The reaction to the movie news has been amazing. People have told me all along that the book “reads like a movie,” so I am excited about the process of making it into a movie.

Many avid readers have been disappointed by movies that deviate greatly from the original tale. As an author, what kind of authority do you have over the content of the movie?

As an author, I would have very little authority over the content of the movie. That is part of the process when a movie deal is made – - the author of the book sells his or her rights in the movie part of it. I will act as a consultant for the movie about story points and things, but my thoughts would simply be “suggestions.”

Obviously, Godsent will keep you busy for a while, but do you currently have anything else in the works?

I am currently working on a follow-up or sequel to Godsent. The way the first story ends, the plot possibilities are endless. So, I am having fun picking the story back up and bringing it to new places.

Most readers are always in search of the next great read. What can you recommend from your   personal favorites (Godsent excluded)?
To be honest, as a lawyer, I read and write all day long. In my free time, I do not have much time to read. When I do read for leisure, I enjoy escaping to the type of stories written by authors like Stephen King and James Patterson.  

Look for the Games Fiends review of Godsent in the coming weeks.


U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)