There’s been a story brewing in Howard Richardson for decades and at 61-years-old he’s debuting his first novel, An All American Girl.
“When I was a sheriff’s deputy in the 70’s there was a girl who was 16 and killed. It stayed with me all those years. I never planned on writing a book, but when I started it’s the story that kept coming back to me,” the author said.
Richardson originally wrote his autobiography and sent it to Tate Publishing. Included in the package, was five chapters of An All American Girl.
“They were more interested in the book than the autobiography and wanted to be the first people to see it when it was finished.”
The mystery novel is chocked full of twists and turns and follows the story of Detective Jack Williams who is trying to solve the murder of a young preachers daughter. The backdrop of the murder mystery is set in a small community similar to Richardson’s roots in King and Rural Hall.
“King Kitchen is in there, it’s called the Diner instead. I took references from things I knew because it helped flow better while I was writing. It made me feel like I knew these people,” Richardson said.
Reviews from the book have been positive.
“People seem to enjoy that it’s a page turner and you don’t want to put it down. One person told me it was like Agatha Christie because you never know where it’s going to lead or how it’ll end.”
Richardson is already penning the sequel, but this time around he’s balancing his writing with book signings and festivals.
On Saturday, he held a book signing at King Library and is scheduled to visit Walnut Cove in the near future. He’s been invited to attend two popular book festivals this fall.
“I plan on continuing to write. It’s something I enjoy and people seem to be enjoying it, too.”
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.