Interview with Novelist Richard Milton (Dead Secret, The Glass Harmonica)

Richard Milton is a journalist and writer who writes stories most sensible people wouldn’t touch with a bargepole. He writes offbeat fiction: Dead Secret, is a mystery of the paranormal in everyday life.  His book, The Glass Harmonica, is a mystery thriller. Concert pianist Julia Franklin is heir to an inheritance worth a billion dollars – enough to bankrupt America’s oldest bank when the trust matures. A third crime thriller is, Conjuring For Beginners. When legendary con-artist Ferdy Daniels dies alone and penniless, his daughter, Rosa, inherits his victims, who are convinced she was his partner in crime.

Go to his website 

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richardmilton.jpgInterview with Richard Milton:

Matthew Toffolo: What is the general theme and tone of your novels?

Richard Milton: My three novels are all mysteries and thrillers, rooted in contemporary reality but with a touch of the macabre, the menacing, the mind-blowing, thrown into the mix. I’ve also written some very controversial non-fiction books, but’s that’s another story.

MT: Why should people buy your novels?

RM: To be mystified, intrigued, hooked, have their minds well and truly messed around with, but mainly to meet memorable characters who stay with you afterwards.

MT: How would you describe your novels in just two words?

RM: Dark , juicy.

MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life?

RM: I watch films over and over again. Some films I’ve seen more than 10 times: Shane, The Longest Day, The Maltese Falcon, Back to the Future, Farewell My Lovely and lots, lots more.

MT: Was being a novel writer something you’ve always dreamed of doing?

RM: I used to make treasure maps and bury them in the garden when I was 8 or 9. Sadly no-one found them so I started writing stories. I bought my first typewriter from a junk shop when I was 15, carried it home on the bus (it weighed a ton) and taught myself to type. It took another twenty years to get published but I kept going because I wanted it more than anything.

MT: Do you have an all-time favorite novel? Have you read a novel more than once?

RM: Like films, I read and re-read my favourite books over and over. Best novel I’ve ever read is The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead. Close second; That Hideous Strength by C.S.Lewis. I must also mention Ubik by Philip K. Dick.

MT: What motivates you to write?

RM: Writing is a compulsion. I write every day – not because it’s good practice but because I can’t stop myself.

MT: What artist would you love to have dinner with?

RM: Mel Brooks. He’s the funniest and most original writer and film maker on the planet – by a mile. Can you imagine the meeting in Hollywood where he pitched the idea for The Producers? “You see it’s all about a musical version of Hitler’s rise to power . . . “

MT: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

RM: I’m fascinated by prehistory and how our ancestors survived against all the odds with just flint tools. I’ve collected hundreds of flint implements and used them to create a virtual museum of prehistory on the internet at

MT: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

RM: There’s one piece of advice on thriller-writing that I’ve found helpful and is worth passing on. Do your first draft in screenplay format with little exposition, or in dialogue only with no exposition – that way you’ll have edited out most of the rubbish from the start.


Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to for more information and to submit your work to the festival.


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