Richard Goodfellow spent two years teaching English in Japan in the early 1990s. A software consultant and self-described road warrior, he penned the majority of COLLECTOR OF SECRETS on airplanes and in small towns throughout Oregon, Texas, Florida, and everywhere in between. After completion of the novel's first draft, he returned to Japan for a month of further travel to lay fresh eyes on the novel's locations, almost every one of which is real. COLLECTOR OF SECRETS is his first novel.
The thriller concept rolled around in my head for sixteen years before finally gelling in a single momentous hour, as I watched a World War II documentary about Japan on the Discovery Channel. I distinctly remember turning off the hotel television and running to Powell’s Book Store in Portland to start the research.
During the fifteen months it took me to write the first draft of COS, I was a “road warrior”—flying around the U.S., managing software implementations—so the majority of the book was penned on airplanes and in small towns throughout Oregon, Texas, Florida, and every place in between.
Near the completion of the first draft, I spent a month revisiting Japan. My journey from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south allowed me to visit the book’s actual locations. Some I had written from memory and some were new to me, but almost every place mentioned, from the ancient capital of Nara to the glittering streets of Tokyo, is real and true.
The following year was spent editing and contemplating how I’d get a publisher to read the manuscript. Over dinner, Keren Taylor of Writegirl.org fame encouraged me to “go for it” and attend the 2008 Agentfest event in New York—which was only days away! A mad scramble followed. I hired a graphic designer to put up a website, had partial manuscripts printed, created a short pitch for the agents, and was on a plane ten days later.
All this activity finally led to the moment when Jennifer Weltz of the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency got hold of the manuscript. Evidently she liked what she read, as I signed an Agent’s Agreement on September 29. Polis Books will be publishing COLLECTOR OF SECRETS in 2015.
“A web of history, treason, and danger brings the tension to a boil in Richard Goodfellow’s COLLECTOR OF SECRETS. This one is definitely worth the price of admission. A worthy debut by a new voice in the thriller genre.” —Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of THE PATRIOT THREAT