Skip to main content

Richard O’Rawe: On Enjoying the Writing Process

Author Richard O’Rawe discusses the process of writing his new crime novel, Goering’s Gold.

Richard O’Rawe is a former IRA operative who was imprisoned for six years—first for bank robbery, and later for political activity—in the Long Kesh penitentiary. During the 1981 hunger strike, which resulted in the death of 10 prisoners, O’Rawe was the IRA’s press officer for the prisoners.

He later wrote a bestselling book about the experience, Blanketmen: An Untold Story of the H-Block Hunger Strike. He also wrote two other books inspired by his experiences in the IRA, Afterlives & In the Name of the Son: The Gerry Conlon Story. O’Rawe lives in Belfast, Ireland.

Richard O’Rawe: On Enjoying the Writing Process

Richard O’Rawe

In this post, Richard discusses the process of writing his new crime novel, Goering’s Gold, his advice for other writers, and more!

Name: Richard O’Rawe
Literary Agent: Coombs Moylett Maclean (London)
Book Title: Goering’s Gold
Publisher: Melville House Publishing LLC
Release date: May 24, 2022
Genre/category: Crime fiction
Previous titles by the author: Blanketmen: An Untold Story of the H-Block Hunger Strike; Afterlives: The Hunger Strike and the Secret Offer that Changed Irish History; In the Name of the Son: The Gerry Conlon Story; Northern Heist
Elevator pitch for the book: Magical Ireland becomes Treasure Island as neo-Nazis, the IRA, Interpol, the Irish government, and underdog, James “Ructions” O’Hare, seek out the tons of Nazi gold that Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering had secreted in Ireland before the end of WWII for a rainy day.

Richard O’Rawe: On Enjoying the Writing Process

IndieBound | Bookshop | Amazon
[WD uses affiliate links.]

What prompted you to write this book?

I picked up a book in the library called The Mystery of Hermann Goering’s Suicide by Ben E. Swearingen and after reading it, realized that Goering’s unexplained suicide could be the basis for a book (it is alleged that he received a cyanide tablet from a U.S. guard). The foundation stone for the book is that, in order to bribe the guard, Goering had left the guard his Field Marshal’s baton, which was the key to tons of Nazi gold secreted somewhere in Europe.

Neo-Nazis find out about the baton in 2008 and accordingly, raid the home of Serge Mercier, Ructions O’Hare’s friend. Ructions takes possession of the baton, and the treasure hunt begins.

How long did it take you to go from idea to publication? And did the idea change during the process?

I had the basic premise of the book about six years ago, but I had other writing commitments that kept pushing it back. Having the actual idea and keeping it in cold storage until the time is right would not be unusual for me.

I find that the story always evolves in the writing, that nothing (except the general premise) is set in stone, that contemporaneous ideas and scene situations dictate the final shape of the book.

Richard O’Rawe: On Enjoying the Writing Process

Were there any surprises in the writing process for this book?

I guess, for me, the biggest surprise was in how much I enjoyed writing it! I love this guy, “Ructions” O’Hare and, when you add him to his lover, Eleanor Proctor, Hermann Goering, the money-launderer, Serge Mercier, “Tiny” Murdoch and the IRA, Neo-Nazis, Interpol, the Irish police, and other individuals, you can create an absorbing panorama.

What do you hope the readers will get out of the book?

I hope the readers enjoy the trip! This book is fun, written to entertain, rather than educate. I just hope the readers can join Master Ructions in his Treasure Island adventure.

If you could share one piece of advice with other writers, what would it be?

Hang in there! You’ll get rejections. All of my books were initially rejected by publishers.

Remember: At the end of the day, a rejection is based on opinion, and another publisher may well have a different opinion. Keep your head up, my friend.

Grammar and Mechanics

Do you remember the difference between the 8 parts of speech and how to use them? Are you comfortable with punctuation and mechanics? No matter what type of writing you do, mastering the fundamentals of grammar and mechanics is an important first step to having a successful writing career.

Click to continue.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 616

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a deep thoughts poem.

Writing a Debut Novel as a Woman of a Certain Age

Writing a Debut Novel as a Woman of a Certain Age

Debut novelist Barbara Graham discusses the experience of publishing her debut novel in her 70s and how life experience made her story more powerful.

In a Dream

In a Dream

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, set your story inside a dream.

Writer's Digest Best General Resources Websites for Writers 2022

Writer's Digest Best General Resources Websites for Writers 2022

Here are the top general resource websites as identified in the 24th Annual 101 Best Websites from the May/June 2022 issue of Writer's Digest.

From Our Readers

What Book Ended in a Way That You Didn’t Expect but Was Perfect Anyway?: From Our Readers (Comment for a Chance at Publication)

This post announces our latest From Our Readers question: What book ended in a way that you didn’t expect but was perfect anyway? Comment for a chance at publication in a future issue of Writer's Digest.

From Script

A Deep Emotional Drive To Tell Stories (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, read interviews with filmmakers Wendey Stanzler and Maria Judice. Plus a one-on-one interview with Austin Film Festival’s executive director Barbara Morgan.

Paul Tremblay: On Starting With the Summary

Paul Tremblay: On Starting With the Summary

Award-winning author Paul Tremblay discusses how a school-wide assembly inspired his new horror novel, The Pallbearers Club.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: An Interview with Steven Rowley and Jessica Strawser, 5 WDU Courses, and More!

This week, we're excited to announce our interview with Steven Rowley and Jessica Strawser, 5 WDU courses, and more!

Writer's Digest Best Everything Agent Websites for Writers 2022

Writer's Digest Best Everything Agent Websites for Writers 2022

Here are the top websites by and about agents as identified in the 24th Annual 101 Best Websites from the May/June 2022 issue of Writer's Digest.