After writing several short stories in the seventies, Richard Woolley began his first novel, Back in 1984, in the late eighties. But, as other creative and academic projects took precedence, he did not finish the book until 2004 – and, even then, put it to one side. In 2005, a second novel, Sad-eyed Lady of the Lowlands, was written, but again, on completion, locked up in a virtual drawer. Finally, after writing a third novel, Friends and Enemies, in New Zealand, Woolley decided to come out of the authorial closet and push for publication of all three books. Despite – or, perhaps, because of – being a filmmaker and screenwriter, he has always suspected that the written word, in its literary form, offers both writer and reader more scope than film or TV.

He has since published a further three books starting with the utopian, speculative novel SEKABO published in 2014 and followed by BREAD OF HEAVEN and STRANGER LOVE, both published in 2016. The former offers a reworking and expansion of tthe second half of BACK IN 1984 combined with a feature film script about the 1984 miners' strike originally written by Woolley in 1985. The latter reconstucts events surrounding the first meeting in New Zealand/Aotearoa of Europeans and Maori in December 1642 as seen through the eyes of Tasman's young nephew and the daughter of a Maori chieftain. All books are available online and have sold well worldwide. A new novel is in the pipeline and due for publication in 2018.

  • "Richard's descriptions of emotion are some of the best I have read by a man."
  • Angela Carter, in discussion at the University of East Anglia