Richard Rose
Richard Rose
Richard Rose is a native Hoosier, so even though he’s traveled around the country a bit, his new book, “The Lazarus Conspiracies,” still has some roots in Indiana, including the North Webster area.
Born in Kokomo, he lived there until he attended Wabash College for four years. He then served in the Army for 3-1/2 years. He and his wife, Kay, moved to Chicago and have lived there ever since.
In 1976, they bought a condo at Tippecanoe Lake. Richard said they’ve returned back to the lake ever since for three- to four-day weekends.
His first profession is as a first vice president at a major investment firm in Chicago, but writing has been a passenger in his life since college.
“Writing is something I did when I had the time to do it,” he said during an interview Monday morning.
Richard wrote his first mystery novel in 1979 titled “The Satyr Candidate.” Before that, however, he mostly wrote short stories at Wabash and had two published in literary magazines.
He collaborated with an associate, Robert Nussbaum, in Chicago in writing and announcing the first television coverage of the stock market on WFLD-TV, he said. They moved to a major station radio where he continued to write and announce spot market reports, along with commercial spots.
After his first novel, Richard started writing screenplays and teleplays, some in collaboration with his brother. In the mid-1980s, their work took them out to California where they started meeting with lots of people. Two of their screenplays, he said, were optioned, one by Don Johnson Productions and another by Graham Henderson, the associate producer of “Hoosiers.”
The last screenplay Richard wrote was “The Lazarus Project.” It was a top 10 finalist in a screenwriting competition in Chicago. Though it didn’t become a movie, he used the screenplay as a basis for his novel “The Lazarus Conspiracies.”
To make it into a novel, he said he spent more time on developing the characters. It turned out to be a longer book than he anticipated, and that made him apprehensive.
According to a synopsis of the book, “A maverick Chicago cop uncovers a conspiracy that people with immense power will stop at nothing, not even murder, to keep secret. Set up as the killer of his only witness, he must find a way to clear himself and expose the conspiracy, which changes the course of history.”
One of the main characters of the book, he said, is a vagrant. To write about vagrants, he said he got to know one, a man named Merv. The man read what Richard wrote and told him what he thought.
“Through Merv the vagrant came alive,” Richard said.
Two of the other main characters are special victims police detectives, so he called up Detective John DeBartolo, now retired, to help him write about those characters. DeBartolo would pick Richard up in his unmarked car and take him out on cases.
“A lot of the research I had to do was on the street,” Richard remarked.
The book took Richard four years to write, and he finished it two years ago. The editing phase took another 1-1/2 years.
“It was longer than I anticipated, but it turned how to be a much better book than what I had submitted,” he said of the editing.
“The Lazarus Conspiracies” was released in August, and Richard said they’re in the process of marketing it now. While many events are planned for the book in Chicago, he will have a book signing for it Saturday at the Elks Lodge on Lake Manitou in Rochester during OctoberFest, 6 to 9 p.m.
“It’s exciting and fun, but it’s work,” Richard acknowledged.
Kay said the cover model of Richard’s book is their friend, former “General Hospital” actress Irene Michaels.
“We did a few photo sessions with her to get the right look. We finally got that photo that really gave the flavor of who (the character) is,” Kay said.
Kay also heaped praise upon her husband’s work.
“Dick is a very gifted writer,” she said. “He’s especially gifted in writing and very passionate about what he’s writing. He does in-depth research of every aspect of his book.”
When Richard went out with the detective on cases, Kay said she would get very nervous about where he was going and doing.
“A lot of time he went into seedy areas and I asked him when it was going to end,” she said.
But his work paid off, she said. When you read the book, you can visualize the characters.
“There are so many twists and turns in Dick’s book, so when the reader thinks they know where it will end, they don’t. Once you start it, it’s very hard to put it down. You’re very absorbed,” Kay assured.
Richard’s publisher, Savant Books and Publications LLC, already is asking for a sequel, though he’s just completed another novel,” The Gumshoe,” set in Chicago in circa 1947. He said the sequel will mostly take place in the lake area here, as his book’s character has some unresolved issues.
To order “The Lazarus Conspiracies,” visit amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com or get it directly from the publisher at savantbookstorehonolulu.com
More information about Richard can be found on his website at richardroseonline.com