MuggleNet had the pleasure of speaking with Godsent author, Richard Burton, about his book and the upcoming film adaptation. The book, which is a thriller with wild twists & turns that will keep you guessing right through to the very last page. Please note: This interview may contain spoilers.
MuggleNet: What inspired you to write Godsent?
Richard Burton: I have always enjoyed creative writing and really wanted to write a novel about a subject matter that had never been done before. My goal was to create an action-thriller that actually makes you think. Most thrillers are all about the action and explosions. I was inspired to write a story that had real characters, a deep plot and a strong emotional connection while at the same time being suspenseful and action packed.
MN: Do you believe there is a 2nd coming?
RB: I believe it is very possible that there will be a 2nd coming. The World has obviously changed so much since the time of Christ. Godsent deals with the world-wide ramifications and panic that could take place if people from all walks of life actually believed a son of God was on Earth again.
MN: If you had Ethan’s abilities what decisions would you make?
RB: That is an interesting question! If I was Ethan, I think it would be less about what decisions I would make and more about what messages I would want to convey to the world’s population. Mankind has generally become more divided and intolerant. Ethan would have very strong things to say about that.
MN: The Grand Inquisitor, a computer, decides whether someone is the Antichrist or not. Do you feel that computers have that kind of control and power over us?
RB: The Grand Inquisitor is a very powerful and sophisticated computer that has been cultivated for hundreds of years by the Catholic Church. Because of our rapid advancements in the technology fields, it is very possible computers of the future will be capable of that sort of analysis and much more!
MN: You hit on controversial issues in religion, like abortion, that are pretty bold. Has this been brought up by those who have read the book that are very religious? How did you respond? What made you decide to throw in these twists?
RB: I did not want to hold anything back when I wrote Godsent. The type of story it is demanded a willingness to go all the way or not at all. The feedback about the book has been amazing. I loved crafting all the twists and turns that take place in Godsent. The fact that any of those twists and turns are controversial made it even more fun.
MN: As a lawyer, how does Godsent and our judicial system cross paths? What do you wish was different?
RB: Godsent has a lot of social messages in it about things like fairness, compassion and honor. Our judicial system was founded on those types of principles. Like mankind in general, our judicial system has slipped away from some of its core principles. So, in that sense, the two intersect. A lot of writers who are lawyers write fiction around a legal setting. I decided to stay away from that topic in Godsent. There are no attorneys or courtrooms anywhere to be found in Godsent!
MN: Do you think there is a group like Conversatio within the church?
RB: I don’t know if there is an actual group today like Conversatio, but I am sure the Catholic Church has high ranking members within it who have the same goals that Conversatio has in Godsent.
MN: How involved are you going to be with the film adaptation?
RB: I am very excited about the movie deal and working with the production company behind the Twilight Saga series. They are allowing me to be a consultant about the development of the movie but I will not be involved step by step. An author loses some of that ability when he or she sells the movie rights to their book to a company like Imprint Entertainment. I will work as best I can to keep the movie version faithful to the book. We are all very excited to see Godsent come to life on the big screen.
MN: Now let’s talk casting! Do you have anyone in mind for any of the main characters?
RB: Several names have been thrown around for the lead characters. The only consensus so far though is that Anthony Hopkins would be awesome as “Papa Jim.”