CRIME FICTION AUTHOR
So what I can tell you about myself that’s not only marginally interesting but also might help you understand my reasons for writing crime fiction?
It was after reading the novel ‘The Stranger’ by Albert Camus that I stumbled upon the philosophy of the absurd. Camus believed that there was no purpose to life; that everything was absurd and things just happened by chance. He believed that we were born alone to die alone and what happened in between was simply an enigmatic mystery.
However, it was Rudyard Kipling’s novel, Kim, that turned my attention to India and, after completing my ‘A’ levels, I spent my gap year touring that remarkable country in the hope of finding inspiration and purpose. My first visit lasted almost a year, the greater part of which was spent in an ashram in Orissa. My life and outlook changed dramatically as a result.
When I returned to the UK I gave up my Southampton University place (reading English) after receiving a job offer from a London production company that I couldn’t refuse. Breaking into the film industry had always been a dream but, in those days, one had to be a member of the film union if one wanted a job, but you weren’t able to join the union unless you had a job. It was a closed shop – classic protectionism – which, fortunately, no longer exists today. I initially trained as an assistant film editor, then editor, then worked freelance for the BBC for five years and eventually became a producer/director.
Roll forward a few decades and I am still a producer, but I now concentrate more on writing crime fiction. And whether it’s a screenplay or a novel, I always try to understand people’s inner motives, their foibles, their insecurities, and even if my protagonist is a mass murderer, I try to find some small spark of humanity in his character, something that provides a glimmer of hope. I also have one eye firmly fixed on the screen, especially now that I am working with an American production company, developing movie projects for the international market.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Even if my stories aren’t made into movies or TV shows, at least I will have tried. There’s no shame in that. You can only ever do your best.