Monday, March 08, 2010
Pro-File Christopher Fowler
Christopher Fowler is the acclaimed author of fifteen previous novels, including the award-winning FULL DARK HOUSE, and four other Peculiar Crimes Unit mysteries, WHITE CORRIDOR, THE WATER ROOM, SEVENTY-SEVEN CLOCKS, and TEN SECOND STAIRCASE. He lives in London.
Ed here: Christopher Fowler is one of my favorite writers. He's able to do it all--mystery, suspense and what I call urban dread as opposed to traditional horror. He also has an exceptionally intelligent and interesting website in which he comments on a variety of subjects. Many of his pieces in the magazine Black Static offer some of the keenest insights into the contemporary worlds of books and movies I've read anywhere. You can find his website here: http://www.christopherfowler.co.uk/
Pro-File: Christopher Fowler
1. Tell us about your current novel (or project).
I have three on the go - first up is 'Bryant & May Off The Rails', my ongoing dark detective series which this time has my elderly duo heading down into the London Underground to untangle the facts and fables of what goes on beneath city streets. Then there's 'The Horrors', a new collection of over twenty horror stories, followed by my first (very dark) thriller 'There's Something I Haven't Told You'. I tend to skip between the books throughout my working week.
2. Can you give a sense of what you're working on now?
Right now the thriller is on the front plate, so I'm researching the process of adoption (by calling people, internet searches and meeting couples who have adopted). The book's structure is unusual, so I'm seeing if there are any precedents for it, and what I should look out for if there are (it's easy to get tripped up on structure). The rest of writing, writing, rewriting. But I don't like to do too much in one go, because I think the strain shows.
3. What is the greatest pleasure of a writing career?
Probably getting feedback from readers. I received a finished copy of a new book recently and put it straight in a cupboard without even showing my partner - but I'l always proudly display reader comments which hit the nail on the head.
4. What is the greatest DISpleasure?
The sheer stuck-indoors-ness of it all. I write full-time and work at home. Plus, writers have to run blogs, sites, and do their own presentations to publishers now. I find that part boring but a necessary evil.
5. If you have one piece of advice for the publishing world, what is it?
Restore the faith in your brand by concentrating on certain types of book, instead of chasing anything and everything. You devalue your image and look like you're panicking all the time.
6. Are there two or three forgotten mystery writers you'd like to see in print again?
More Margery Allingham, John Dickson Carr, Dorothy Bowers, Francis Durbridge, and republish Michael McDowell's masterful 'Blackwater' sextet.
7. Tell us about selling your first novel. Most writers never forget that moment.
I met the very scary head of Century Hutchinson books, who announced he'd bought my novel and expected me to repay his faith in me by selling more than 100,000 copies - it was both an exhilarating and terrifying moment to realise I was suddenly in the big league, and that things were expected of me!