Tuesday, October 13, 2009


The final part of my interview with prize winning crime fiction writer Philip Kerr.

14] On page 335 of A Quiet Flame Bernie gives a long list of those he blames for the rise of the Nazis. There were obviously many factors unique to Weimar Germany but do you ever worry that this situation could arise in the next few years in the UK?

No. The British are too keen on television and shopping for anything like this to happen. But I would welcome London becoming more like Weimar Berlin in a number of respects. At the very least I should like to see a lot more nudism in London's parks. And women wearing suspenders.

15] It is said that authors need talent, hard work and luck. Which of these do you think is most important? Do you think people appreciate crime writing as much as literary writing and understand that crime fiction is by far the biggest selling genre?

You need all three. But the most important thing of all is hard work. I know I did.
The great Geoffrey Boycott [a famous Yorkshire and English Test cricketer] once commented that he had worked bloody hard to be so lucky. There's truth in that, just as there's truth in nearly everything Sir Geoff says.
I try not to talk about my work and myself too much. I think I'm a very boring person to be honest. All of what's interesting about me goes into my books.

There is always a lot of special pleading for crime writing. But I think it gets as much appreciation as it deserves. If people didn't appreciate it they wouldn't buy it. End of story.
I see lots of good reviews in the newspapers for crime writers so I guess you're talking about things like the Booker and I really don't think anyone should be upset if they don't win that. Some terrible novels have won the Booker.
Besides it seems there are plenty of awards and rewards for crime writing and I think it's a good thing if people who often write very worthy but boring books should have their own little ghetto where their books can achieve a certain kind of success.

Thanks very much for the interview Phil, and the best of luck with If The Dead Rise Not for that elusive CWA Ellis Peters Award.

Part one, part two, part three, part four of this interview.

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