Michael Dobbs served as Chief of Staff to British Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major and was Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party in the mid-1990s. His many books include House of Cards, the first in what would become a trilogy of political thrillers based on the character Francis Urquhart.
His latest novel is The Reluctant Hero.
From his Q & A with Anna Metcalfe for the Financial Times:
What book changed your life?Read the complete Q & A.
It sounds self-indulgent but it was House of Cards. I wrote it by accident and it took my life in a completely different direction.
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Who are your literary influences?
I used to aspire to John le Carré and Frederick Forsyth. Now I read more widely to see how other people do it. I’m still learning this craft of writing.
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What book do you wish you’d written?
The Gospel According to St John. I’m fascinated by Bible stories, not because I’m religious but because it’s a period of history that raises so many questions for me.
Read about Michael Dobbs and his books, and see his list of five great fictional prime ministers.
The Page 69 Test: The Lords’ Day.