Tuesday, November 9, 2010

John Harvey

John Harvey is the author of eleven Charlie Resnick novels and the Frank Elder series, and is a recipient of the Silver Dagger Award, the Barry Award, and the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for lifetime achievement, among other honors.

From author J. Sydney Jones' interview with Harvey about Nottingham, the setting for the Resnick novels:

What things about Nottingham make it unique and a good physical setting in your books?

Nottingham is quite a small, compact city, in which those with little money can live more or less cheek by jowl with the more fortunate. It also, together with the surrounding area, has a long-held reputation for toughness and violence – something which escalated in the 90s largely due to media emphasis on the city as a site for gun crime.

Like a lot of British cities it has seen its industrial base progressively eroded and the late-80s, when I started writing the Resnick series, was a time of high unemployment and dissatisfaction - it was that background that I wanted to bring into the books. I suppose I’m more interested in writing about characters whose actions, criminal and otherwise, stem from sociological and economic reasons rather than individual psychological ones and writing a series of books in the same urban location gives me the opportunity to do that.

Did you consciously set out to use your location as a “character” in your Resnick books, or did this grow naturally out of the initial story or stories?

I think that as the series developed I became more conscious of the extent to which Nottingham and the surrounding area were an important part of the books’ texture.

How do you incorporate location in your fiction? Do you pay overt attention to it in certain scenes, or is it a background inspiration for you?

I’ve always found...[read on]
Also see Ali Karim's 2008 interview with John Harvey at The Rap Sheet.

--Marshal Zeringue