Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Garry Disher

Garry Disher is one of Australia's best-known novelists. He's published over 40 books in a range of genres: crime thillers, literary/general novels, short-story collections, novels for adolescents and children, and writers' handbooks.

From his Q & A with PBS:

You’ve said you knew as a child that you wanted to be writer—what about it appealed to you?

I owe a great deal to my father. He made sure we kids were keen readers (later when I taught writing I discovered that many would-be writers are not readers), and I came to see it would be a fine thing to lead readers into imagined worlds and experiences. Also, my father didn’t read to us at bedtime but told his own stories, and seeing someone use his imagination to create characters, settings and situations was a powerful influence. Finally, he taught me a valuable lesson about pacing, for my bedtimes were a series of cliffhanger endings, my father stopping at a high point of tension with the words, “I’ll finish this tomorrow night, son”.

You’re prolific in a variety of genres—what do you like about crime fiction in particular?

Crime novels are often seen as cheap and quick and their virtues are overlooked. They tell a good story; the reading process isn’t passive; they’re a barometer of prevailing social tensions; we can’t deny the appeal of the hero; and we like to see order restored or good triumph over evil (though I do admire the ambiguous endings of good crime novels).

The protagonists of your two crime series are on opposite sides of the law. Do you relate to Hal Challis and Wyatt differently? Is one more difficult to get inside than the other? Is one more fun than the other?

Perhaps Challis represents...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue