Friday, October 28, 2011

John Harvey

John Harvey is the author of the 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.

His latest book is a collection of short stories, A Darker Shade of Blue.

From his Q & A with PBS:

You’re a fan of American crime fiction and jazz. What about the American aesthetic appeals to you?

You’ve got to understand that, growing up in Britain in the 1950s as I did, an austere place where food rationing persisted for some years after the end of WW2, most things American seemed particularly exciting. And, as a young man who developed a love of jazz and blues and of American cinema and literature while still at school, it was only natural that American culture – and popular culture, in particular – seemed far more interesting than anything that was being produced in the UK. Brash, bright and, yes, exciting.

I can remember, for instance, the first time I ever heard Elvis Presley – I would have been 17 or so and his recording of “Heartbreak Hotel” came on the juke box in the 2Is coffee bar in London’s Soho. When my friend Jim and I were around the same age, and having just read all of Raymond Chandler, we used to walk around trying to make up perfect first lines for a “new” Chandler novel.

You’re a prolific writer across multiple genres and media. Do you approach writing differently when you’re working on a poem versus a script, versus a piece of music—or do you have a common approach to all?

Poems tend to get written – when they get written at all these days – in the odd spaces between the bits and pieces of the day. Scripts – more likely to be for radio these days than for TV – are written in short bursts over the length of a day. Writing fiction – the real work, as far as I am concerned – happens...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue