Looking at your published library, it is clear that you are fascinated by history. Your first novel, THE THIEF OF TIME, features a 256-year-old protagonist reflecting on the historical contributions he made in his life. THE CONGRESS OF ROUGH RIDERS is a re-telling of the life of Buffalo Bill Cody, told from the point of view of his fictional great-grandson William. CRIPPEN, your third novel, is the story of Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen who was chased by the Scotland Yard in 1910 after he murdered his wife. And now a novel about the Holocaust. Where did this preoccupation with history arise and what might you be tackling next?
It's always been my preoccupation. I've always loved reading about the past and studying it. As a young writer I don't think I ever set out to be a historical novelist (I'm not even sure I am one), but it seems to be what I enjoy doing the most and I think I'm getting better at it. I was on a stage once with 2 other writers and an audience member asked us about historical writing; one of the writers dismissed it entirely as utterly pointless (and indeed, his own novels are all set in contemporary times) but I found that such a comment showed a very small understanding of how literature works. Without historical novels we would never have William Golding's Sea Trilogy. Or Robert Graves' Claudius novels. Or a contemporary writer like Sarah Waters' wonderful books. The idea that you can't explore contemporary themes in a historical setting is ludicrous. Do I want to write a novel set today? Only if I have the right story to tell. The times don't matter at all, it's always the story, the story, the story.
I work for Darlington Libraries in County Durham. I see you have a new book out in September. Are you doing any library visits to promote the book? If so, would you please consider us, we are celebrating our 125th anniversary in October.
The reading groups are all fans of yours!! best wishes,
Hi, I would like to know who is Jamie Lynch, the person that John Boyne had dedicated the book "The boy in the striped pajamas" to.
Looking forward for an answer,
MartaBarros, from Portugal
David Fickling Books
31 Beaumont Street