Hi all, Brooklyn here and I’m excited to bring you a recent interview I conducted with the writer, composer, actor and all round dapper fellow, Hugh Fraser! This was particularly exciting for me seen as I loved and still love watching him bring Captain Hastings from Poirot to life, but as of late he’s recently published some crime books of his own! I say, Harm is a ripper of a read (I must read its successors) and I’m definitely excited to see what comes next for Hugh!
You can find the interview below (Hugh’s answers appear in italics).
1. What inspired you to write Harm, Threat & Malice? And what was the inspiration behind your lead character, Rina Walker?
I wrote a couple of plays and a radio series years ago, and when I decided to attempt to write a book I though I’d try a crime novel because I’ve always enjoyed the genre myself.
I’ve always collected the black and white photographs of Bert Hardy and Roger Mayne, who documented the street life in the deprived areas of the inner cities during the post war period and I think my idea for Rina came from those street scenes and the Teddy boys and girls who appeared in them.
2. Do you have a specific time of day or routine that you follow either during or before you write?
I write from 9am to 1pm with a coffee break at 11am. (That’s the theory anyway).
3. You brought audiences so much joy bringing Agatha Christie’s Captain Hastings to life, what are some of your favourite memories from playing the role?
Filming the Poirot series was a great time. I really enjoyed going to the Art Deco houses, usually beautifully preserved by their owners, as well as the foreign locations. It was also a joy to work with so many guest actors and be in a series that attracted a following so quickly.
4. Do you have a personal favourite or favourites of Dame Agatha Christie’s books? (Spoiler ahead)
Curtain is my favourite because of the intricate plot construction and the moving way she depicts the death of Poirot.
5. What are some of your own favourite authors and books?
My favourite author is Martin Amis. He’s a genius with language and his characters leap off the page. My favourite books of his are: Money, The Information and Yellow Dog. I also like Elmore Leonard and James Ellroy, of the American school of crime writers, and John Updike and Ian McEwan too.
6. You’ve read many Agatha Christie mysteries as audiobooks, and I’ve found you read each character really well; is there a process you follow to get into each character?
Not really, Agatha Christie could create a rounded and believable character in a couple of lines, which is a great part of her talent, and I found that I could ‘hear’ the characters quite easily through her writing.
7. If you could offer any piece of advice to any aspiring author, what would you say?
I’d say go for a genre that you enjoy reading yourself and just sit down and have a go.
Thank you Hugh, it’s been a pleasure.
You can follow Hugh on Twitter @realHughFraser