Sunday, August 31, 2008

"Is Brenda coming?"

Rachel Johnson has a very nice profile of Dick Francis and son/collaborator Felix at the Times Online:
Okay, but what about the violence and the injuries that all Dick Francis heroes have to sustain on a page-by-page basis? Both admit that Dick Francis heroes, all of whom are in some way injured, disappointed, lame or wing-down, are based on Francis père. Did the two men have the same approach to character, to violence and to, er, sex?

At the mention of physical pain and injury, Dick perks up. “As I’ve got older I’ve become no less violent,” he says cheerily.

“Yes, the Queen Mother did once complain you were getting too bloodthirsty,” Felix reminds him. “But the truth, Dad, is that the books are about what you’re about. Loyalty and courage. Not sex and violence.”
It is still slightly one of my life goals to write a thriller that has some of the appeal of a Dick Francis novel - I do not know that I quite have it in me, but it would be worth a shot. (The alternate universe where I am a writer of irresistible thrillers is less vivid and plausible to me than the universe where I am an epidemiologist specializing in science-fictional disaster scenarios. However on the whole I think I am pretty much in the right line of work as is. I am gaining self-knowledge with age!)

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