27 November 2010

Book Savvy Spotlight on Julius Falconer

Bringing you exclusive interviews with authors featured in the Book Savvy Newsletter.
Our Guest is Julius Falconer, a retired teacher and member of the Crime Writers’ Association. He writes detective stories that are clever, witty, erudite and stylish. The novels are a genuinely refreshing approach to good old murder mystery, a new style of penmanship for the hardened mystery fan.
Enjoy the interview.
Q1: Can you tell us a little about your book (The Spider's Banquet) featured in the of Book Savvy Newsletter?
A valuable mediaeval manuscript is kept, unknown except to a few scholars, in an isolated monastery, until, in a bewildering sequence of events, it is copied, sold and stolen - not necessarily in that order - and the focus of deaths. Real history is interwoven with fiction as the detectives seek to unravel the web of deceit and murder and to identify the spider at its centre. (The title is a reference to Roussel's ballet of 1913, but its relevance becomes properly apparent only at the end of the novel.)

Q2: When you write what emotion do you seek to evoke in your readers?
Not an emotion so much as an intellectual stimulation: joy in the things of the mind!

Q3: Many of the book reviews for your novel have described it as enthralling, intriguing, full of suspense as well as entertaining and even erudite, how do you manage to combine all these virtues in a detective crime novel?
I try not just to tell a story but to embellish it with outside references intended to set up resonances and provide interest for the reader. I make sure I check that there is a proper balance between developing particular points and moving the story forward with a variety of styles (e.g. narrative, conversation, authorial commentary) and changes of scene where appropriate. I also try to appeal to readers' interest in forensic detail, in the psychology of murder, in the breaking of alibis, in 'thrills' and in the more intellectual aspects of the genre. I give the reader a chance of solving the crime. I use a style of English that I think will gain and hold the reader's attention.