1. When did you find out you wanted to be a writer?

When I was nine years old. I made a stab at a novel but only got a couple of pages into it before I figured out how hard it was.

 

2. Was the first book you wrote ever published, or just lain aside?

My first book was “Blue Water, Green Skipper”, a memoir of the time when I sailed in a single-handed race across the Atlantic, and it was published.

 

3. How about the success of your first published novel?

That was “Chiefs”, which was made into a six-hour miniseries for American television and shown all over the world.

 

4. What attracts you to the genre you write?

I never aimed for a genre; I just wrote the sort of books I’d like to read myself. I was surprised when “Chiefs” won an Edgar.

 

5. Do you work with an agent, and if so, what are the benefits to you?

Indeed, yes! He submits my work to publishers, negotiates contracts world-wide and deals with all the legal aspects of my career.

 

6. Can you handle criticism?

I handle constructive criticism, but I’ve had very little of that. The rest, I ignore.

 

7. Do you think writing is a lonely profession?

Yes. I spent my youth in advertising, collaborating with other people. It was something of a shock when I moved to Ireland and began working on my first novel, but I learned to enjoy solitude, an important thing for any writer.

 

8. Do you use personal experience (and I mean this in a broad sense) in your novels?

Of course. Every writer does. This doesn’t mean that I have Stone Barrrington’s sex life.

 

9. Do you intend to write “until the end”?

I’ll write as long as I can think and move my fingers.

 

10. Would you mind telling us what books you love to read (if given the time)?

I read mostly history and biography. Right now, I’m reading Conrad Black’s biography of Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill’s History of the Second World War.


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© 2005 Nickie Fleming/Jansan