Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the three hundred and fifty-second, is of multi-genre writer Roger Hurn. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at author-spotlights.
He has had over 90 books published as well as musical plays, CD-Roms and the Oxford English eQuest digital literacy series.
His book: The Beast of Hangman’s Hill was selected by The Book Trust for their Bookbuzz List 2012/13 and his collection of folk tales: East of the Sun, West of the Moon was chosen by Scholastic as one of their Great Reads for World Book Day 2009.
His first crime book Business is Murder, featuring London-based private investigator Ryan Kyd, went to number one on the Amazon Kindle Singles chart. The following two books in the series Hand of Darkness and The Dead of Winter have been equally successful.
Roger is also man who enjoys keeping fit and he has written a book and DVD on fitness and dance for A & C Black, 101 Dance Ideas. He co-authored it with Cush Jumbo a young Olivier Award nominated actress who won the Evening Standard’s Best Newcomer Award 2013. The book is aimed at fighting the obesity epidemic that is plaguing so many of our children but Roger says that even someone with two left feet like himself can use the DVD to have fun and keep in shape!
Back in the dim and distant past, Roger was an actor in the Exploding Trouser Company and he also won The Weakest Link on BBC TV. He was the drummer and chief lyric writer of a band that once had a hit record in Turkey (though sadly nowhere else!) and, on a storytelling trip to West Africa, Roger was given the title Mallam Oga (Wise teacher, Big Boss). Or, at least, that’s what the locals assured him Mallan Oga means!
In his spare time he plays seven-a-side football for a local team and, to the horror of music lovers everywhere, plays guitar in a band!
And now from the author himself:
When I was a young lad my dad, who was a voracious reader, caught me with my nose buried in an Agatha Christie novel. ‘Why on Earth are you reading that book, boy?’ he demanded. I couldn’t see what the problem was. After all, it wasn’t as if it was Lady Chatterly’s Lover or anything. I shrugged. ‘I dunno, Dad. Don’t you want me reading books about murder?’
My father sighed. ‘The subject matter isn’t the problem,’ he replied. ‘The problem is that there are only two types of book – those that are well written and those that aren’t. That book is badly written. If you want a well written book that takes crime as its theme then read everything you can by Raymond Chandler.’
Well, I’d never heard of Raymond Chandler but when Dad gave me a copy of The Big Sleep a few days later I was hooked. I knew then that I wanted to be a private eye and meet femme fatales and go down those mean streets solving crimes that were about far more than just a matter of who-dun-it.
Of course that never happened. I’ve done a variety of things in my adult life but, to my regret, becoming a hard boiled private eye hasn’t been one of them. However, a year or so ago I was in a publisher’s office pitching an idea I had for a new children’s book and getting absolutely nowhere. The publishing directors were looking at me with baleful expressions and even my editor was surreptiously distancing herself from me when I suddenly switched tack and started talking about an idea that had just popped into my head for a Chandleresque private investigator based in the mean streets of Deptford in South East London – only this book would be for adults not children. Suddenly everyone in the room sat up and starting taking notice as I outlined the setting and plot line for what eventually became Business is Murder. My editor told me later that I’d been about one minute away from being shown the door when my PI Ryan Kyd made his apprearance and saved my bacon. To this day I’m still not quite sure where the idea sprang from, but once I opened my mouth the words just tumbled out and Ryan Kyd and his world took shape in front of us. However, if I had to make a guess I’d say it started all those years ago when my dad opened my eyes to all things noir and planted the seed in my imagination.
Sadly, my dad’s been gone for a long time now so he’ll never get to read any of my Ryan Kyd books. I certainly have no idea if he’d think they were well written or not, but I try to tell the stories to the best of my ability and hope that somewhere dad isn’t shaking his head in despair at my efforts to emulate the man dad believed to be the finest crime writer who ever lived. (He also loved George Simenon’s books but that’s another story.)
You can find more about Roger and his writing via…
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Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group
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