We’re looking forward to hosting Andrew Grant with his wife, Tasha Alexander, for a special discussion this Sunday, October 20th, at 4PM.
Andrew’s character David Travellyan is a lethal British Naval Intelligence officer whose first two adventures, Even and Die Twice, take place in the United States. This time, he’s back in England in More Harm Than Good.
We caught up with Andrew to chat about writing and his character.
MYSTERYPEOPLE: How did the character of David Trevellyan come about?
ANDREW GRANT: David Trevellyan’s character came about through the combination of a number of factors. Some are practical – I wanted him to be capable of appearing in a series of books, so I needed him to work for an organization that gave him the flexibility to appear in any location and get involved in any issue that appeals to me over the years. Also, I knew I’d be putting him in some pretty hair-raising situations, so I had to have a credible explanation for the range of skills he would need to display in order for him to survive.
But, the main consideration was that I wanted to create a hero who was driven by his own internal sense of right and wrong. Someone who did the right thing purely for the sake of doing the right thing, regardless of personal risk and with no desire for reward.
MP: What makes him a great character?
AG: I find it hugely satisfying to use him as way to pit right against wrong. I also enjoy the escapism of letting him do the things we’d all like to do in real life but can’t without being fired or arrested.
MP: Like Trevellyan, your are an Englishman in the U.S. Does being an outsider give you a unique perspective on the country?
AG: I don’t know whether it gives a unique perspective, but I certainly find it makes spotting the little nuances in language, customs, expectations, behavior etc., easier. I hope these details then show through in my books.
MP: Are there any influences you draw from?
AG: None specifically, but I’ve read a great deal of crime fiction over the years. So, my aim is to include in my books all the kinds of things I like from the genre as a whole and leave out everything I’m not so keen on.
MP: You will be appearing with your wife, Tasha Alexander, at BookPeople on October 20th. What’s the best thing about having a spouse who is a fellow crime fiction writer?
AG: The best thing about being married to a fellow writer is that she understands the craziness that takes hold at various times during the process of completing a book, such as: the days you want to beat your head on the desk because the strands of your plot won’t come together, or the bizarre euphoria that comes from finally figuring out how an imaginary character can escape from a made-up predicament which only exists inside your head. Not to mention, the enormous heap of pizza boxes that comes to build up when you’re in touching distance of finishing your first draft and you’ve completely succumbed to tunnel vision…
More Harm Than Good is available on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.