Hugh Fraser is best known for playing Captain Hastings in Agatha Christie’s ‘Poirot’ and the Duke of Wellington in ‘Sharpe’. His films include Patriot Games, 101 Dalmatians, The Draughtsman’s Contract and Clint Eastwood’s Firefox. In the theatre he has appeared in Teeth’n’Smiles at the Royal Court and Wyndhams and in several roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He also composed the theme to Rainbow!
1. How did you get started writing?
I took a short story writing course with Guardian UEA under the tuition of the novelist Bernardine Evaristo which fired my enthusiasm.
2. What drew you to write a novel
It’s a form I’ve always enjoyed and when I showed the beginnings of my first effort to Bernardine, she encouraged me to persevere.
3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?
I’ve always enjoyed the gritty American school of crime writing – particularly Elmore Leonard and James Ellroy.
4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest?
I was lucky when a friend of mine, the actor and writer Robert Daws showed my first book to Matthew Smith of Urbane Publications and Matthew decided to publish it.
5. There are many interesting characters in your novel, do you have a particular favourite one?
I think it has to be my heroine Rina Walker, although I have great respect for her daughter Georgie.
6. What kind of research have you had to undertake for your novel?
Quit a lot of background reading and online research, particulary for the Mexican section of Harm. Also a great many biographies and memoirs of criminals, active in the Sixties.
7. Are the characters in your books based on any real life?
A couple, yes, but I’d rather not say which…
8. How do you feel about being on the list for the not so booker prize
Honoured, of course.
9. Do you see any of your character’s personality traits in yourself and vice versa? Thankfully no. And I hope I succeed in keeping my murderous urges under control in the future.
10. If you can, would you give us a sneak peek into any future novels you might have planned?
Nothing planned at the moment but I wouldn’t be surprised if Rina gets up to some more skulduggery at some point.
11. If you had the opportunity to write a novel with any crime writer alive or dead, who would it be and why
Elmore Leonard because I know he would make me adhere to his ten rules of writing (available online), which I regard as the holy grail of style.
12. Do you have words of advice you can share with anyone who is interested in writing a novel?
Write in a genre that you are going to enjoy and remember Kinglsey Amis’s response when he was asked to give advice about writing: “The art of writing is to apply the seat of one’s trousers to the seat of the chair”.
When a step out of line means a fight to the death…London 1967. A working girl is brutally murdered in a Soho club. Rina Walker takes out the killer and attracts the attention of a sinister line-up of gangland enforcers with a great deal to prove.
When a member of British Military Intelligence becomes aware of her failure to fulfill a contract issued by an inmate of Broadmoor, he forces her into the deadly arena of the Cold War, with orders to kill an enemy agent.
Rina needs to call upon all her dark skills, not simply to survive, but to protect the ones she loves.
Other books in the Rina Walker series
Stealth Amazon Book Page
Hugh Fraser Amazon Author Page