I had the honor of interviewing British crime author, journalist, and blogger Julian Cole this morning, please check out his books and blog.-
Me: So, first question, you’re the author of 2 books?, tell us about them
JC: My two novels were published in the US by Minotaur books. They are crime novels set in York, but with a few twists. Each features the Rounder Brothers, one a chief inspector in York and the other a a private eye who works in the city after living abroad.
The Amateur History is a time-slip novel that concerns the kidnapping of a girl in York in 2001, the solution to which lies a century earlier in the life and death of a girl who lived in poverty in York. Much of the research for the historical parts of the novel were based on research carried out into poverty in York by Seebohm Rowntree, published as Poverty: A Study In Town Life.
Felicity’s Gate is set in the present and concerns the murder of a York artist who lives near York Cemetery. As Sam Rounder investigates the murder, he is drawn into the artist’s life and loves through a found diary and a hidden collection of her paintings depicting her lovers naked. Brother Rick, meanwhile, is hired to prove the innocence of the main suspect, the artist’s lover.
The novel was partly inspired by the cemetery as a location.
A third book, available on Amazon for Kindle, is The Baedeker Murders, which jumps between modern York and the Second World War when the city was bombed.
Me: So they’re based on actual history?, Sam is the chief inspector?, they sound Sherlock with a few twists.
JC: Certainly a few twists. Not so fiendish as Sherlock perhaps, but there is the sibling rivalry that pops up in the Conan Doyle stories. Inspired by history rather than based closely, fiction with a historical springboard. Felicity’s Gate is pretty much pure fiction, but inspired by a real place with a strong history.
Me: They sound great!, alot of books are turned into movies, any plans of these ever being scripted?
JC: Well, wouldn’t that be nice. No plans as yet, sadly, although there was once a flurry of interest but it disappeared as soon as it was briefly mentioned. Still writing though, tapping away on book and blog.
Me: Blogging at manonledge.WordPress.com ?, what kind of stuff can people find there?
JC: Well, I walked on that ledge five or six weeks ago when I was made redundant from my job as a journalist. I’ been in the same job for 27 years, running the features desk on the daily newspaper for York, editing, designing and writing. I was also a columnist for 25 years. So Man On Ledge is my attempt to chart and make sense of life after redundancy, recounting what this experience feels like, with various asides, columns if you will.
Me: So you’re burnt out on the redundancy of journalism?, was that a contributor to you becoming an author?, wanting something different.
JC: Well, not really. I was writing before I was made redundant. I don’t think journalism is redundant. Sadly, rather a lot of journalists are in this new almost post-print world. The blog is my attempt to make sense of things and to have fun too.
Me: So the way journalism is distributed has changed alot in the last 25 years?, and doesn’t make sense to you?
JC: Well, it makes as much sense to me as any other journalist originally raised on the printed page. The essentials are still there however the material is conveyed, the need to find stories and pass on important information. And I am still a journalist, just one adapting to a freelance world. The old ways go and new avenues open up, I guess.
Me: So you’re now freelance?, has that changed what assignments you get?
JC: What it’s changed is that I now have to look around for ideas and sell the idea to a newspaper. Before I was at the other end of things, sitting in the office and organising everything. Now I am looking for feature ideas to sell, while also writing another book.
Me: You’re writing a 4th book?, what’s this one about?, and when can we expect it?
JC: Still finishing the new book which will then be sent to my agent. Depends what sort of deal she can get. I’m keeping the details sketchy but it’s partly about a hit-man who turns killer to escape a life on benefits.
Me: Well we definitely look forward to it!:) so in almost 30 years of journalism, what have your favorite stories/articles been?
JC: Ah, the dreaded question. Probably the interviews I did early on in south east London with the likes of Squeeze, alternative comedians such as Norman Lovett (of Red Dwarf fame) and, more recently, a feature I wrote after spending a few hours working with a baker, and the last column I wrote for The Press, a farewell that generated much kind praise and interest. No earth-shattering exclusives because it’s not been my area. Just lots of honestly put together words.
Me: Interviewing squeeze must have been awesome though!:) so one last question, as you can tell from my blog, I’m a Christian, what are your spiritual views?, and how have they affected your writing?
JC: I am not a religious person, unlike yourself, but I guess we can all have spiritual values. My grandparents were religious, and my grandfather was a Methodist lay preacher, who refused to carry arms in the First World War on religious grounds, but went out as a stretcher bearer and survive the Battle of the Somme. His spiritual values have stayed with me to an extent.