I never wanted overnight success, which is just as well the way things turned out. What I sought most from writing was the chance to tell a range of stories over an extended period of time. A career that allowed me free rein to explore the kinds of material that have always interested me.
I know I get logged as a mystery, crime or thriller author these days, but I honestly haven’t seen myself this way. What I try to write is intelligent, popular fiction, the kind of book that’s been around for centuries. Some of my favourite authors – Robert Graves, MR James, Somerset Maugham, to name a few – managed to do this long ago without the need for labels. Today they seem inevitable but I don’t really try to fit into any particular genre myself.
Literature is, in a large part, about the frailty of humankind, and our sad realisation of those weaknesses in ourselves, and how they contrast with the beauty and self sacrifice that sits alongside the bleakness in us all. Crime is a way of representing that dichotomy in our natures, which is why writers have used it as a focal point for their stories for centuries. Does that make Hamlet a crime story? Or Treasure Island? I don’t know and frankly I don’t much care. Stories should speak for themselves, and I think they do.
Before Nic Costa came on the scene my career was something of a rollercoaster ride as I tried to identify what exactly I added up to as an author. I veered from thriller sci-fi in Solstice to rural gothic in Native Rites. And where exactly books like Epiphany and The Cemetery of Secrets fit I’ve no idea. Anyway, for the sake of record you can browse my back catalogue here. Not all of these books are in print, however, though most are available on audio. You can still usually find them second hand on places like Amazon if you’re interested.