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"My books have given comfort to people" – interview with Lindsey Davis

She is an English writer best known as the author of the Falco series set in ancient Rome. Her books are translated into many languages, serialised on BBC Radio 4 and recorded for audio. About writing, history, favorite writers and awards we talk with Lindsey Davis.

 / Fot. archiwum autorkiWhat was your inspiration to create Falko? How does it begin?
I was trying to be a writer, looking for something quite original. (You are not supposed to do that; you are meant to copy some established author, or publishers are terrified). I enjoyed Roman archeology and had the idea for a kind of private eye set in the great city of Rome, which equates to the classic metropolitan settings of ‘gumshoe’ novels. It was a joke to begin with, but I do try to be authentic as well.

So you are interested history and Roman Empire…
Yes, I think most English people who like history feel that the Romans, who ran our country for nearly five hundred years, are in some way ‘ours’. I like many aspects of their culture too.

Since 1989, you wrote 20 books about Falko stories. Do you plan do write next one?
All I know is that after writing the 20th Falco novel (Nemesis) and aslo Falco: the Official Companion in the same year, I need a breather. I do write other things, for instance my epic novel Rebels and Traitors, which is set in the English Civil War and Commonwealth of the Seventeenth Century. Whatever I do next will be a different kind of book.

Andrew Tayor told me, writing novels, criminal stories is lonely job for him. Do you have this same mind? Why did you decide to be a writer?
I always enjoyed writing and was probably born to do it. I probably do have a fairly solitary nature. It is a job where you have to go into your room and get the work done by yourself, and I understand what Andrew means. I don’t share the current fads for constant consultation with ‘peer groups’. A good writer has to have a strong sense of what they want to say and how it must be done, and that is sometimes quite lonely. I never talk about my work until it’s finished, so for most of a year, I have a project that’s only mine.

 / Fot. Zbigniew MielnikI found information you’ve been in all places, where you set the stories . Is it true?
I include visiting places as part of the research for a book. Apart from the fact I enjoy doing it, you can get the best sense of a place and unexpected ideas if you go there. But it is not true that I have been to every town my characters have visited, just some.

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Official website of Lindsey Davis: http://www.lindseydavis.co.uk/

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  • BB
  • 07.09.2010 18:10

Great author. I adore her Falco stories. Good interview. :)

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