Friday, April 16, 2010

“I Was Drawn to the Combination
of Russian Angst and Axe-Murdering”

Crime Scraps blogger Uriah Robinson (aka Norman Price) has spent much of the last week posting his terrific four-part interview with British author and Rap Sheet contributor R.N. “Roger” Morris. I was lucky recently to procure a copy of Morris’ new, third Porfiry Petrovich historical mystery, A Razor Wrapped in Silk (Faber and Faber), which has been keeping me up--pleasurably--over the last few nights. And reading this interview in installments provided a fine accompaniment to the book.

In the course of their exchange, Morris tells Robinson that he was always destined to become a crime-fictionist:
I loved writing stories as a child. And I loved those complicated imaginative games where you make up characters and situations and adventures. I was always pretending to be someone else.

I really wanted to be called Napoleon, after Napoleon Solo from The Man from U.N.C.L.E. I thought he was the coolest person in the world and I really felt badly let down by parents for not calling me Napoleon. It took me quite a time to get over that.

The Avengers were a big influence on me too. I remember dressing up as Steed. I've seen my kids play similar games. Sometimes they’ve gone on for days. But also I loved reading. From a very young age it occurred to me that writing was the best job on earth. It just took me an awful long time to get there.
Part I of the Morris interview can be found here; Part II is here; Part III is here; and the final segment is available here.

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