Aifric Campbell is the author of “The Semantics of Murder”, a novel inspired by an unsolved murder in
Q1. What are you writing at the minute?
A novel I never expected to write! It’s a ghostly tale of unresolved loss partly inspired by the story of a bunch of Canadian soldiers who lived in my house during WW2 and were killed at
In August, I’ll be returning to the abandoned novel which is set in the global financial markets in the 1980s when greed was good. A sort of female version of “Bonfire of the Vanities” but set in
Q2. Can you give us an idea of Aifric Campbell’s typical up-to-the-armpits-in-ideas-and-time writing day?
Up by 6am – it’s a hangover from my time working the markets and anyway I’m a lousy sleeper. If I’m not lecturing I prefer to write in the morning and edit in the afternoon. Anything I write after 8pm is usually garbage. I take my son to school & walk the dogs (one arthritic lab and one crazy puppy) out on
And I read. I have long reading lists (in fact I have all sorts of lists…
Q3. What do you do when you’re not writing?
Think about writing. Feel guilty that I’m not writing… I get pretty cranky if I’m not writing for more than a few days. So it’s better for everyone if I never stop for very long. Thus the notebook comes on hols. I read a lot. Watch my son play football – a LOT. I love movies and get to the theatre as much as I can. We lived in
Q4. Any advice for a greenhorn trying to break into the crime fiction scene?
The same as for the writer of any kind of fiction: Always be reading. Always be writing. Don’t give up the day job! Getting published is often a very long haul. Writers don’t often speak about how much and how long they’ve written for before they got their first deal. “The Semantics of Murder” was the 3rd novel I’d written but the first to get published. I can see now that it was also by the far the best of the 3! I think you have to be prepared to cut your teeth like that, work hard and be strong in the face of rejection. When I first came to
Q5. Which crime writer(s) have impressed you this year?
Benjamin Black (I am a big fan of Banville and enjoyed this new departure), Fred Vargas, Tana French and I am about to start Borderlands.
Q6. What are you reading right now?
Excluding military research for my novel, the following mixture is pretty typical: Per Petterson “Out Stealing Horses” Helen Schulman “A Day at the Beach” Steg Larsson (I lived in
Q7. Plans for the future?
More lists! Finish the ghost book. Start book 3. Learn the rules of rugby. Teach the puppy to stop chasing deer. Overcome my fear of deep water.
Q8. With regards to your writing career to date, would you do anything differently?
No. It worked for me.
Q9. Anything you want to say that I haven’t asked you about?
I’ll bow out and say thanks now. After all, you have to type this in!Thank you, Aifric Campbell!