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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

WRITERS ON BOOKS ~ DAVID FOSTER

WRITERS ON BOOKS ~ DAVID FOSTER
 
As part of an ongoing series of blog posts, I’ve asked my Aussie compatriot, thriller writer David Foster, to help me kick off a new blog post sequence examining what books writers are reading and what books have influenced their lives. 
 
As the pseudonymous Jack Tunney, David delivered three of the most exciting novels in the Fight Card series (King of the Outback, Rumble In the Jungle, The Iron Fists of Ned Kelly)—each perfect examples of the fine line between action and pulp Fight Card was designed to deliver. As James Hopwood, David has also taken it upon himself to put the fun back in espionage fiction with three top notch adventures (The Librio Defection, The Danakil Deception, The Ambrosia Kill) featuring neophyte British spy Jarvis Love—Agent of G.I.N. (Global Intelligence Network).
 
Cheers, David, for taking time to consider these questions about the books in your life…
 
My pleasure, Paul.
 
THE BOOK YOU LOVED AS A CHILD…
 
My dad passed on a whole stack of Biggles books to me as a youngster, and the one that continues to stick in my memory after all these years, is Biggles and the Cruise of the Condor. I know Biggles has dated, and may not be politically correct these days, but for firing a young boy's imagination back in the day, Biggles was an absolutely fantastic series.
 
Editor Note: Biggles is a fictional pilot and adventurer featured in almost a hundred novels written for boys by W. E. Johns between 1932 and 1968. Many of the volumes are collectors’ items today.
 
A BOOK YOU WOULD READ TO YOUR KIDS…
 
Easily, the Harry Potter series. No question. But, as a curveball here—and maybe not my best parenting moment—I remember back when my son was about ten years old, he came into my bedroom while I was re-reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson. He jumped up on the bed beside me and we read it (or at least some of it) together, alternating reading page to page. That is to say, I would read a page—doing a poor Johnny Depp impersonation—and then he would read a page. I remember him laughing hysterically at the oddball descriptions of vampire bats etc. So, yeah, there's that!
 
THE BOOK THAT MADE YOU WANT TO BE A WRITER…
 
If you mean books that inspired me to become a writer, that's sort of difficult. Basically anything that jump-started my imagination—from Ian Fleming, Clive Cussler, or even Dan Brown (don't laugh—Dan tells a good tale). But if you want to know what pushed me to actually sit down and write, it’s actually two people rather than books. 
 
For years I toyed around writing little pieces here and there, never finishing anything. I had my blog, where I wrote short reviews of films and books, but that was nothing more than throw away stuff. Then two people entered my life. One of these people was Australian actor, Roger Ward. You may remember him from the original Mad Max, The Man From Hong Kong, Quigley Down Under and a whole host of Ozploitation Classics. Roger read a review I wrote for the movie, Stone, and commented upon it (correcting a few of my mistakes). Later when corresponding with Roger, I would sign my emails with Author of Permission to Kill, which was the name of my blog. Roger asked, what is this Permission to Kill? Is it a book? I had to admit it was just the name of my blog. But, I proudly spouted I had all these unfinished pieces I was  working on. Roger, in his usual direct manner said, and I paraphrase at best, Finish 'em off, Dave. They're not doin' anyone any bloody good sitting in your bottom drawer. It seems like such a simple comment, doesn't it? But it was one that really got me thinking about the difference between being a writer and pretending to be a writer. I had been a pretender.
 
Also at that time, a gentleman, who shall remain nameless for the moment, who also used to read my blog, published a novella. It was a simple little story about an LA cop, who was also an amateur fighter who gets caught up in a tangled web of vice and corruption. What I loved about this story was it was as thrilling and emotive as a full length novel, however it was short—maybe around 25,000 words, less than 100  pages. It taught me a good story didn't need to be a six hundred page behemoth. The book was also part of a series featuring different authors, so I thought, hey, I can do that!
 
So I asked the question, can I write an entry in the series? The answer was, yes. And that's where it all really began to come together. It forced me to finish something I started.
 
As some of you may have guessed, the writer was Paul Bishop and the book was Felony Fists…(sorry to piss in your pocket, Paul!)
 
YOUR FAVORITE CLASSIC…
 
The Three Musketeers.
 
THE CLASSIC YOU’VE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO READ…
 
The Big Nowhere. I have started it so many times, but just can't get into it.
 
THE CLASSIC YOU’VE PRETENDED TO HAVE READ…
 
The Lord of the Rings. Once again, one of those I have started on so many occasions, but just can't make the whole journey.
 
THE MOVIE ADAPTATION YOU’VE LOVED…
 
An obvious choice for me, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, because I think it improves on the book.
 
THE BOOK YOU’D LIKE TO SEE AS A MOVIE…
 
I like my movies loud and fast paced, with lots of gunfire and shit blowing up, so I'm going to say something like Matt Hilton's Joe Hunter series, starting at the beginning with Dead Man's Dust.
 
THE IMAGINARY PLACE WHERE YOU COULD LIVE…
 
Imaginary, eh? I don't read much fantasy, so that's tough. Maybe somewhere like a Bond villain's lair—however the lairs in the books aren't as swank as the ones in the films. Okay, how's this for obscure—the Caribbean volcano lair of Dominat, in the Mark Hood spy thriller, Black Napoleon (released in the US as Throne of Satan).
 
THE GENRE YOU’D READ IF YOU WERE LIMITED TO ONE…
 
Espionage
 
THE BOOK YOU’VE RETURNED TO AGAIN AND AGAIN…
 
Live and Let Die.
 
THE FICTIONAL FRIENDS YOU’D LOVE TO HAVE…
 
Dirk Pitt and Al Giordino. And Cliff Hardy.
 
THE LAST NOVEL TO MAKE YOU LAUGH AND THE LAST TO MAKE YOU CRY…
 
Maybe a slightly self-indulgent answer, because I have a story in the collection, but if you dive into the anthology Lee (stories about movie star, Lee Marvin) published by Crime Factory, you'll find a story by Johnny Shaw called The Big Red One. When I read it I was laughing so hard, I had tears streaming from my eyes – so that count's for both right?
 
WHAT YOU’RE READING NOW…
 
The Americanization of Sarah Gall by Jim Dow.
 
Thanks for your time, Paul. Great questions. I had a blast.
 
Back at you, my friend…Great answers…I’m heading right over to read The Big Red One
FOR MORE ON BOOKS BY DAVID FOSTER CLICK HERE
 

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff and nice to see a writer being interviewed and treated with the respect he deserves. Writers do most of the work in our creative world yet get little recognition. Dave is a great case in point, a fabulous writer yet hardly any recognition in the public eye. Thanks Paul, keep up the great work.

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