Monday, 11 March 2013

John Holt

Shah Fazli
John Holt, Thank you so much, and it is a real pleasure for everyone to have you here today, we see John in his pictures on facebook, etc., we read John's books, we communicate with John quite often, and we all think that we know John well, but when it comes to humor, John has always brought joy to us, then we know that we don't know John as well as we should, tell us how does it work for you John, please, where do you get all these motivation?

John Holt Good question Shah. I really don't know the answer to that. I supopose I get it from all round me, peole I see, places I go.

John Holt My father had a wicked sense of humour, and I suppose some of that rubbed of on me. I tend to see the good in things, rather than the bad. I see the fun side of life, There's no point in being miserable. Laugh and teh world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone. So what's next

Shah Fazli Thanks, now tell us a little bit more about your past and present please, so what is there that can make you sad, there might be nothing?

John Holt A little about my past. Well I used to be a Chartered surveyor, and I was a Senior Project manager with the Greater London Council, until it was closed down in 1986. then I set up in my own practice, doing architectural drawings for people who wanted extensions, or new houses. I designed quite a few houses. Then in 2004 I had a heart attack, and lost interest. What makes me sad - animal cruelty, child abuse

Wild Irish Poet congratulations John.. xx

John Holt Much appreciated my friend Wild Irish Poet - appropriately enough my wife is Irish, she's from Blackrock, just south of Dublin

Wild Irish Poet ah god. say hello to her from me and I hope your book does very well.....

Shah Fazli Yes, a good point, of course there are a lot of things that can make us sad as well, now tell us about your writing, do you remember when, and what it was about that you first started writing, it can be a love story?

John Holt Ah to be sure, tis a fine thing you're saying to me Wild Irish Poet. As for the book well I currently have four self published. "The Kammersee Affair" was inspired by a trip we took to Austria. We stayed in Grundlsee, in teh lake district. The next lake, just a mile away, Lake Toplitz was used by teh German Navy in the war to test missiles, rockets and torpedoes. as the war ended many items were hidden in the lake. their were rumours of nazi gold, but extensive searches never found any, but in my book they do.

John Holt After Kammersee there was "The Mackenzie Dossier", the first to feature my detective Tom Kendall. Then there was "The Marinski Affair" and "A Killing In The City". My fifth book "Epidemic" will be issued on Tuesday 12 March

Shah Fazli Thank you John, tell us about Tom Kendall a little please, does he have a girlfriend in the book, or he goes on his own?

John Holt Ah I've been asked this before. I'm not what you might call good at the romance, so no he doesn't have a girlfriend. Tom isn't really the romantic type. He's too laid back, and I suppose thinks too much of himself. There is a female character though, Mollie, who plays a very strong supportive (she would say leading) role. She is Tom's secretary and business partner. She will often point Tom in the right direction. Tom would never admit it but he really couldn't manage without her. What else can I tell you about Tom? Well he's very laid back, has a great sense of humour, not as fit as he would like - all very much like myself. He is dogged and once he gets an idea about something he will run with it

Shah Fazli I hear people in our interviews praising your Tom Kendall books, what do you think people love about them, I should have asked this from them, but thanks God you are here today, what do people say to you?

John Holt I think (I should say) I hope they like the fact that there is no bad language in my books. I hate foul language. I think they like the touches of humour. Like myself, Tom doesn't take himself, or life, too seriously. I think they like the plots. They certainly like Mollie and Tom as characters. I hope they continue to like them

Shah Fazli Thanks John, so in a way you are so much of a Tom Kendall character in the book, and that is why people love it, so how does he go round his business, can you describe one scene for us please, and a bit of his humour in it please?

John Holt Well let me just decribe a scene in "Epidemic" - Kendall has been asked to investigate the death of a young man. The police say it was an accident, the coroner says it was an accident, two witnesses saw the whole thing. It was an accident. Kendall asks Mollie what she thinks -

John Holt “What do you think?” Kendall asked her.
Mollie smiled. “I think that despite how it seems and whatever others say, Richard Dawson was murdered,” she replied. “Murdered by persons unknown, for reasons currently unknown.”
Kendall shook his head, and sighed. “How can you possibly come to that conclusion? All of the reports say otherwise, the police, the coroner.” He paused trying to think of what other reports there had been. He couldn’t think of any. “All of them,” he simply added. “I mean it’s so obvious, the evidence, the witnesses. It adds up to one thing and one thing only. It was an accident, a dreadful accident, but an accident nonetheless. What makes you think it was murder?”
Mollie looked up at him and smiled. “Because his mother thinks so, that’s why,” she replied. “And mothers should know, shouldn’t they?”
“And that’s it,” Kendall said, quite amazed. “It couldn’t be an accident because his mother said it wasn’t.” He shook his head. “I don’t believe this,” he said, wringing his hands. “Everything points to it being an accident, but you insist that it was murder. You weren’t there, were you? You didn’t see it, did you? His mother wasn’t there by any chance?” he continued. “There were two witnesses. They saw the whole thing.”

John Holt as I say Kendall is laid back, but he is also methodical, and works things out. Mollie is more impulsive she relies on her feelings. Usually she's right, it justs needs to be worked out properly to satisy Kendall - but then once he has teh idea you couldn't shift him

Shah Fazli What do new writers learn from reading your book, we believe that we get better by reading, what is there in your books please?

John Holt Wow. what do new writers learn from my books? I really don't know. I don't write my novels for that purpose. Writers must develop their own style. I write in the hope of entertaining someone, put a smile on their face. I suppose if anything you might learn two things - 1. you can write a story without the need to use bad language; and 2. Don't take yourself too seriously

Shah Fazli Ok we leave it now for others to join, if they have any questions or comments, I will ask one more after others.

John Holt OK so fire away

John Holt I understand there was a question from Gerry, perhaps you can ask that

C Reg Jones Hi John, great interview, any plans for Tom to meet any supernatural foes?
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John Holt No Reggie I leave the supernatural to those who can handle it - like yourself my friend

C Reg Jones You old flatterer, LOL ^^

Babs Morton John, we all love Tom Kendall, he has some rather familair endearing qualities and now we know where they come from...but...I wonder if you've thought about creating any other characters or additional crime series'

John Holt The truth will out Reggie - the facts don't lie

John Holt Hi Babs - In "A Killing In The City" Kendall meets up with a Scotland Yard detective. If I can work something out I might do something with him as the main character. we shall have to see about taht one. At the present time I have four books that I'm working on. Two more Kendalls; a what if novel regarding the assassination of Lincoln; and an adventure story based on the discovery (true) of a submarine at the bottom of a fyord.

Tom Winton I don't mean to bud in, but I'm enjoying this tremendously, John and Shah! Terrific job.

John Holt Tom you are more tahn welcome my friend. If you've anything to ask fire away

Tom Winton Okay, John, where in the house do you write?

John Holt We have a four bedroomed house. Two of the rooms are used as offices (a throw back to when I had my own surveying practice and I worked from house). That's where it all happens

Laura Seeber Hi John Holt- I'm enjoying the interview greatly- I'm wondering if your character of Kendall is modeled after or inspired by someone in particular?

Babs Morton Do any of your family read your books?

John Holt Incidentally many of you won't know this, but I used to write articles for a number of blues magazines back in the early sixties. I would go to the shows, and clubs, interviewing many of the blues singers - Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, and many more, and several of teh Rock and Rollers

Tom Winton Do you have any encouraging reviews or anything like that on the walls of you work area to keep you going when the words seem difficult to find.

Babs Morton You dark horse... my hubby listens to all that music. That must have been very interesting.

John Holt Right Babs first - the answer is not really I'm afraid. Not really my wife's kind of a read. It's a shame, and I keep on at them. One fine day. Tom, no I don't have anything up on the wall. And quite often i get writers block. I don't set myself a target of so many words per day, there's too many other things to be done - mundane things like house work, shopping, and of course just lately hospital visits. But I suppose working on four at one time I might be stumped on one but perhaps progress fairly well on one of the others.

John Holt Back to the blues one of my favourites is this one

Muddy Waters - Rollin' Stone (Catfish Blues)
Well, I wish I was a catfish, swimmin in a oh, deep, blue sea I would have all y...See More

John Holt as far as music is concerned I have a fairly wide taste that includes Sinatra, Matt Monroe and Bobby Darin, both of whom died far too soon

Shah Fazli Gerry McCullough, John Holt, I wish I could be around later, but have to rush out now. Just want to say, you have a whole lot of great books! I especially like Tom Kendall. Here's a question which you may feel like answering in the interview:
How did you come to create this character Tom Kendall? Were there any influences from books, TV, real life, dreams, etc? Or did you purely invent him? (I must admit, most of my own characters have some sort of jumping off point – even if it's me!)

John Holt There is a lot of me in Kendall - humour, determination, I won't let something go until I'm proved absolutely wrong. I'm methodical, thoughtful, and I think things out. So I suppose you could say that it's me you are reading about. But it isn't as simple as taht. there are many otehr influences, not least is Columbo. I think that was a vey clever creation

Shah Fazli Laura Seeber , Hi John Holt- I'm enjoying the interview greatly- I'm wondering if your character of Kendall is modeled after or inspired by someone in particular?

John Holt Hi Laura - sorry I somehow missed you. thank you for being here today. As I said on the last question. There is a lot of me in Kendall - he's not very fit, neither am I, he's methodical and so am I. We aren't the quickest people in teh world, but we get there in the end. Have you raed any of teh books?

Rick Carter-Squire Do your characters have characteristics that you wish you had? Or do they have some that are yours and you wish you didn't have them?

Babs Morton Who are your favourite writers/characters from literature and have they inspired you?

John Holt Rick - you must know that I am positively perfect already, so I don't need anything else. Certainly the cahracter in the book has many of my qualities .... lucky devil

John Holt I wouldn't say any author has inspired me. I don't write like anyone else. It is my own style. having said that I certainly have favourite authors. from my past Charles Dickens cannot be bettered. Agatha Christie the Queen of crime. Alastair Maclean, and Hammond Innes. I was raised on Enid Blyton. As for modern authors, certainly from Authonomy, my time with Night, and now Facebook I would have to say that amongst my favourite authors would be yourself - you are a great story teller - Alfie Robins, and Tom Winton

Rick Carter-Squire It must be really difficult to live in your perfect world John, but I know what you mean because I'm the same way. This looks like it's been fun. Good luck and I'll talk to you in a couple of days. Today's my day for house work.

Shah Fazli Thanks John, and everybody for giving us this amazing evening, it will be a memorable night for everyone, because of everyone taking part, now we have to say goodbye to everybody and hope to see you all again.

ShahSight Literary Book Shop: The Mackenzie Dossier John

Shah Fazli

ShahSight Literary Book Shop: The Kammersee

Laura Seeber I'm working my way through The Marinski Affair right now

John Holt Thank you Shah for making this possible, and thanks to everyone who took part I hope that you enjoyed it. Watch out for "Epidemic" on Tuesday - have a good evening everyone

Babs Morton Thanks, Shah and John. For those who may have been indisposed, out of the country etc and missed the main news. John's latest book Epidemic is out on Tuesday 12th Good luck with it, John!

C Reg Jones Tuesday's a date! I'm at work but I'll try my best to keep in touch.

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