At the same time as I was beginning my career as a writer about car racing, Formula One being the main emphasis, I was also establishing a career as a writer about the French crime novel. Because I myself had written several published crime stories and several unpublished, but agented, crime novels, I grew tired of this not-well-paid area of meta-writing that, while it was vastly interesting, was also vastly frustrating. I was a published crime fiction writer, and I had begun to establish myself as crime fiction writing journalist…but who was not considered by the writers themselves as a writer.
The auto racing writing was more attractive in that I could never, ever claim to be a car racer, but I had a subject to write about that involved amazing human endeavor, and therefore, made for interesting material. So it was that I stopped writing about crime fiction. But by the time I stopped, I had amassed a fair sized trove of journalism, especially about the French crime novel.
This interview with Maurice G. Dantec that I conducted and that I am posting today in Blog Articles as Opposed to Posts, was done as part of my research for my big article about French crime writing that I posted in the first post of this series. Dantec later moved to Montreal – where I go in a couple of days – and he became a very much bigger writer in France, expanding massively away from the crime writing he did in his early years into something more akin to science fiction and philosophy. In fact, all those elements already existed in his early writing, but just kind of expanded in his later career.
PS, if a great deal of the writing of this post looks familiar to you, that is because I have chosen tonight in my state of sleep deprivation to do something that I can do on a personal blog that I cannot do in a professional environment: I have cut and pasted almost word-for-word the original post of this series of “A bit of crime writing” and simply filled in the blanks, changing the material to that of the Dantec interview…. Great fun! And, of course, if you missed the original post, you have read it now….