Today we travel to London to chat with Barry Faulkner about how sarcasm and humour, English Springer Spaniels, the River Wye, the Forest of the Dean, butterflies, Literary Festivals, gangs and geezers, Morley Academy of Dramatic Art, petty criminals, and the Richardson gang come together for the making of Barry and his writings.
In which genre do you write?
Crime, police procedural and factual.
How many published books do you have?
Eleven and one at the editors.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and what ignited your author’s flame?
When I was at secondary school and English Literature was my only interest, other than football! I won a London County Council writing competition and that was it, next stop the Booker Prize! 😃
What is an interesting writing quirk you have, that we wouldn’t know by reading your biography?
Humour, readers comment on my DCS’s sarcasm and humour. The books may be about serial killings but I guarantee the reader will laugh out loud at least once! 😂
What would you choose as your mascot, and why?
English Springer Spaniel, I’ve got three and they are totally faithful and never give up.
What does your ideal writing space look like?
A crowded office at the top of Faulkner Towers overlooking the River Wye, PCs, lots of ideas on pieces of paper and reference books on English Law and UK criminals.
What are you currently reading?
I don’t read much, I’ve read all the authors I like as they issue and my last read was Robert Crais. A Dangerous Man, from the Elvis Pike series.
Where did the idea for your most recent book come from?
I have no idea, I have been writing ideas and plots down for 30 years so have a plethora of notebooks to get the brain cells into overdrive. Ideas can strike an author at any time so I always carry a small notepad. ( usually forget the pencil)
What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?
Walk the dogs in the Forest of Dean where I live and vegetable and fruit gardening at Faulkner Towers. Her indoors does the flower gardens. 🙂
What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself through writing?
The human imagination is a wonderfully powerful instrument.
What is the most enjoyable thing you’ve found through writing?
That’s an easy one…. friendship with readers and other writers and being involved in Lit Festivals.
What do you miss about being a kid?
At this stage in your life, what advice would your young self give to your more mature self?
Start writing earlier.
What are you currently working on?
Book number 11 in the DCS Palmer Serial Murder Squad series.
Tell us about your most recent book.
‘London Crime’ My first factual book about the UK big criminals’, major heists and gangs from the Messina Brothers of the 1930s through to today’s top guns.
It was great to have you on MTA, Barry. Your background is so very interesting! Wishing you all the best! – Camilla
Where to find the book:
Connect with Barry:
An Amazon Best Selling Author of the DCS Palmer Detective books. 10 out, number 11 coming in April 2020.
Author of London Crime (March 2020) the only available factual book about the UK major robberies from 1930s to the present day, the gangs and geezers that planned and did them plus the aftermaths.
Faulkner was born into an extended family of petty criminals in Herne Hill, South London, his father, uncle and elder brothers and cousins running with the notorious Richardson gang in the 60s-90s, and at this point we must point out that he did not follow in that family tradition although the characters he met and their escapades he witnessed have added a certain authenticity to his books. He attended the first ever comprehensive school in the UK, William Penn in Peckham and East Dulwich, where he attained no academic qualifications other than GCE ‘O’ level in Art and English and a Prefect’s badge (though some say he stole all three!)
His mother was a fashion model and determined that her youngest son would not follow the family career path, she had great theatrical aspirations for young Faulkner and pushed him into auditioning for the Morley Academy of Dramatic Art at the Elephant and Castle, where he was accepted but only lasted three months before being asked to leave as no visible talent had surfaced. Mind you, during his time at the Academy he was called to audition for the National Youth Theatre by Trevor Nunn – fifty years later, he’s still waiting for the call back! After several sales jobs and sending advertising ideas to various agencies he was taken on as a copywriter with the major US advertising agency Erwin Wasey Ruthrauff & Ryan in Paddington during which time he got lucky with some light entertainment scripts sent to the BBC and Independent Television and became a script editor and writer on a freelance basis. He worked on most of the LE shows of the 1980-90s and as personal writer to Bob Monkhouse, Tom O’Connor and others. During that period, while living out of a suitcase in UK hotels for a lot of the time, he filled many notebooks with DCS Palmer case plots and in 2017 he finally found time to start putting them in order and into book form. Ten are finished and published so far, with number 11 at the editors.
Faulkner is a popular speaker and often to be found on Crime Panels at Literary Festivals which he embraces and supports wholeheartedly.
He has recently been seen on screen in the Channel 5 Narcos UK series, Episode 2 The London Gangs and his DCS Palmer book ‘I’m With The Band’ has just been serialised in 16 parts by BBC Radio Bristol. He has been a subject of Corinium Radio’s Writer’s Room programme, Manchester FM’s Hannah Kate Book show, Hawkesbury Upton Lit. Festival ‘Best of British’ panel, Evesham Festival of Words Crime Panel and Bristol Crime Fest Indie Crime Author Panel amongst others
Faulkner publishes a blog about the ‘geezers’ of his youth, the criminals and their heists. It goes in depth about the Krays, Brinks Mat, Hatton Garden , ‘Nipper’ Read and all the other major heists and who ‘dun ‘em’. Take a look at geezers2016.wordpress.com.
He also speaks about that era in illustrated talks for social clubs, WI and others.
As a crime writer Faulkner is quite particular about ‘getting it right’ and as well as his own Facebook page he publishes a page called ‘UK Crime Readers and Writers Page’ which has lots of information about the forensic crime detection methods, police procedurals and other facts of use to both reader and writer of crime and detective books.
Faulkner now lives in the glorious Forest of Dean with his wife and three dogs.
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4 Replies to “Meet the Author: London Crime by Barry Faulkner”
I love Barry’s books and can confirm there’s plenty of humour in them. Looking forward to reading the latest.
Right on, Robert! Thank you for taking the time to read the MTA content and to comment. You are much appreciated!
Fascinating interview, Camilla. I found Barry’s information about the geezers in 60s Soho particularly interesting. A character in one of my books was based on someone who was around at the time of Big Frank and told me similar stories. 😀
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I found it interesting, too. I appreciate you taking the time to read the content on MTA, and leaving comments. It means much!