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Robert Harris: ‘My method is usually to start a book on 15 January and finish it on 15 June’

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The bestselling author on the dearth of top-quality politicians, his regard for diaries and letters, and his disciplined writing approach

Robert Harris is the author of 14 novels, including the bestselling Fatherland, the Cicero trilogy and Enigma. He also wrote the screenplays for the films of his novels The Ghost (filmed as The Ghost Writer) and An Officer and a Spy. His latest book, V2, weaves together two narratives, linked by the development of Wernher von Braun’s rocket just as the tide turned in the second world war. Dr Rudi Graf is a German rocket scientist, deeply conflicted in his job and troubled by the views of his superiors. Kay Caton-Walsh of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force is a cool-headed analyst who works first in England, then in Belgium, looking for the location of secret V2 launch bases. Harris was previously a journalist, serving as political editor of the Observer. He now lives in Berkshire with his wife. He has four children.

Your novels are always very different. How did you settle on the subject of this one?There is no plan. I just go from day to day and something pops up. In the case of V2 it was an obituary in the Times about five or six years ago about a woman who’d had to plot the trajectory of rockets in newly liberated Belgium. I thought she sounded like an interesting character, no more than that. I was attracted to the story because of Brexit, funnily enough. The idea that one European power had occupied another to fire ballistic missiles at a third struck me as amazing. I was going to have a coda at the end of the book reflecting on that. But in the end the link felt somehow extraneous.

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from The Guardian https://ift.tt/2TpjIv3
via Google News

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