In The Chair 25: John Lynch

Welcome, John Lynch.

How would you describe your writing style in only three words?

John: Free-flowing, plain English, thoughtful.


If you could have a relationship with one of your fictional characters who would it be and why?

John: A romantic relationship would have to be with farm labourer’s daughter Kate Greener. I fell in love with her while writing about her – just as my male hero, James Blakiston, did. For a non-romantic relationship, James Blakiston himself, the just and upright man of the title – a man’s man if ever there was one but also someone with the good sense to fall headlong for a girl not of his class. I’d egg him on by telling him he’d never find a better mate.

If you had to exist for a week in one of your books … which would it be? Would you be a central character or simply watch the story unfold from the sidelines?

John: A Just and Upright Man, because I’d want to take a hand in Blakiston’s search for the murderer of old Reuben Cooper. He knew nothing about the detective arts and I’d want to say, “Look, man, you don’t do it like that; you do it like this. And there are some obvious clues that you’ve completely failed to follow up”.


Dead or alive literary dinner party: who would you invite, and what would you serve?

John: Philip Larkin, Elizabeth Gregory, Charlotte and Emily Bronte, Kenneth Grahame (without The Wind in the Willows, given to me by my mother when I was five – I still have it, 67 years later – I doubt that I would ever have decided to be a writer). The food: I’ve spent a lot of the last 40 years in the Middle East and I’d serve a Lebanese spread – tabbouleh, pickles, hummus, barbecued lamb, beef and chicken and flat breads. But there would also have to be cheese; hard, English cheeses and the heavenly soft French cheese, Soumantrain. The wine would be from Bordeaux – Cabernet Sauvignon, not Merlot – and with coffee there’d be Lagavulin.

If you had to write in a different genre which would it be and why?

John: That’s an easy one because I already write contemporary fiction with a crime element in the name of John Lynch.

What do you dislike the most about being an author?

John: The fact that it’s a solitary occupation and I’m a gregarious person.

Favourite word?

John: For someone who loves words, that’s a difficult one. I’ll plump for something simple: friendship.

John Lynch was in the chair: author of historical crime and romance (as R J Lynch) and mainstream contemporary fiction (as John Lynch)


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