Jeremy Duns: A Self Portrait
Jeremy Duns Revealed
About Jeremy Duns
What is your birthdate?:12/10
Previous occupations:Journalist; secretary; data-entry clerk; all manner of strange temping jobs.
Favorite job:Novelist! Or journalist.
High school and/or college:Winchester; St Catherine's College, Oxford
Name of your favorite composer or music artist?:Marvin Gaye
Favorite movie:The Day Of The Jackal
Favorite television show:Hell's Kitchen
- Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
- A. Family; snow and sun in Sweden - and writing!
- Q. What is your motto or maxim?
- A. Keep breathing
- Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
- A. A summer's day with my family - some good food and drink, the kids not too rowdy, reading a good book in a hammock.
- Q. What’s your greatest fear?
- A. Death. Not the most original, perhaps, but everything else seems to put that one in the shade.
- Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
- A. I'd quite like to be in Sardinia right now, but I'm content enough where I am.
- Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
- A. Andy Kaufman.
- Q. Which living person do you most admire?
- A. Probably a guy called Paul Rusesabagina, who helped save a lot of people in Rwanda during the genocide, and who I had the honour of meeting a few years ago.
- Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
- A. Probably "Can you stop being naughty now?"
- Q. What do you regret most?
- A. Not starting to write fiction seriously earlier.
- Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
- A. To write brilliant thrillers very very quickly.
- Q. What is your greatest achievement?
- A. Having a novel published, I think!
- Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
- A. I'm hopelessly impractical in many ways.
- Q. What’s your best quality?
- A. Deep down, I'm nice.
- Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
- A. Me - I don't think I could cope being anyone else.
- Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
- A. I've no idea! Perhaps my total ignorance of my most obvious traits?
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
- A. Adam Hall's Quiller.
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
- A. George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman - if he's a villain, which perhaps he isn't.
- Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
- A. I'd love to have met the infamous double agent Kim Philby, and tried to get to the bottom of what had made him tick, how he really felt about betraying so many people and what he thought about his Soviet masters.
- Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
- A. Adverts on the radio just as you want to know what song was playing.
- Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
- A. Tickling my children.
- Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
- A. Writing is my fantasy profession.
- Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
- A. Curiosity; kindness; the ability to admit one is wrong.
- Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
- A. Steak and chips, Belgian-style
- Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
- A. Piece of Clay by Marvin Gaye; Let Me Down Easy by Bettye Lavette; There Will Come A Day by Smokey Robinson; Feeling Good by Nina Simone; Shine A Light by the Rolling Stones
On Books and Writing
- Q. Who are your favorite authors?
- A. Lawrence Durrell, Joseph Hone, Len Deighton, Elleston Trevor (Adam Hall), George MacDonald Fraser, Ian Fleming, Kate Simon, Malcolm Lowry, Geofrrey Household, John le Carré, Graham Greene, John de St Jorre
- Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
- A. The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell (which I'll count as one!)
The Tango Briefing by Adam Hall
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
Seventeen Moments of Spring by Julian Semyonov
The Private Sector by Joseph Hone
- Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
- A. The Alexandria Quartet
- Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
- A. Just keep writing, even if it's rubbish - you can always fix it later, but you need to keep writing.
- Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
- A. Who do you want to play Paul Dark if they make a film of Free Agent?
- Q. How did you come to write Free Agent?
- A. I always loved spy stories as a boy - I never got into the Famous Five, but devoured the Secret Seven. In my twenties I rediscovered the genre because I was living in Brussels, and for some reason the second-hand bookshops of that city are stuffed with paperbacks of English-language spy thrillers. I read tons of them and became fascinated by the era of the Cold War. Slowly, I started to wonder what I would do if I were to try my hand at writing a spy novel - where would I set it, when, what sort of style, and so on. Musings became research, became writing, became rewriting - and eventually I had a book.