Thursday, February 2, 2012

Colin Cotterill

Colin Cotterill is a London-born teacher, crime writer and cartoonist.

His latest novel is Slash and Burn.

Earlier this year I asked Cotterill what he was reading. His reply:
My response to the question, ‘What are you reading?’ usually amounts to The Bangkok Post or one of a heap of textbooks I plough through for research for the books. Fiction doesn’t often make it to the top of the pile. But when I was in South Africa last year (see how casually I drop in the exotic) Deon Meyer signed me a copy of his book, Thirteen Hours. Deon’s a big fella so I started reading it in case he asked me how the book was going. I was on the road – or rather stuck in airports for the next month so I got into it. And I did – get into it. One plotline was a chase thriller, the type of thing I’d happily watch on film but not read. Yet old Deon did a great job of keeping me sucked in. The book came all the way back to Thailand with me and last night, with the power off again here on the rain-swept gulf, I put on the hurricane lamp and finally got the last chapter read. I rarely give a toss as to whether the helpless victim makes it or not, but in this case the young lady had been through such a wringer I really wanted her to get out of it in one piece.

People ask my why I like to stick a couple of plot lines into my books. My response is that there’s double the chance that the reader will remain on the edge of his/her seat, both buttocks, you might say. Thirteen Hours had a second story about the South African music industry which didn’t do much for my other buttock. But Deon, who writes in Afrikaans and has the books translated into English, did lure me all the way to the end of his book and that is no easy feat.
Visit Colin Cotterill's website.

The Page 69 Test: Slash and Burn.

--Marshal Zeringue