Writing dynasties: Felix Francis, Andrew Child/Grant & Rajmohan Gandhi

Writing dynasties: In this 4-part episode Felix Francis, Andrew Child/Grant & Rajmohan Gandhi tell We’d Like A Word hosts Paul Waters & Stevyn Colgan about taking on a big book brand or carrying on a family writing tradition. It’s different from continuation novels, they say, like when Anthony Horowitz took on Ian Fleming’s James Bond character (see episode 4, series 1 of We’d Like A Word with Anthony Horowitz ). These are books, stories and characters with whom they have grown up. But do they try to be exactly like their predecessor or collaborator? Distinctively different? How open are they about it? Is it better to keep it a secret until you’re sure that readers will like it? And what if the originator decides he maybe does not want to retire after all? How do they write? And what books are they writing next? Listen here.

Felix Francis is the son of Richard and Mary Francis, who together created the internationally bestselling Dick Francis thrillers, set in the world of horse racing. Felix began contributing to, then co-writing, then solely authoring the Dick Francis books long before his name was on the covers. He’s written 16 of them now. Where does Dick end and Felix begin? Listen to find out.

Andrew Grant – now also known as Andrew Child – is the younger brother of Lee Child (real name Jim Grant), the creator of the bestselling Jack Reacher series – which you may also know from the Tom Cruise movies or the Amazon series starring Alan Ritchson. When decided he had only 4 more books left in him, he asked his brother Andrew to collaborate with him with a view to ultimately taking over. (Though that particular plot thickens…) But Andrew was already a successful thriller author in his own right. And he has a personal past cloaked in mystery.

Rajmohan Gandhi was a teenager when he was inspired to investigate how the world works and to write about it when his grandfather, the Mahatma, Mohandas Gandhi was assassinated in 1948. He spoke to We’d Like A Word at the Khushwant Singh Literary Festival in Kasauli in India. It’s hard to think of a more famous forebear than Gandhi. So how does Rajmohan fit into the tradition?

Lots of other authors, people & topics get discussed too – Tasha Alexander (the Lady Emily Ashton mysteries), Ben McIntyre, Desmond Bagley, Alistair Maclean, Alan Davies (Just Ignore Him), Arthur Ransome (Swallows and Amazons), Paul Gallico (The Snow Goose), Airey Neave and PD James.