Book Talk: Alan Bradley on young sleuths and TV series

Fri Mar 8, 2013 9:30am EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Noreen O'Donnell

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Alan Bradley was already in his mid-60s when he wrote the first of his Flavia de Luce mysteries, starring an almost 11-year-old amateur sleuth in the 1950s English countryside.

His fifth book, "Speaking From Among the Bones," was published last month, and he is already working on next one.

Bradley is also developing the series for television with Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes, who won raves for his films "Revolutionary Road" and "American Beauty."

The 74-year-old author spoke to Reuters from his home on the Isle of Man about the TV series and writing mysteries.

Q: How did you ever come up with your character Flavia de Luce? Why did you make her an almost 11-year-old chemist whose particular passion is poison?

A: Flavia just materialized. I can't really take any credit for her at all. She was presented to me on a platter so to speak. I was trying to write another mystery novel, and Flavia just appeared on the page and completely hijacked my book. And it took me a long time to realize that she wanted her own book. She came absolutely complete with all of her characteristics, her enthusiasms, her house, her family, her chemical lab - all of that was presented to me.

Q: What can you reveal about the TV series? Did you imagine Flavia on the screen as you were writing?

A: No, no I didn't. I think I write visually anyway, but I have resisted for years any offers of Flavia becoming a film or TV series. I really thought that unless absolutely the perfect producer came along that it would not be very well done. And I really thought that Flavia was better left to the imagination than embodied in a real person. But I must admit that when I heard that Sam Mendes had read the books and loved them, I changed my mind ... I don't think there's anybody on the planet who's better equipped to turn Flavia into a TV series.   Continued...