James Harlands real name is Matthew Lynn. He was born in Devon, and lived for a few years in Dublin, but has spent most of his life in London. He read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Balliol College, Oxford University. As a journalist, he writes business and financial articles for The Sunday Times and Bloomberg News. He currently lives in London with his wife Angharad, also a journalist, and daughter Isabella.
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An Interview with James Harland
Are you coming to mystery writing from another job?
My background is as a financial journalist. I worked at The Sunday Times as a business reporter for seven years, and I now write a European business column twice a week for Bloomberg News, which is syndicated in quite a few papers as well as on the Bloomberg.com website. I split my time about half and half between journalism, and writing fiction. I find that is a good division. Journalism is great background for finding out about how lots of different industries work, and what different jobs involve. Journalists are good at finding out information quickly and efficiently, and they are also good at sorting out the interesting information from the dull. The only downside is that while journalism teaches you a lot about writing, it's the wrong sort of writing. You have to break a lot of habits when you start writing fiction.
What led you to write mysteries?
I'm a big fan of mystery and thriller writers, so that is what led me into writing in that genre. My favourite authors for a long time have been people such as Conan Doyle, John Buchan, Graham Greene, John le Carre and Frederick Forsyth. But the genre also chooses ...
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