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Charles den TEX

Question: Why crime mystery?

Charles den TEX: Crime mystery offers genre and style parameters that I love. I love playing with them and trying to expand them to my own idea of a good story. Crime fiction - more than literary fiction - gives the opportunity to write about adventures in the modern world.

Question: Do you know any German crime stories?

C. den TEX: I am afraid I don't.

Question: Do you think, German crime fiction can compete with international crime fiction?

C. den TEX: I am sure it can.

Question: Which author is overrated?

C. den TEX: Lee Child. Roslund & Hellström. The first is too predictable and too silly. The second is too badly written and too boring.

Question: Which author is underrated?

C. den TEX: Chris Rippen, a Netherlands crime writer and a great stylist.

Question: Is crime fiction literature to you?

C. den TEX: If it meets literary criteria - style, theme, character development et cetera - it is. If it does not meet those criteria, it isn't.

Question: How did you get into crime fiction?

C. den TEX: I thought of a story that I could write: a man becomes head of family owned company because his father suddenly dies, and discovers that his father's company is a front for a huge international network of companies dumping chemical and toxic waste in third world countries in Africa. Once I had the idea for the story I knew I had to write it. And once the book was published I already had ideas for a second and third book.

Question: What is your favourite murder weapon?

C. den TEX: A car or a truck or a collapsing pile of oil drums - something that makes a person die without it obviously being murder.

Question: Murder - is it necessary in a crime story?

C. den TEX: No.

Question: Why do you write?

C. den TEX: Because there are things I can only tell when I write.

Question: Are your crime stories set in the present?

C. den TEX: Yes. All of them.

Question: Where would you choose the setting?

C. den TEX: I usually choose a location in the Netherlands and one in another country. Kenya, Argentina, Dubai, Hong Kong, Switzerland and others.

Question: What do food and drink mean to you?

C. den TEX: They mean quite a bit. I will usually have something about food in my books. I had a recipe twice, something about junk food, something in a restaurant. Not always, but let's say more than half the time.

Question: Sex in crime fiction: how do you view it/use it?

C. den TEX: Sparingly. If sex is not well written, it is a total turn off.

Question: If you do use it, why?

C. den TEX: I will use it if the story needs it, if the characters obviously should be having sex. So I won't avoid it, but I always keep it to a minimum.

Question: Is there such a thing as "women's" crime fiction?

C. den TEX: Yes, I think there is. It focuses more on everyday life and on the things people will do to each other in sometimes pretty ordinary circumstances. But maybe this is specifically true for the Netherlands, because in the USA there are many female writers who do not fit that mould.

Question: For whom do you write?

C. den TEX: I write for myself and I hope other people like it.

Question: Plot development - your first thoughts?

C. den TEX: The most important things to understand about plot development is that a plot should develop. In other word, it should not be a static thing, but a dynamic element of the story. That way the plot can surprise you while writing, and if it can surprise the writer, it can stun the reader.

Question: Do you make any notes and where do you get your ideas from?

C. den TEX: I constantly make notes. I live with a notepad. I jot down ideas, thoughts, storylines, dialogues anything that comes to mind. I write everything down in the form of a diary. Many of my stories have benefited from the notes I made from day to day.

Question: Where do you write?

C. den TEX: I write in France. When I have a book to write, I go away and work for three months until I have a first draft.

Question: Does the PC get in the way of your writing?

C. den TEX: Never. I start every book in long hand until I have enough ideas and plot lines and information. Once I sit myself down at the PC, that is where I stay until I am done.

Question: Your favourite book as a child?

-   -   -

Question: Your favourite book today?

C. den TEX: Many. But the New York Trilogy by Paul Auster is astounding. Pattern Recognition by William Gibson was inspiring. And recently the Echomaker by Richard Powers was awesome.

Question: Your favourite male/female crime writer?

C. den TEX: After all these years I would have to say that Desmond Bagley is still my favourite male crime writer. And I guess Sue Grafton is a favourite female crime writer.

Question: Your favourite movie?

C. den TEX: Glengarry Glen Ross

Question: Your favourite drink?

C. den TEX: Red burgundy wine of a good variety.

Question: Do you cook?

C. den TEX: Yes.

Question: The dish you love [Recipe after last question]:

Coquiles saint Jacques with fried garlic and ginger, honey and balsamic vinegar.

Question: Do you go out to eat, if so where?

C. den TEX: Not very often. When we do it is usually somewhere in Scheveningen, on the coast just outside The Hague.

Question: What is your favourite item of clothing?

C. den TEX: Jeans.

Question: Soccer - is this a topic for you?

C. den TEX: Yughh!

Question: Women/men - is the relationship between the sexes important to you?

C. den TEX: Yes, it is. In any story people will have to deal with their work and with relationships, otherwise they are loners. And in work and relationships men and women interact. Without it a story becomes technical.

Question: What is your favourite city in your country?

C. den TEX: Damn! It would have to be Amsterdam, but I don't really like Amsterdam. I live in The Hague, but I don't really like The Hague. And it is certainly not any other place in the Netherlands. So I guess it is where I live. The Hague.

Question: Your favourite country?

C. den TEX: My favourite country is the country where my family lives, where my friends live, where my professional life is, where my work is published - the Netherlands. But there are many other countries that I appreciate for what they are and what they have. I write in France, because I have space and tranquillity there. I have written in Spain for the same reasons. I believe me, I love those countries for that.

Question: What do you love? C. den TEX: My wife. Writing.

Question: What do you detest?

C. den TEX: Bad question. Never ask for hate.

Question: What was your best subject at school?

C. den TEX: Mathematics, physics.

Question: What was your worst subject - and way?

C. den TEX: Greek. At the time I didn't see the point.

Question: Your dream job?

C. den TEX: The one I have.

Question: Do you have any idea why you answered this list of questions?

C. den TEX: It makes me think about what I do and that is always a good thing.

Coquilles Saint Jacques (Scallops) with stuff:
Ingredients for two:
8 large coquilles without the orange bit.
4 good cloves of garlic
4 cm of ginger root
Some balsamic vinegar
Clear honey
Cut the garlic and ginger into thin strips (julienne)
Fry them in butter until they are golden - beware not to burn them, the ginger takes a little longer than the garlic.
Put to the side.
Slowly melt a good knob of butter in a little saucepan. Add the honey and the vinegar and stir while heating very slowly. Add the fried garlic and ginger.
Turn up the heat under a frying pan with more butter. Brown the butter. Put the coquilles in and fry them a minute and a half per side. High heat. Sear them. Take them out of the pan. Put them on a plate, 4 each, sprinkle with the butter-heny-balsamic-garlic-ginger sauce. Add a couple of sprigs of roquet fro greens and serve.

Charles den TEX
Born in Camberwell, Australia, in 21-04-1952. High school in the Netherlands, studied photography and film at the Central London Polytechnic. From 1976 through 1978 he taught English at a language school in Paris. In 1980 he returned to Amsterdam where he established himself first as a copywriter and later as communication and management consultant.
He has published nine thrillers and a dictionary of consultancy jargon and he is a three time winner of the Netherlands Crime Fiction Award. His first four thrillers - DUMP, CLAIM, CODE 39 and DEAL - were all short listed for the award. His fifth book - SCHIJN VAN KANS (Chance in Hell) - was nominated in 2002 and won the award in that year. In 2004 he won the award for the second time with his novel DE MACHT VAN MENEER MILLER (published in Germany in 2005 - Die Macht des Mr. Miller). In 2008 the sequel to Mr. Miller - CEL - was published and also won the Award. He has also written a play - VOLMAAKT GELUK (Perfect Happiness) - which toured the Netherlands in 2008.


tex_c_dump_2003 tex_c_dump_1996.jpg tex_c_claim_1996 tex_c_claim_2002.jpg
tex_c_claim_film tex-code-1939-1989 tex_c_code39_2004 tex_c_deal_1999
tex_c_schijn-van-kans_2002 tex_c_stegger_2003.jpg tex_c_angstval_2004 tex-macht-meneer-miller
tex-Die Macht-des-Mr-Miller tex_c_cel_08 tex-die-zelle.jpg

Die Kriminalromane:

1995 Dump
1996 Claim
1998 Code 39
1999 Deal
2002 Schijn van kans
2003 Stegger
2004 Angstval
2006 De Macht van Meneer Miller
2006 Die Macht des Mr. Miller. Grafit Verlag
2008 CEL

2009 Die Zelle, Grafit Verlag

2008 Volmaakt Geluk (Perfect Happiness)

© Gisela Lehmer-Kerkloh & Thomas Przybilka

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Die Befragenden:

Gisela Lehmer-Kerkloh rezensiert Kriminalliteratur. Sie ist Mitglied bei den Sisters in Crime, bei der GVM (Genootschap van Vlaamse Misdaadauteurs), sowie Amiga im Syndikat.
Bei den Alligatorpapieren veröffentlicht sie regelmäßig ihren "Krimi-Kurier" Letzte Buchveröffentlichung:
Siggi Baumeister oder: Eine Verfolgung quer durch die Eifel. Die Eifelkrimis des Jacques Berndorf.
84 S., 2001; EUR 10,50
NordPark Verlag

Thomas Przybilka verdient seinen Lebensunterhalt als Buchhändler. Er ist langjähriges Mitglied der "Autorengruppe Deutschsprachige Kriminalliteratur Das Syndikat". 1989 baute er das international bekannte "Bonner Krimi Archiv (Sekundärliteratur)" [BOKAS] auf. Bei den Alligatorpapieren veröffentlicht er regelmäßig seine "Krimi-Tipps zur Sekundärliteratur zum Krimi." Zahlreiche Publikationen zur Kriminalliteratur in Fachanthologien und -magazinen im In- und Ausland. Kriminalgeschichten in Deutschland, Bulgarien und Spanien. Letzte Buchveröffentlichung:
Siggi Baumeister oder: Eine Verfolgung quer durch die Eifel. Die Eifelkrimis des Jacques Berndorf.
84 S., 2001; EUR 10,50
NordPark Verlag

Die Befragungen von Gisela Lehmer-Kerkloh und Thomas Przybilka
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