The actor turned novelist on why he's written a crime thriller
John Gordon Sinclair grew up in Glasgow and found fame as an actor playing Gregory in the 1981 Scottish teen drama Gregory's Girl, directed by Bill Forsyth.
Other acting roles followed in The Producers, The Invisible Man and She Loves Me.
His first crime novel, Seventy Times Seven, is published by Faber.
How did you find the process of writing your first novel?
Well, writing is actually much more suited to my personality, disturbingly so.
I didn't realise quite how much I would enjoy it.
The biggest problem I have doing my acting is having to interact with other people.
I think if it wasn't for my wife and my kids I'd probably be a hermit.
What does the title mean?
It's a quote from the Bible that asks what limits there are on forgiveness.
In the book, if you look at what Sean McGuire did to his family, and especially to his younger brother Danny who is radicalised by his death and becomes a killer, forgiving him becomes a big journey.
Sean and Danny are embroiled in the republican movement in Northern Ireland in the 1990s.
What drew you to that time?
I've always been fascinated with Ireland, especially Northern Ireland, having lived in London in the 80s when there was an Irish republican bombing campaign there.
I read all these factual books – Ten Men Dead, Bandit Country, Killing Rage – and I thought I'd love to introduce some of that into the novel.
Why did you choose to write a crime thriller?
I'm a big fan of Elmore Leonard and I've read Ian Rankin, Christopher Brookmyre and so on.
But I'd never read a crime novel that made me feel emotional at the end.
It would be a fun ride, but I never cared for any of the characters.
I like that genre, but I always felt there was something missing.
I thought it would be great to inject some emotion into it.
Did you really get a buzz-cut to fit in with your new identity as a crime writer?
Originally, I had it done for a flick that I did last year.
I'd always wanted to do it when I was growing up in Glasgow but I was never brave enough.
Once my head was shaved, I decided to stick with it for a while because it seems to work.
It just coincided with bringing the book out.
Having your hair cut definitely presents a whole different persona – my children say it makes me look angry.
What was the last truly great book you read?
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy.
I didn't realise it at the time, but it has been a huge influence.
Going back further than that, I would have to say A Tale of Two Cities.
I remember bawling my eyes out for about a week after I'd finished it.
Crime fictionThrillersFictionElmore LeonardIan RankinNorthern Irish politicsGemma Kappala-Ramsamyguardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies.
All rights reserved.
| Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds... See Complete Article @ Guardian