We caught up with lovely Robert Thorogood writer of the hit BBC show Death In Paradise and author of the novels that accompany the series
Have you always wanted to write? Did you write stories as a child.
Yes, I was always obsessed with murder mysteries. I wrote my first thriller at age 7 but I don’t think I finished the story.
What books did you read as child?
I loved Agatha Christie as those were the books my parents had in the house. I also loved Enid Blyton, The Hardy Boys, Roald Dahl and CS Lewis. My children are aged 11 and nine and I’ve noticed they want much faster paced stories than we read as kids. They love Anthony Horowitz.
You write the scripts for Death In Paradise. How did writing the novels differ?
It’s much easier writing novels than screenplays! You can really get into a character’s head in a novel and you’re not restricted by budgets and logistics as you are with telly. Also you have more time to tell the story in a novel so can linger on different aspects. Television shows are shorter and you need to be more immediate with the story.
Who did you base your character Inspector Richard Poole on?
He is a grumpy, OCD awkward character – actually he is a bit like me! I’m good friends with David Mitchell as we went to college together and I thought he’d be perfect for the role. However, as it involved filming in the Caribbean and he’d just fallen in love with Victoria Coren, he decided it wasn’t for him. We did get the fabulous Ben Miller, though, so that was great.
Talking of the Caribbean, where exactly did you film the show?
It’s set in the fictional island of Saint-Marie but we actually filmed in French Guadeloupe. It’s such a beautiful place and I try to get out there but I need to make excuses to go for the filming as I’m not really needed.
Your wife works as a journalist and you are a househusband. How did you find dealing with the other mums at the toddler groups?
They were very suspicious of me! They didn’t know if I would come every time, if I was a widower or was I just weird. I was the only man there and I had a hard time.
What tips would you give to aspiring authors?
Everyone has a story and everyone can write. Just go for it and write for yourself. Don’t worry about it being not good – just write.
Do you have a favourite classic novel?
I love all the John Le Carre books and re-read them all the time.
What’s next for your TV work?
There are more series of Death In Paradise which is fantastic. I’m also working on a new series called Grace which is set in Edinburgh and is about four different nannies and au pairs and their families. It’s really interesting to see how parents have different methods of parenting.