I would like to introduce you to author, Stuart Hutchinson as he joins me today as my guest.
Stuart taught English and American literature for nearly 40 years at the University of Kent with interludes as Visiting Professor at the University of Colorado (Boulder) and the University of Heidelberg. In his final years he was Master of Rutherford College.
He is married with 2 children and 5 grandchildren. He played football until his late 40s, then ran half-marathons. Now it’s only the gym.
He contribute to U3A (very big in Canterbury) as teacher and administrator, sings with his wife in choirs and likes to travel with her. They are opera fans.
Often in his career students would ask,
‘Do you write yourself?’
They meant creatively, not academically, and he felt rather embarrassed murmuring ‘No.’ So he makes up for it in retirement, when there’s time, and he is capable of mature reflection.
He writes about relationships in a strained social setting; his first novel, a man and a woman both about 40; in the 80s and about the miners’ strike, IRA, Brighton bomb. For his second novel, it is set in the early 2000s; and about invasion of Iraq. Since he is originally from Lancashire, there’s a North/South theme.
In Whatsoever, the central character, Chief Inspector David Warne, is with Canterbury CID, but he and his wife, a schoolteacher, are from the North. Before the novel begins, she has been killed by a London crime boss Warne has put inside.
Throughout there are flashbacks to his life with her. The novel is about the hold the past may have on you, and, in this case, the horrors the past may reveal.
In this connection Warne is now solving a murder involving a very prominent Kent family, whose male head, before he married into the Kent family, was an industrialist from Warne’s home town. Meanwhile the invasion of Iraq gets underway; thousands to be killed, while Warne and his half-Nigerian female sergeant search for their one killer. Eventually Warne again finds love.
Stuart bases his novels on contemporary life as he reflects on it.
His next novel, a retired, quite famous, academic, from the North. After his first degree he ditched his childhood sweetheart and went to an American university. There, criminal money came his way and set him up for life back in England; but never for happiness. Former sweetheart had a happy marriage and successful career, but is now a widow!