Listen online: Winged with Death - John Baker

SOMETIMES it takes a crisis to reveal your true strengths and weaknesses.

In Ramon Bolio's case, the revelation comes not during the intense years of his youth in a country torn apart by revolution but years later, triggered by the disappearance of his niece as he grapples with the memories of his former life in Montevideo.

The journey is a painful one for him, a compelling one for the readers of John Baker's latest novel, Winged with Death.

In this OutLoud interview, the Yorkshire writer explains why he has made the break with crime fiction, why storytelling is not just about plot, and why there are too many novels published.



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Baker was born in Filey and brought up in Hull. 'A bookie child' he turned his talents for fiction into a profitable business at an early age by selling his stories to the local phone company which broadcast them over the telephone.

Despite his passion for short story writing, he had a conventionally confused early career, which included social work, and truck driving.

Baker has since written nine novels, which are largely based on familiar territory in York and Hull.

His first crime novel, Poet in the Gutter, was published in 1995 and introduced the character of Sam Turner who appeared in six subsequent novels, the last of which was The Meanest Flood, in 2004.

Two other crime novels, The Chinese Girl, in 2000, and White Skin Man, 2004, feature the character of Stone Lewis.

Baker lives in York with his wife, a Norwegian photographer.

Winged with Death, 8.99, is published by Flambard Press, ISBN 978-1906601027