Son of bestselling author follows in family footsteps

Hearing that a reader stayed up until 5am to finish his book is one of the biggest compliments author Felix Francis can receive.

The son of legendary champion jockey and writer Dick Francis told yesterday’s Yorkshire Post Literary Lunch his aim was to make every story come alive.

“I want the words to come off the page like cream off a spoon,” he said. “I want people to say they couldn’t put it down. Although when they say they read one of my books in a day I can’t help thinking that it took me a year to write.”

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Mr Francis added his late father was still very much a part of his own novels. “It was known that my mother, and then I, helped my father write his books,” he said. “He is still there in what I write – although his name is printed in smaller type than mine now!”

Also speaking was Angela Jackson, whose debut novel – The Emergence of Judy Taylor – examines the consequences of unexpected decisions and what it means to be happy. A psychology lecturer, she said she was waiting for a routine mammogram when she recalled the words of Sigmund Freud. “Everything was fine, but I realised that I was still confronting my mortality – and that, as Freud said, forces you to live differently. I went home and started writing.”

Historical fiction writer Conn Iggulden spoke about his book, Wars of the Roses – Stormbird, the first in a new series which is attracting attention following the discovery of Richard III’s skeleton and debate over where he should be laid to rest. Mr Iggulden said he found beginnings fascinating. “Most people aren’t really aware of how things start,” he said.