Interview: Ben Aaronovitch on audiobooks, libraries and his Rivers of London series
Ben Aaronovitch is sci-fi and fantasy author. He’s best known for his Rivers of London series, which follows a young police officer recruited by a special branch of the Metropolitan Police dealing with magic and the supernatural.
Holly Newson spoke to Ben about writing for Doctor Who, the importance of libraries, and whether he’s honest when giving his opinion on his friend’s books…
On how he started novel writing:
“I decided to write a novel – I was that naive.”
On how Doctor Who script writers were perceived in the late 80s:
“When I wrote for Doctor Who it was career poison.”
On the personalities of London’s rivers:
“A river like that is going to be all about power and money and deals.”
On why the magic he writes about has to be complicated:
“I try to make magic as irritating and as complex and as opaque as the real world.”
On choosing Rivers of London audiobook narrator Kobna Holdbrook-Smith:
“I said look, you’re going to have to find someone who can do all the accents.”
On when he listens to audiobooks:
“I hate exercise so I generally have to distract myself when I’m doing it.”
On being friends with other writers:
“Only writers really understand what you’re talking about half the time and will accept the fact that sometimes you’ll stop in mid-sentence and stare into space for fifteen minutes.”
On reading his friend’s books:
“They don’t give me their books because they want me to pussyfoot around.”
On the scary way in which libraries might be similar to Woolworths:
“I think libraries are very, very, very, very, very important.”
On how becoming well-known has slowed down his book-writing process:
“I used to write a book and no one cared what I did – apart from write a book.”
On what he’d like to write next:
“I’m desperate to write something with a ray gun in it.”
Thanks to Ben for speaking to us!
Listening Books members can borrow Ben’s Rivers of London series from our catalogue.
This post was written by Holly Newson.
Picture credit: Sabrina Aaronovitch