Articles

Author spends two months a year in prison
Színes Bulvár Lap
September 14, 2004
Translation by Dohi

Long-time acquaintance of Hungarian readers, world-famous author John Sandford, arrived in Budapest straight from Ohio. He is no doubt the most well-known author in the genre along with Robin Cook.
The author, now in his sixties, has even received the Pulitzer for his achievements. Thriller turned out to be his favorite genre throughout the years and Lucas Davenport, the hero of his novels, has become a name like Poirot, Derrick or Columbo. Film studios are eager to obtain the rights for his novels.
"The negative characters in my novels are based on prisoners. Almost every book is based on a true story, using the tools of novel writing, obviously. If you want to write thrillers, you have to keep your eyes open all the time for unusual phenomena."
"In Hungary only nearly twenty of your books have been published. How much time do you spend in prison a year?"
"You don't mean as a convict, do you?" he laughs. "I usually spend two months a year studying prisoners, which, being a free man, is a great achievement, I think."
"Wouldn't you like to visit Hungarian prisons?"
"Unfortunately I can't speak Hungarian, so I couldn't communicate with the inmates, which is a must if one wants to get to know about the conditions inside. Do you have any huge prisons over there?"
The world-famous author is constantly being asked about the hero of his books, Davenport, who is accepted by almost everyone as a living figure. He is a popular guy, what can you do? The American presidential election is nearing, so we cannot leave out politics.
"Does John Sandford have a political opinion?"
"Of course, and a pretty firm one at that. What's more, Davenport also has a political opinion. He is a Democrat to the core, like myself, even though I don't like John Kerry or George W. Bush. Unfortunately no one can evade politics in our country. The press has an enormous effect on people, it unavoidably makes an influence on their way of thinking."