Felix Francis

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Felix Francis

Felix Francis, younger son of the former jockey and writer, Dick Francis, studied physics and electronics at London University, before teaching physics for 17 years, the last seven as head of the science department at Bloxham School in Oxfordshire. He assisted his father with research for several years, and subsequently co-authored four books with him. Since his father's death in 2010, Felix has now written three books under his own name, the latest being Refusal.

Interviewed 28 December 2013

Ten words to sum up your working life to date ...

Different, interesting, exciting, empowering, creative, surprising, unusual, fantastic (in the true meaning of the word), stimulating, and occasionally terrifying (especially close to my deadlines)

Nine things you can see from where you're sitting ...

A big picture of my father riding Devon Loch over Becher’s Brook in the 1956 Grand National
A poster that says “Be BOLD, Be ITALIC, But never REGULAR”
A photo of my mother and father together taken just before my mother died
A glass paperweight similar to that used to kill someone in my father’s book For Kicks
A detective’s magnifying glass (to help search for inspiration)
A brass hour-glass (it takes 57 minutes for the sand to run through – I’ve timed it!)
A little teddy-bear wearing an MCC cricket jumper
An autographed photo of the Queen Mother standing next to Devon Loch with my father riding
My father’s four Edgar Allen Poe awards (I want one!)

Eight minutes to prepare a meal. What's it going to be ?

A bacon and mushroom baguette with lashings of Reggae Reggae sauce.

Seven people you'd like to go for a drink with ...

...(other than my wife and family)

Do they have to be alive? Some are, some aren’t:
Neil Armstrong (1st man on the moon, sadly now deceased),
Sir Isaac Newton (to discuss where physics has gone since he left us in 1727)
James Lovell (commander of the ill-fated Apollo 13, the greatest rescue mission in history),
Richie Benaud (Australian cricketer and broadcaster extraordinaire),
Barbra Streisand (so talented in so many ways, I’ve always been a fan),
Charles Dickens (did he also suffer from anxiety when he delivered his manuscripts?)
and Michael McIntyre (a token comedian so we don’t take ourselves too seriously, so funny)

Six things you can't live without ...

(other than my wife and family)

my computer,
reading glasses,
decaf coffee,
a pepper mill,
red wine,

Five favourite words ...

“You’re upgraded to first class.”

Four places you'd run away to ...

Severn Mile Beach on the Cayman Islands,
Noss Mayo in South Devon,
The Quinta do Lago Hotel on the Algarve,
The Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok

Three books you've bought recently ...

Counting One’s Blessings, The Selected Letters of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother,
Fixed by Matthew Benns, the supposedly true inside story of Australian horseracing,
Live from Downing Street by Nick Robinson, The Inside Story of Power, Politics and the Media.

Two things that make you rant ...

Airport security & airport security.

One thing you'd tell your teenage self ...

Have confidence and start writing earlier.