I had the great pleasure of interviewing Richard Hains. His new book, and his first book, is Chameleon. This is a close look at the seedier side of high finance. It is an interesting view of the highs and lows of the financial world.
Chameleon is proof that you are a great writer, where did you learn these skills?
I certainly appreciate your enthusiasm toward Chameleon. My writing is simply a combination of experience mixed with a degree of enthusiasm. The skills were not actually learnt, but I took a great deal of care and time in getting the style and structure of the novel as right as I could.
During the '70s I lived in the Earls Court area of London, it was a haven for young Australians. It seemed that every one of them owned an older VW Camper and a need to see the world. Is that how you arrived in London?
You are so right, at that time Earl's Court, you will recall, was called Kangaroo Valley. I arrived in London having just completed an economics degree at Melbourne University with little more that youthful enthusiasm and a taste for some form of adventure. I intended to return to Melbourne after six months and that was 21 years ago.
My research shows that when not writing great novels you are a very successful figure in the financial world. How did you find time to write Chameleon?
My writing began as an interest, became a distraction and developed into an obsession. I think to do anything really well you need to have almost an obsessive interest in it. I found the time, but it was not without other sacrifices.
How long did the project take?
I wrote the screenplay first. This took four years and once completed, I realized that the only way to get the screenplay made into a film was to turn it into a best-selling novel. The final draft of the novel took another four years and I am currently in the process of trying to achieve that illustrious best-seller status. As your readers will appreciate, this was a difficult ambition, although I have great confidence and enthusiasm toward the novel and reviews such as yours, give me great heart.