WAN meets Charles Bancroft

Monday 18 Oct 2010

With his true identity still a mystery, Charles Bancroft gives WAN a sneak peak of his sequel to The Architect

The man who remains as mysterious as the villains in his stunning first novel The Architect, the elusive Charles Bancroft talks exclusively to WAN about what lays in store for readers of his follow-up book Masterplan, due out in mid-November. 

Can you give us any clues as to what we can expect in the sequel to your thrilling debut novel, The Architect?
Well I don't want give too much away, but Masterplan will certainly feature many of the most colourful characters from The Architect. It's a complex plot, probably much more so than The Architect and its set on the world stage. I expect it to ruffle a few feathers.

Your central figure in The Architect - Rob Gilbert - split the reviewers right down the middle. Was this something you planned when creating the character?
Well I wouldn't say that it was planned but I have been delighted that Rob has provoked such reactions from readers. Women love to hate him, and men, well I think that many men secretly wish they could be him... I certainly aim to build on this aspect in Masterplan.

You've been eternally secretive with your identity up until now. Are you ever tempted to step into the media spotlight?

There have been several parallels drawn between the characters in The Architect and some of the larger than life figures practicing today (namely Will Alsop and Albert Taylor). Are you willing to admit that some of your creations are not truly as fictional as they appear at first glance?
I was expecting that question. Well. Like all fiction, The Architect was inspired by real people and of course, in the case of the Paris airport collapse, real events. But I think that the real driver for me at the concept stage was to take the tried and tested formula used in most  crime novels out of its tired home of police and forensics, and let it grow in a new colourful  world of architecture, engineering and construction. The main interest for me wasn't who Rob or Alfred really were, and as you say, there has been much speculation on this subject, but their relationship. Exposing the tension between an architect and an engineer.

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