An interview with… Philip Kazan

In the November issue of Writers Forum I interviewed Philip Kazan about his research for his novel The Black Earth, based during the Greek Civil War in the run-up to WWII.


Philip explained to me how he used his family history as inspiration for the novel. He found as many eye-witness accounts as he could and pieced them together. He also found useful information in the UK and US newspaper archives.

black earth mock 1

One of his research tips for other historical writers is to find a tangible link to the period you are writing about, such as food and music. When talking about his writing process Philip said:

My practice is to write whatever I feel like writing as I build the characters and tell the story. What I’m usually left with is a huge book full of digressions that really fascinate me but are extraneous to the main thrust of the narrative. I prune reluctantly until I find the hard outline, then I become fairly ruthless. I love research and I love detail, but in the end it’s usually obvious what a reader will see as padding and what will actually advance the story.

You can read the full interview in the Nov 2018 #205 issue of Writers Forum. You can find out more about Philip Kazan and his books on his website or follow him on Twitter @pipazan 

1 thought on “An interview with… Philip Kazan

  1. Pingback: Launch of my new blog | Anita Loughrey Blog

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