Jeg har lest mye negativt om Alistair MacLean, om alkoholismen og konsekvensene av den, så det gjorde godt å lese intervjuet under, der det fortelles om hvordan han strakk ut hånden til en på det tidspunktet ukjent skribent - og oppførte seg akkurat slik man gjerne vil at folk med hans enorme talent skal oppføre seg.
Intervjuet fant jeg på bloggen til forfatter Ed Gorman - http://newimprovedgorman.blogspot.com/ - og han igjen hadde funnet det på en australiensk side. Intervjuet er med thrillerforfatter Jack Higgins, som blant annet forteller om hvordan han møtte MacLean.
"There are writers I've read, at a literary level, who write different kinds of books than me. I suppose that when I was trying to hone my skills, I very much admired Graham Greene. I admired classic writers, like F. Scott Fitzgerald. I was never a Hemingway fan.
But, in terms of thriller writers I always admired Alistair Maclean at his best - HMS Ulysses, The Guns of Navarone, Where Eagles Dare. Years later when his health wasn't good, a few of the novels became shorter and thinner, but that was because at that stage he found it more convenient to write them as film scripts.
He was very good to me because once I was coming out of the Collins offices and my name was shouted; I turned around and it was Maclean, and he'd been in the building and he'd asked the receptionist who I was. So he came out and called to me and insisted that we had a drink, and we sat in the pub.
He simply said, "I've read your book and you've really got big potential. I think you're going to make it in a big way". Then we had a general chat about life and publishing, where he made a few points that I'll always remember: that he'd given up reading reviews, that people will put you down because you're not writing a Booker Prize book, you're writing a thriller.
And he said, "after all I have an MA in English Literature from Glasgow University." So he said, "I'm hardly a fool." He said to me, "What about you?" "Well yes, in fact, I'm a Senior Lecturer at a university." I saw him again quite a long time later, and he liked The Eagle Has Landed so much he gave us a great puff, which stayed on the cover for years. Nice man. His work at his best was definitely an inspiration."
Som sagt: Det er godt når helter oppfører seg som helter.
Helt til slutt vil jeg benytte anledningen til å anbefale Jack Higgins' nevnte The Eagle Has Landed. Fullt på høyde med MacLeans beste.