Write about what you know! That’s what they say. And it makes a lot of sense. If a writer can draw on personal experience – a specific setting, a series of events, real people – it makes the creation of the fictive world easier and lends verisimilitude to the story.
My first book was ‘EATING MAMMALS’, about a man who ate furniture for a living. Personal experience? No; I’d never so much as chewed a … Read More >>
A cold, crisp February evening in 2002. We got a cab from our hotel on Times Square and cruised down Broadway in the rush hour traffic. I was reading at the Paris Review’s prize awards that evening in the village. I’d won the magazine’s Discovery Prize, and I was so nervous I hadn’t eaten in two days. When we got to the theatre it was packed with New York’s literary crowd, but despite my … Read More >>
For those that couldn’t make it along to this year’s Creative Thursday, we want you to share your tips from the day. What gems did you take away from the workshops and seminars? Has something helped you along your crime writing path? Let us and other aspiring writers out there know what you thought!
To kick it off, we asked 2011 programming chair Dreda Say Mitchell (pictured below) to give us a glimpse into this year’s Creative … Read More >>
Creative Thursday is a day-long crime fiction creative writing workshop which takes place each year on the opening day of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival.
Creative Thursday gives you the chance to hone your novel and short story writing skills with a day-long programme of workshops and seminars led by bestselling crime writers, publishing industry professionals and real-life crime experts. Featuring sessions from some of the UK’s most successful crime authors, the 2011 programme … Read More >>
Hanging on to hope and a little bit of self-esteem through the rejections:
When I was writing my first book, I hardly told anyone. Just my husband and my children (I could hardly hide it from them) and possibly my siblings. I think. Going away in to the study, having an hour or two to myself in my seventeenth century world was my indulgence, my delight, my secret shame.
I wanted to write the book for myself – … Read More >>
My interest in suspense began when my agent told me that the draft of my novel Frantic had none. The story is about the kidnapping of a child—an inherently suspenseful subject, I had thought. The mother, a paramedic, is naturally distraught. Who has taken her child? And why? I liked the premise and characters, so set out to learn all I could about suspense and see if the book could be saved.
Suspense is the anxious uncertainty felt … Read More >>
All relationships that involve issues of emotion are tough. Marriages founder on mis-matched expectations and a failure to empathise with the problems and sufferings of the ‘Other’. Patients and nurses feel short-changed and under-appreciated as the one fights infection, hospital bureaucracy, and exhaustion, while the other deals with pain, fear, and a desperate need for reassurance. And authors and editors often end up hating each other.
Having been an award-winning editor before turning author, … Read More >>
I was sitting in the spare room. It was only a room in the technical sense, having four walls, a door and a defective window. We’d just about squeezed a pull-out bed in there plus a tiny PC desk. I was at that desk, checking my email. I had been checking it a thousand times a day for maybe three months, ever since I had submitted my manuscript. At some point that obsession was going to … Read More >>
One of the benefits of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate is that publishers, authors and agents are more pliable to handing out their business cards at 2am. Agent Philip Patterson from the Marjacq literary agent did just that…So You’re Booked got in touch with a Q&A to ask him about the tricks of the literary trade.
Marjacq Literary Agents
Philip joined Marjacq in 2003 from Curtis Brown where he was an … Read More >>
Which direction will the crime fiction genre take? Initially, the auguries are bad: many classic genres (notably the police procedural) have undergone a distinct hardening of the arteries, as inspiration gives way to cliché and innovation to repetition. As all hard-pressed crime writers know, it becomes ever tougher to come up with something new. There are so many scribes trampling the flowerbeds and muddying the footprints these days that the … Read More >>
How Much History Is Too Much?
When you’re writing your history you have to know your period, and your place. Developing that depth of knowledge is obviously important if you’re going to make your book believable. But you also need to find a balance.
The reader needs to believe he’s there, but not be overwhelmed by it. Achieving that fine balance can be a difficult trick.
As someone who writes historical crime (my novel, The Broken Token, … Read More >>