The Paris Review, their series of interviews with writers comes first. Such as this one with William Trevor: "I think self-confidence is a very dangerous thing for writers. I tend to write in a fragile, edgy, doubtful sort of way, trying things out all the time, never confident that I've got something right," which sums up my afternoon's work perfectly. And this one, with P.D. James: "I write the books out of order, rather as if I were shooting a film, and then put the story together at the end". Or this one, with John Le Carré: "It's a principle of mine to come into the story as late as possible, and to tell it as fast as you can," which has made me think about my current project in a different, refreshing way.
Wednesday, 9 November 2011
Back at the end of the summer, when the days were still long and the weather was (almost) balmy, the team in charge of the Harrogate Crime Festival ran a Reader Review competition: write a review of a crime book and upload it to You're Booked, with a prize for the best submission. I entered my review of Luther: the Calling by Neil Cross, a book that terrified me. And last Monday, a particularly dreary day of fog and cold, I received an email: "I am pleased to announce that your review has been selected as the winning entry in our Reader Reviews Competition. Thank you so much for taking the time to write and submit your review. We very much enjoyed reading your submission. Wonderfully written and incredibly perceptive, we thought your review gave the perfect balance of plot summary and personal analysis."
My prize? A goody bag 'jam-packed' with crime books. I call that a result. Thank you, Harrogate team!
Monday, 7 November 2011
Here's some good news to brighten your Monday morning: Vanessa Gebbie's first novel is published today by Bloomsbury. The Coward's Tale is already picking up terrific reviews, including one by A.N. Wilson who calls the book a 'gem'. I've been a fan of Vanessa's short stories since I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch of Words from a Glass Bubble, her first collection (Storm Gathering is her second). What's more, Vanessa is truly supportive of other writers and has done much to boost my confidence and keep me striving for better. Congratulations, Vanessa, on The Coward's Tale and so much more. May Ianto find a huge audience, everywhere.