Sunday 25 August 2013

Crime in the Caves (Unputdownable) and Discover Short Stories

I'm chuffed to be chairing Crime in the Caves on 21 October, as part of Unputdownable, for the Bristol Festival of Literaure. Early signs are that it will involve wellies, a headlamp torch and crime's coolest beard-wearer, Stav Sherez.

Our third adventure underground. The depths of crime should never see the light of day. Or should they? Highly gifted authors from indie publisher Faber, on the dark side of humanity. With Bristol professional actors voicing the performances.

In the meantime, I'm all about short stories:

"An evening with five local authors and entertaining performers - Philip Douch, Louise Gethin, Kevlin Henney and Sarah Hilary are introduced by the Winterbourne short fiction writer Pauline Masurel. Listen to their short stories and why they love the rich variety of the short story form. Booking required, cost £2, refreshments available, not suitable for those under 14."

Who could resist? I'll be reading Udumbara in Lytham St Anne's and hoping not to upset any of the over 14 year olds in the audience who own caravans and know a thing or two about chemical lavatories. I'll also be jamming with the other writers about why short stories are so damn good. This could take a while. Do come if you can.

In other news, I've now moved to Bath which is a city so enticingly lovely it's a bit of a struggle to sit down and write. Luckily, there are any number of great cafes to work in; failing that, I may hire a houseboat on the canal, or ask our neighbour to build me a writing shed.

Next up: I'm doing an interview for Lloyd Paige about Someone Else's Skin and its follow up. More about that very soon.

Saturday 3 August 2013

Someone Else's Skin #review by Susi Holliday

Susi Holliday aka SJ Holliday (because all great crime writers need a pseudonym) has written the sort of review every writer dreams of getting for their first novel: thoughtful, sensitive, in touch with the characters and with an instinctive feel for what, as a writer, I was trying to achieve. This absolutely made my Saturday. Thank you, Susi.
Even though I flew through the pages, Sarah Hilary's incredibly assured debut, Someone Else’s Skin is a difficult read. Not because it’s not well written (the language and style is quite beautiful and unique, and I put this down to Sarah’s skills as a short story writer, her ability to tell a story using the perfect words in a shorter medium) but because the subject matter – domestic violence – is a difficult one to let into your head.
Susi Holliday is represented by Phil Patterson of Marjacq. She is working on her debut psychological suspense, Black Wood. Read about her adventure so far, here.

Friday 2 August 2013

You Heard It Here Second

The Last Properly Shaved Man in Britain (not my words but those of MC Beaton), Jake Kerridge, has written a properly excellent round-up of the magic and mayhem that is the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival for Shots Mag.

Find out who won the coveted Shirt-Most-Likely-To-Be-Seen-From-Mars Award! Don't find out who won the Harrogate Quiz! Learn Jake Kerridge's biggest regret! And place bets now for the likelihood of Stav Sherez heading up a cosy crime panel...!

(The only thing missing is the story of Barry (Barrington) Forshaw's early exploits as an illustrator for my favourite girl's comics. But I expect Jake (Jake) Kerridge preferred to draw a veil.)

Otherwise, it's all here, including the various excuses dreamt up by those in the know to address thorny questions like How Crime Writer, Why Crime Writer? It's either because we're all deranged misfits living miserable existences, or we're very, very nice. Take your pick. And be glad you were given a choice.