I spent a couple of days at the Crime Writers Festival in Harrogate.
On Thursday I attended a creative writing workshop. The first session was on creating characters and plot. Working in groups of five with help from the presenters at the end of two hours we had created a plot for a new crime novel. The second session was on forensics, the theme being do we really see what we think we see? The third session looked at six modern crime writers who have each contributed an original aspect to the genre.
We finished with The Dragon’s Pen, modelled on the TV show but far less confrontational.
Each contestant, whose name was pulled out of a hat, had two minutes to make a pitch of their next book. A panel of agents and publishers asked a few questions and if interested agreed to look at the writer’s synopsis and sample chapters. About twelve names were pulled out of the hat; most had at least one agent or publisher interested. I had put my name in the hat for my next book but I didn’t get selected to make a pitch.
On the Friday and Saturday I attended a few more talks. Ruth Rendell and Lee Child spoke about their writing routine (RR 3 hours in the morning, LC 5 hours in the afternoon). I listened to an interview with four German crime writers, a discussion of towering influences for five British crime writers. There followed a panel discussion of Ian Fleming’s James Bond creation: the panel appropriately dressed in dinner jackets and sipping their vodka martinis.
Finally I attended a very interesting interview with forensic anthropologist Professor Sue Black.