I went to Noirwich
A crime writing festival.
Thrills, spills and bodies!
Noirwich was indeed an excellent festival, organised by UEA, Writers Centre Norwich, and Waterstones, with some wonderful sponsors as well. I enjoyed the readings by newer writers at Waterstones on Wednesday, had a great reading and discussion by Sophie Hannah on Thursday, and a thrilling talk by Val McDermid on Friday.
Sophie read from her new (and controversial) Poirot story, which sounds great and I’m looking forward to reading it. There was a really good discussion afterwards about Agatha Christie, cosy mysteries, styles of crime writing, and sleuths in general. Also the issue of character and whether writing someone else’s character is possible. I think it is. Sophie Hannah’s experience in coping with, let’s call it ‘disapproving’, die-hard Christie fans is also instructive. The key phrase I took from her talk was Voice, Character and Atmosphere!
Val McDermid didn’t read from The Skeleton Road, but she told us of the research she did with some really gruesome issues. She also discussed a really wide range of subjects, from writing to Scottish independence, and her views on sense of self for a writer were fascinating.
I did a workshop on crime writing on Saturday, which I found useful for considering all sorts of things to do with my books, including that I do not want to write a crime thriller, since all the subjects others were working on were so grisly it would make me really depressed for the months I was working on it.
All in all a wonderful few days where I made new (and hopefully lasting) friends, and I hope they do another one, or a different writing festival, next year!