This weekend I spent two days attending an excellent crime writing course run by the Curtis Brown Literary Agency and the Orion Murder Room which was held in central London. The tutor was the crime writer Meg Gardiner who shared so much in such a short time it is going to take days to inwardly digest the material, and apply a large dose of lateral thinking and apply it to my work.
One thing truly astonished me.
On Sunday afternoon our small group pitched our story ideas and read the opening paragraphs to the literary agent Gordon Wise and Orion editor Bill Massey who were supportive and gave some remarkable insights into the publishing world of 2012.
But it was the diversity of story ideas and talent around the room that took my breath away. Everything from post black death village crime to sex slave trafficking and gangland killing through to big international medical thrillers.
Amazing! And of course that is the joy of crime writing. Something for every taste. In much the same way as the subgenres of romance meet every reader’s needs.
But attending this course also meant that I was in London during the Service of Remembrance held at the Cenotaph at 11am. More than that, I shared my bus and train journey into London [engineering works] with many men and a few women in uniform and full regalia and could not help but overhear their chat about who and where and when and why. Names of men they knew 40 yrs ago sounded as familiar to them as their friends and neighbours. Perhaps more so.
It was a poignant moment when Meg Gardiner stopped teaching and gave us our 2 mins of silence at 11am.
For a special treat – go to the Guardian and hear actors reading war poetry. Sean Bean has me sniffling. HERE. [ you have to put up with the adverts but worth it.]