CrimeFest 2013 was a blast. Not only because I met so many wonderful crime fiction and thriller reading enthusiasts, but because I got to chat to so many awesomely talented thriller authors.
Meet my fellow panelists on the Is It Rocket Science? gig: Dean Crwford, Richrad Parker and Alex Blackmore, chaired by the hilarious Emlyn Rees of Exhibit A books.
I met the prolific Jeffery Deaver. He was rightfully proud that his novels are commercial fiction. It was fascinating to hear him talk about how he “outlines” his stories in considerable detail before he writes. That age old question: are you a plotter or a “pantser”? I fall somewhere between the two. I develop my central characters fully before I write the story. I plot the key stages of the novel. I know how it will begin, and broadly how it will end. But then I let the characters take over and go off on their own adventure. Sometimes the end of my thriller will change because of this, and because it has evolved organically, the ending is all the more powerful.
Zoe Sharp is a kick-arse action-adventure thriller author who loves nothing better than spending time on a rifle range. It was great to meet another female author who loves writing high-pace, big action high-concept thrillers as much as I do. This photo was taken after the CrimeFest Gala Dinner. Two dangerous blondes!
I met the very tall secret agent, Charles Cumming, who writes spy thrillers and has been likened to John Le Carre (what a compliment!).
He claims he’s not an agent at all, but MI6 did approach him once about becoming a spy and nothing came of it. I don’t believe him! That’s far too neat. He is certainly a great author and a secret agent! I mean, if he has to disappear for a while, he can always claim he’s on a book tour! In this photo, Charles is on the right, and we are with the charming William Sutton, whose new book Lawless and the Devil of Euston Square is about to be released. Good luck, Will!
More updates and photos to come soon …