Deep inside the perfect secondhand bookshop, the sign above an enticing locked door says Mysteries. Above that again are crime novels and a Thompson sub machine gun. You cant beat Westsider Books on Manhattans Upper West Side for atmosphere.
I shouldn’t really be telling you this, because I’m about to flit the country again and I’m unprepared. But SamHenry from On My Watch insisted. So here goes.
The other night I sat down with three award-winning or nominated crime writers who opened up (in a non-machine gun way) about their trade. Among the secrets they laid bare were:
1. What’s the point of crime writing? 2. The difference between crime writing and literary fiction? 3. Crime writing v. noir? 4. Does crime writing change anything? 5. Does it work in colonial or post-colonial societies? 6. Can you have a whodunnit in a developing economy? 7. Should put your friends and neighbours into the story? 8. Is there too much graphic violence against women? 9. Is Nordic Noir for wimps? 10. And – What they think you should read next (apart from themselves)?
Maybe I should not have let my nine-year-old daughter fill in our census form. Looking at the form, we seem to have acquired an extra resident.
The once-every ten years trawl for information took place on Sunday night. It’s an offence not to to fill it in. It says on the front of the form. “You could face a fine if you don’t participate or if you supply false information.”
It also says: “Your personal information is protected by law. Census information is kept confidential for 100 years.”
A hundred years? Sure who can wait that long? When I checked over our completed census form, I found this entry for the fifth member of our household. As the form says: Individual questions – Person 5 start here…
1. What is your name? Christy Shmib (First I knew he had a surname.)
Blackwatertown - the blog & the book - are by Paul Waters. (So is The Obituarist.) I present a podcast & radio show called We'd Like A Word with Stevyn Colgan. It's about books, authors, publishers, readers, editors, agents, illustrators, poets, script writers & lyricists. The podcast is at https://anchor.fm/wed-like-a-word or wherever you get your podcasts. And the website is www.wedlikeaword.com or on social media @wedlikeaword
I also make other radio, TV & podcasts. Leave a comment or email me at paulwaters99 at hotmail.com Thanks for reading. Paul