April 10, 2011 · 5:30 pm
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)?
The three writers were Continue reading →
Filed under art, What I'm Reading
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January 27, 2010 · 10:12 pm
Feline loving fool - What not to name your cat.
When does welcome mean goodbye? When it’s the title of the seminar designed to ease you out of your job. Nineteen of us were in attendance at the Welcome Seminar, each clutching our “welcome pack”. We felt like extras out of Up In The Air. Which is where our futures are at present.
To be fair, the session was useful, and the women running it friendly and professional. And one was from Carlingford. What more could you ask for? Perhaps I should check out the film to see how George Clooney would have handled us.
So – a few more weeks and welcomes to the world outside, and that’ll be that. I’d better get a move on finishing writing this book, Blackwatertown. (Opening lines here.) The good news is, it’s nearly complete. I was hoping to be done by the end of this month, but realistically it’ll be February now.
Which means that, book written, current employment behind me, I’ll be available for weddings, funerals, bar mitzvahs, freelancing, wild book launch parties and promotional tours. Happy days.
But enough about me. In other news: Is it significant that the fool in the newspaper cutting above is a cat owner? Would a dog owner be as stupid? Or worse?
Kolmanskop, Namibia. An abandoned city.
And this post caught my eye – a set of eerie Abandoned Cities from Daily Cognition. No. 3 on the list is Kolmanskop, a small town a few miles inland from the port of Lüderitz in Namibia. According to Daily Cog’: “Windswept sand has made its way into nearly every building in the town, which was once a diamond mining town and abandoned in 1956 as diamond demand declined and richer sources of diamonds were discovered in other areas. Its only residents are now birds, hyenas and other animals.”
Next time: The book is not even published, but already I’m receiving warnings that it could annoy people. The type of readers who express their annoyance in a more physically direct way than writing a bad review. Ain’t life rosy.
Filed under life, My Writing
Tagged as abandoned cities, blackwater, blackwatertown, book, Carlingford, desert, Film, George Clooney, help cat, job, Kolmanskop, movie, My Writing, Namibia, sand, Up In The Air, warning, welcome, welcome seminar, what not to name your cat