Pauline Rowson reports back on CrimeFest 2013

CrimeFest 13 was buzzing as usual. It was great to catch up with some of my fellow crime writers, meet lots of lovely crime fiction fans and meet up with my publisher, Severn House.

Before the Panel from left to right: J.C. Martin, Pauline Rowson, Kerry Wilkinson, Ann Cleeves, Kate Ellis

The panel session on Friday morning was well received by a lively audience and my In the Spotlight Session later the same morning where I talked about "The Perfect System for Writing a Crime Novel" it was standing room only.

The panel session was chaired by Ann Cleeves and appearing with me were crime authors; J. C. Martin, Kate Ellis and Kerry Wilkinson. We discussed many aspects of crime writing and our novels, including why we chose to set them where we did, why we chose to feature cops, how we research our crime novels and who our favourite fictional detectives are.

The panel line up: Pauline Rowson, J. C. Martin, Ann Cleeves, Kate Ellis, Kerry Wilkinson

Not surprisingly we have all chosen to set our crime novels in an area we know, J. C Martin in London, Kerry Wilkinson in Manchester and mine in the Solent area on the South Coast of England, particularly in Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. But we all agreed that the areas we chose have contrasts between rich and poor, providing a great canvas for crime novels. I also mentioned that the contrast between the urban environment of Portsmouth and the rural one of the Isle of Wight with an ever changing sea separating the two provides me with another great element for creating atmospheric crime novels

We agreed that the Internet is a great asset for crime writers when it comes to research and that the police are also extremely co-operative and helpful.  Both Kate Ellis and I also praised a great little book called "The Crime Writer's Handbook - 65 ways to kill your victim - in print" by Douglas Wynn. Very useful for anyone writing crime fiction.

Pauline Rowson answering a question at CrimeFest

 When it came to choosing our favourite fictional detectives, Kerry Wilkinson had to admit that he doesn't even read crime fiction which drew a shocked gasp from the audience! J. C Martin opted for a detective based in Malaysia while Kate Ellis and I went for the anarchic  Detective Superintendent Andy Daziel created by the late and very talented Reginald Hill.

Not one of us has a police background so why did we choose to write about cops? I think the consensus was that it wasn't so much we all deliberately set out to choose to write about cops but somehow found ourselves doing so.  

I was asked what I was currently working on.  Well, I am busy writing another DI Andy Horton crime novel, number eleven in the series, but I am also working on a new hero, who is not a policeman for a new thriller series.

Pauline Rowson taking a question at CrimeFest 13

It was a very enjoyable panel followed by  a great In the Spotlight Session where I talked about 'The Perfect System for Writing a Crime Novel'.

Already looking forward to CrimeFest 2014.


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