Friday, 31 July 2020

Partners in crime at the Festival of Chichester

Crime authors Pauline Rowson, Peter Lovesey and Simon Brett

Owing to the Covid-19 crisis, events and talks are  postponed so I'm continuing my theme of looking back on my talks to some wonderful audiences, in conjunction with some great writers.  Here is a very lively event in which I participated with fellow crime authors, Simon Brett and Peter Lovesey.

On 8 July 2013 it fell to me to grill my fellow crime writers Peter Lovesey and Simon Brett at an event entitled "Under Interrogation" held at Chichester Library as part of the celebration for the Festival of Chichester.

The three of us gave the capacity audience of fifty-five a flavour of how we research, plot and write our crime novels.

Peter Lovesey and I talked about our detectives and how they differed.  My DI Andy Horton is fit and fearless, a real action man, a maverick cop who doesn't conform and who is always on the outside, despite his desire to belong. While Peter's detective, Peter Diamond, is older and more set in his ways, a 'dinosaur' as Peter Lovesey described him who doesn't embrace technology.  Simon Brett told the audience why he chose instead to feature amateur sleuths in his novels.  His reason being he says he knows nothing about police procedure.

Pauline Rowson and Peter Lovesey

The panel and audience at Chichester Library

Crime author Pauline Rowson talks about her mystery novels

We also discussed locations for our crime novels.  The Inspector Andy Horton series is set in Portsmouth, the Solent and the Isle of Wight, an area I  know well and where I live which is a great help when researching.  Portsmouth is also a vibrant waterfront city with great contrasts, rich and poor, historic and contemporary and its urban landscape contrasts sharply with the rural one of the Isle of Wight five miles across the Solent.  The sea almost takes on the role of a character in the Horton series.

Peter Lovesey sets his Diamond series in Bath where he once lived, so he knows it well and Simon Brett has chosen to set his novels in fictitious Fethering which is somewhere in West Sussex.

We discussed many aspects of crime writing and the audience asked us questions.  This was followed by a book signing. 

Pauline Rowson signing one of her crime novels for a reader

It was a highly enjoyable evening. My thanks to Chichester Library for organising it and to the audience who gave up the opportunity to spend a glorious summer evening to listen to us.

Hope that talks might resume in 2021!

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