Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending Deal Noir, a convention for crime writers, aspiring writers, bloggers and for those beloved fans of crime fiction.
There’s a time and a place for everything: The event kicked of with a lively debate with Craig Sisterson, Guy Fraser-Sampson, Linda Regan, Daniel Pembrey and William Shaw, focusing on the importance of setting in crime fiction, why each author picked the location for their own novels and what it said about the characters.
The next panel New Blood featured the debut authors; Simon Booker, Sarah Ward, SJI Holliday and Alison Baillie which featured a number of great tips on how each author became published, what influenced their writing and their own writing journeys’.
After a quick break, a funny and engaging session Around the World in 80 Slays kicked off featuring Edward Wilson, William Ryan, Piergiorgio Pulixi, Quentin Bates and Yrsa Sigurdardottir, bringing an international flavour to the conference. The session discussed characters in crime writing, how to approach research and discussed their own personal experiences visiting or living in different countries which feature in the author’s stories including; Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Russia, Italy, Auschwitz and Baltimore.May the Force Be With You was a interesting session with a range of current or ex-military and police officers, David Videcette, Lisa Cutts, Michael Fowler and Matt Johnson. This panel discussed the transition from being in the police force to writing and becoming a published author. It also featured some information about the British police force and how this influenced their own writing.
After lunch the conference restarted with The Life and Crimes of Agatha Christie with Dr John Curran and David Brawn. This was an insight into the well-loved novels of Agatha Christie and how Harper Collins Publishers have changed the way they market their novels to target a new generation. I was delighted with the cheeky reveal of the cover for Closed Casket, the new Hercule Poirot novel penned by Sophie Hannah which will be released later this year.
Watching the Detectives was a engaging panel moderated by Ayo Onatade, featuring the authors, Andrew Taylor, Susan Moody, Simon Brett and John Harvey, discussed what it is like to write a crime series, the pros and cons of writing about an amateur detective and the type of crime series they like to read themselves.
The highlight of the event for me was the Leading Ladies panel with Alison Joseph, Elly Griffiths, Alex Marwood, Sarah Hilary and Elizabeth Haynes. This was a lively discussion about the gender question in crime fiction, the crime victims, the psychopaths, dodgy subsidiary characters, how they plot a novel and each author’s central characters.
The event came to close with Criminal Cabaret with Simon Brett, reading out some of his own humorous works of fiction and a wine reception giving us a chance to talk to the authors and to get those newly purchased books signed. This was my first time attending this event which had such a lovely and friendly atmosphere – I’m very much looking forward to going again next year!