Noelle Holten in Conversation with Lin Anderson – Morecambe and Vice Festival Review @Lin_Anderson @Noelle Holten @MorecambeVice @BloodyScotland @Blazespage #CrimeFiction #Bookish

Noelle Holten in Conversation with Lin Anderson

Lin Anderson closed the first day of the festival in style with her latest book – Time for the Dead as well as entertaining and interesting anecdotes and talk of festivals.

 

Lyn Anderson and Noelle Holton                                                     Noelle Holten and Lin Anderson

What a life Lin Anderson has had so far. She taught Maths and Computing before giving it up to write for a living with her first story to tell – River Child. She has a book optioned for tv and is the co-founder of crime book festival Bloody Scotland.

Noelle Holten has her debut novel published and was featured on the Spotlight part of Bloody Scotland before Ian Rankin talked about his latest book The House of Lies. Noelle’s book is called Dead Inside. She also reckons crime books have the most diverse collection of stories told within them.

Noelle was great at asking the questions to Lin about her latest book and a dog called Blaze – a border collie up in Skye, which she describes as being majestic as well as Bloody Scotland.

Lin Anderson has not just the talent for writing books, but also of telling amusing anecdotes to her audience, such as about Blaze taking her for a walk in a place which inspired the opening of her novel. 
She also talked about how axe throwing is empowering. I’ll take her word for it, never having tried that myself. Turns out she sounds like she’s pretty good at it.

Rhona McLeod books, are inspired by a place or a meeting and can be read as stand-alone.

Time for the Dead is Lin Anderson’s 14th novel.

She read an extract from her book and I must say it seemed atmospheric with the sounds and environment that is described, which would draw readers into the immediate surroundings. Very quickly there is intrigue that makes you want to hear more.


It w
as so interesting to hear about how Lin started to write with short stories and the courses and writing retreats she went to, one in-particular being situated in Inverness.

Noelle posed an interesting question asking how important are crime festivals and in inspiring and to aspiring new authors?

It turns out very important as crime books tell the world of today and cross all sections of society as police can get into it all.
Lin recalled Ian Rankin saying “if you’re going to go to a country you’ve never been to before, buy a popular crime book and you’ll learn more about the country than a travel guide”. It certainly was thought provoking. Crime writers certainly seem to, in my experience of reading their books, give great descriptions about many places and areas that aren’t necessarily touristy too, for example, I’ve never been to Gibraltar, but I feel I could confidently go if I were to have the time because of the way Robert Daws describes it in his books. Ian Rankin, Lin Anderson, Alex Gray and many other crime writers also allow readers to really gain good knowledge of a place through their skilful writing.

She then went onto talk about Driftneck and also how real life encounters can play into fiction. She has an amazing tale to tell about how she decided, her protagonist, Rhona McLeod, was going to be a forensic scientist. Some other situations were a bit more harrowing, but none-the-less important she brought them up and were worth mulling over and hearing things from a different perspective. Lin Anderson certainly seemed to ahead of time as she recalled it was at a time there weren’t many about in the fictional crime world. She talked more about forensics and the pace it changes and in relation to her writing. Talks like these are always interesting as they often throw something out there that a reader may not particularly always have thought about.

The talk about Bloody Scotland was so informative. This is another festival I also love and is amazingly so close to where I come from.

Everyone could tell how much work is put into putting on a festival. It was 3 1/2 year in the planning, although they got their headliners quickly for the first one. Credit to Alex Gray who suggested it should be in Stirling. Stirling has so many great venues to offer and so much to offer visitors, such as restaurants, the shops, the castle and the Wallace Monument, the scenery and the architecture.
The founders launched Bloody Scotland in both Stirling and London and certainly had a plan for a direction to go in and what they wanted to achieve. They had 3 aims:
1 – Find brand new writers – it became Pitch Perfect – it’s a 100 word pitch of your work.        They’ve seen writers being published from this.
2 – Give a platform for new writers – this became Spotlight where writers can read an            extract  from their books.
3 – Have authors at different stages in their career.
These all run simultaneously and I must say that they are more than acheiving this and are doing it incredibly well. Many things from crime writers quizzing, playing football, singing, giving talks and signings can all be seen during the weekend of Bloody Scotland.

Lin also gave a mention to Capital Crime Festival in London, which was on the same weekend as Morecambe and Vice Festival.

Lin went onto concluding talking more about festivals and also about how authors are approachable at them. I have to say they certainly are and it doesn’t seem to matter whether you’ve seen an author more than once or meeting them for first time, or whether they are a best-selling or award-winning author or not, in my experience anyway, they’ve always been warm and most approachable.

The Bloody Scotland segment of her talk certainly sparked interest (as did her books), but people were certainly asking others about the festival, trying to get more information and there seemed to be quite a buzz about it.

If anyone ever gets the chance to see Lin Anderson talk about any of her books, I highly recommend you do because you’re in for a fabulous time!
I also highly recommend attending Bloody Scotland in September in Stirling.

                                                   

Lin Anderson Books

 

Killing Rock by Robert Daws Blog Tour Rated 5 Stars @RobertDaws @BOTBSPublicity #SarahHardy #blogtour @MorecambeVice #Crime #Fiction #Review #Gibraltar #MidlandHotel #Lancaster #Morecambe

Killing Rock
By Robert Daws
Rating: 5 Stars *****

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I am absolutely honoured to be reviewing for the Morecambe and Vice blog tour. Thanks to Sarah Hardy who had noticed I had attended the Morecambe and Vice Festival last year and for inviting me to join the Morecambe and Vice blog tour. I am also looking forward to attending the festival this year too. I am very pleased to be able to review for Robert Daws and his book Killing Rock.

M&V Blog Tour Poster

 

About the Author

 

Robert Daws PicRobert trained at RADA.

His many television credits include: Dr Gordon Ormerod in eight series of The Royal, Sam Mountjoy in three series of John Sullivan’s Roger Roger and Tuppy Glossop in four series of Jeeves and Wooster. Also, Roger Dervish in the award- winning Outside Edge. (Nominated Best Actor-British Comedy Awards) Most recently he played Ernie Raynor in the Only Fools and Horses prequel trilogy, Rock and Chips and made guest appearances in New Tricks and Doc Martin. He has also played Jack Whitehall’s father Michael in Little Cracker – Daddy’s Little Princess for Sky and Will Tudor-Bass in Holby. He also plays the town curmudgeon, Dr. Thomas Choake in the BBC’s hugely successful Poldark – currently filming series four – and has recently completed filming Father Brown, Death In Paradise, a return to Midsomer Murders and the films An Unkind Word and Swimming With Men. He also plays ‘Shank’ Shankovitz in Sky’s new comedy series, Sick Note.

Other leading roles include hospital manager Simon Eastman in Casualty, Major Hound in Channel Four’s Sword of Honour, Dick Thompson in the BBC’s Take A Girl Like You, Simon Snell in You Can Choose Your Friends, Oscar Beatty in The Mystery of Men plus countless guest performances in programmes such as Midsomer MurdersThe Missing PostmanThe BillGame Set and MatchLovejoyBirds of a FeatherPie in the SkyThe Paul Merton ShowLovejoyEmbassyThe Dirty Dozen et al and so on. One of his personal favourites was to be a guest on the last ever episode of A Bit of Fry and Laurie, for which he played the Last Post on a trumpet. His own one.

Films include Prof. Philip Chessman in the supernatural thriller The Unfolding – recently selected for a Leicester Square premiere as part of FrightFest. The new British comedy, Swimming With Men, directed by Oliver Parker. Arthur’s DykeLand of the BlindAccording to ColinThe Great Escape Two and Richard Ordinary.

Recent theatre work includes Michael Frayn’s  Alarms and Excursions and Sir Alan Ayckbourn’s hit comedy, How The Other Half Loves, playing Frank Foster. Dr John Watson in The Secret of Sherlock Holmes at the Duchess Theatre, and Geoffrey Hammond in Public Property at the Trafalgar Studios and Jim Hacker in Yes Prime Minister at the same theatre. Also Charles Pooter in Diary Of A Nobody at the Theatre Royal, Northampton and the National Tour of Blackbird by David Harrower, for which Robert was nominated for Best Actor in the Manchester Evening News Drama Awards. He also played the frantic taxi driving bigamist, John Smith, in Ray Cooney’s hit comedy farce Caught in the Net, at the Vaudeville Theatre. Robert regularly performs Summoned by Betjeman by Christopher Matthew, in which he portrays the late Poet Laureate and ‘Teddy bear to the nation’, John Betjeman. He is currently playing P.G. Wodehouse in William Humble’s Wodehouse In Wonderland as a performed reading for literary festivals. It will also be produced as a full theatre production in 2019.

A regular contributor on radio as actor and broadcaster, Robert has read biographies of both P.G Wodehouse and John Betjeman for Radio 4 and co-created the long running radio series, with writer Brian B Thompson, Trueman and Riley, in which he plays D.I Trueman. He also played Prof. David Poll in the comedy series Higher by Joyce Bryant and Arthur Lowe in Roy Smiles, Dear Arthur, Love John. Also, Goodnight From Him, in which he plays Ronnnie Barker in the story of the Two Ronnies and Arthur Box-Bender in Sword of Honour by Evelyn Waugh, adapted into six parts by Jeremy Front. Most recently he has recorded Incredible Women by Rebecca Front and Jeremy Front and The Erpingham Camp by Joe Orton, the BBC’s anniversary tribute to the playwrite. He has also happily recorded audios for Dr Who and Torchwood for Big Finish.

His first crime novella, The Rock, was published in 2012 and made the top of the Amazon Bestseller list five times.

His second Sullivan and Broderick murder mystery, The Poisoned Rock, was published in Sept 2016. His third in the series, Killing Rock, will be available in 2019. His ghost story, Tunnel Vision – also set in Gibraltar, recently became an Amazon No 1 bestseller.

Robert has three children, Ben, Betsy and May and is married to the actress Amy Robbins.

Killing Rock cover

Blurb

Hollywood, 1968

A chance encounter on the Sunset Strip leads to a teenage obsession.

Costa de la Luz, 2006

A lone woman walks ten kilometers to the sea. Her life is in danger and she must escape.

The Rock of Gibraltar, The present.

D.S. Ttamara Sullivan is about to start a month’s break from police work and begin a holiday in Spain. When she returns to the Rock, she will take up a full time position with the Royal Gibraltar Police. She’s been involved in two major murder investigations in as many months. But murder brings her back to Gibraltar sooner thhan she things, and her main suspect is someone close to her. Someone far too close for comfort.

Killing Rock…

Is Sillivan and Broderick’s most frightening case to date. Testing their trust in the truth and throwing their proessional and personal relationships into a spiral of peril.


Review

Robert Daws has successfully written another great novel that balances crime, setting and characterisation very well. I have a feeling that if I ever get a chance to visit Gibraltar I will be able to instantly recognise the places he describes, to the finer directional detail. The fact that this book still has an excellent pace for its genre is within the skill of the writing. The book acts, like the previous 2 as both stand-alone and as part of the series. It is complete within itself and there is enough detail within this one for anyone who has not read the previous two books – The Rock and Poisonous Rock ( which I also reviewed earlier in the year and will re-publish), to grasp an understanding of the characters and the relationship between them all and why Tamara Sullivan is in Gibraltar.

The book begins in 1969, California with Donna and Von in a club. I have read the previous books by Robert Daws and he is very good at setting the background and scene. With the background set, the book quickly moves to Spain, 2006 before chapter 1 takes readers to Gibraltar in the present day, where readers of his previous books will be reunited by Broderick and Sullivan, or introduced to them if you have not yet met them.

It doesn’t take long for there to be a murder case to solve and before long it is discovered there, somewhere in the Costas in Spain, is perhaps a serial killer. This isn’t just about solving a case however, the characters have emotions and lives to lead too within this story too, outwith their work. Robert Daws is very good at is creating atmosphere, and giving his characters feelings, and in reminding readers they are not just police officers. The characters are believable and it is fascinating to see further insight into how they have developed in their working relationships.

The story takes some dark turns and characters, especially Max, are taken to the darkest of places. There are ghosts of the past in this story and the case plunges readers into a very intriguing investigation. The story has depth to it and the historical time-lining all has purpose to the present day events. This is not to say the book jumps about a lot. About half-way through or so, readers are taken back to 1969, but this works very well in giving even greater insight of what was happening in this period.

When there is an investigation going on with a main character, it is even more compelling to read further to see what happens next as these are characters that are easy to care about.

The book has an excellent conclusion. I do enjoy Robert Daws writing and his passion for Gibraltar, which really shows. I highly recommend this book and indeed the entire series so far.

I thank Sarah Hardy for inviting me and I thank Robert Daws for sending a signed book and postcard.

Please note that this is an unbiased review                                                                                                       

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Screenwriters Who Write Novels Too!

All these people have been working with some of the big names in showbiz and have written for some of the most well-known tv dramas and talked about what they have written for, their favourite moments and how they began. Each have now also added the title of author onto their talents.

Charles Harris et-al
*Stephen Gallagher, Simon Booker and Charles Harris, all having fun.

Simon Booker

Simon started his career writing a collection of dramas for Radio 4. He has written for Prime Time for the BBC, ITV and the US. He wrote the screenplays for Just William, The Inspector Linley Mysteries, Holby City and the Mrs Bradley Mysteries. In the US he wrote a couple of romantic comedies starring Anna Friel and Rob Lowe. He has also worked in the field of Journalism.
Simon reckoned his favourite moment was when working on the Mrs Bradley Mysteries, he had lunch with Dame Diana Rigg and Neil Dudgeon. It was a very happy time and then a seagull went and, to put it as politely as possible, did its stuff over the table. This, as Simon was recalling this minute, seemed to make him (and his audience laugh).

He touched a bit on his latest book – Animal Instinct. His protagonist is a traumatised ex-cop, who prefers animals to people. It is available in physical book form and on Audible, where Brendan Coyle from Downton Abbey and Lia William from The Crown narrate.

Simon booker book

Charles Harris

Charles Harris has been writing, for what he says, is forever. He had also been making home movies from a young age. In fact he was still at school when he began this. It opened doors for him to be able to do amateur work, which in turn gave him opportunities to work professionally within the industry. He said of success, that “it came in increments.” He directed the soap Brookside and directed, wrote and produced Paradise Grove, amongst others. He won a number of accolades for Paradise Grove.
Charles also likes Fringe theatre (of course the largest example of this in the world is in Edinburgh, Scotland). He likes it because it gives a platform to try things out.

Having been to Edinburgh many times myself, it is true to say many actors, writers, directors, producers, comedians (both established and those starting out) have tried new material out there before taking it anywhere else.

Charles Harris worked with Rula Lenska and Ron Moody on Paradise Grove and reckoned his favourite moment was bringing them their lines.

Charles Harris said he may create a screenplay. He has written books teaching about screenwriting, short stories for anthologies and a novel, which can be found on Amazon. It is already broken into the Amazon “Genre Bestselling List” and has been nominated for “The Wishing Shelf” book awards.

A little about the novel “The Breaking of Liam Glass – experienced journalist, Jason Crowthorne. He is desperate – his career’s in tatters, his love life on the rocks and his finances a disaster. In one frantic last bid to turn it all around, he cheats his way onto a secure hospital ward and stumbles on the scoop of his career – one that could get him onto front pages across the country.

Charles Harris book

M.J. Arlidge

M.J. Arlidge worked on the soap Eastenders and dramas such as Monarch of the Glen and Silent Witness.
He has written many books and is possibly most notably known for the very successful Eeny Meeny. His latest book, published this year (2018) is titled Down to the Woods.
Mr Arlidge said he already knew someone in publishing, which helped when looking for literary agents.

His Detective Inspector of his serial killer series is D.I. Helen Grace He sets his books in and around the English coastal city of Southampton. D.I. Helen Grace is a tough, determined police officer who rides a motorbike and prefers to travel through life alone, she nevertheless has her personal demons to contend with. She lives alone but takes occasional lovers and is also deeply committed to her work of tackling crime within the pages of these  darkly written books.

He later went on to say that he writes in short chapters, as that is how he structures screenplays.
His favourite moment came when he had to choose between actors Hardy and Fasbender.

MJ Arlidge

Paul Finch

Paul Finch is a former police officer. He later went on to write a screenplay and then landed a job writing for ITV drama The Bill. He later told me that he introduced Mickey Webb.

Paul learnt the ropes from the Script Department on the Bill and he has been writing ever since. He said in his work there, he wrote the dialogue first and interestingly he writes his books in a similar way.

His favourite moment was reviving a script for audio.

Paul Finch has written many novels in many genres from horror to fantasy to crime.

His most recent crime novels feature Detective Sergeant Mark Heckenburg, known more commonly as Heck, is Paul Finch’s main protagonist. He  encounters all kinds of creepy killers, including those who seem to like to keep the chase going. The ones that are slow hunters who patiently plan with their complex tasks at hand. Heck is a Sergeant who has done a fair bit of living and had his fair amount of trauma. His work has taken him from the Lake District to the Serial Crimes Unit at Scotland Yard in London. His boss is Detective Superintendent Gemma Piper (also his ex girlfriend) and then there is Detective Constable (D.C.). Gail Honeyford.

Paul Finch book

 

Stephen Gallagher

Stephen Gallagher was the moderator for this panel. He has written for Radio 4 and for tv, he wrote for Doctor Who and several others, including Rosemary and Thyme, which he sounded like he enjoyed. He has written several novels and is currently writing another Sebastian Becker novel.

Stephen Gallagher book

 

To Conclude

All the books sound like they are full of twists and turns, a human touch and have enough action to keep any reader turning those pages. They can all be found on Amazon, bookshops and there are libraries out there that will stock these authors too.

These authors have clearly got lots of experiences to talk about, which makes for an interesting panel, so they are worth spending the time to see.

*With thanks to Stephen Gallagher, Simon Booker and Charles Harris for allowing me to take a photograph of them and for giving me verbal permission to use it for my blog.

This concludes my Morecambe and Vice posts for 2018. So, I thank them for making blogging about the event a very pleasant experience.

Music Within Fictional Books

Music to Die For” was a panel at Morecambe and Vice, showcasing some authors and their use of music within their writing as well as their music backgrounds.

William Shaw

William Shaw who had been a music journalist for 20 years and is now a best-selling author. He has received plaudits from well-written, well-known authors such as Val McDermid and Peter May for his book The Birdwatcher and now he has written his latest book is Salt Lake. The first in a new series of books. 

D.S Alexandra Cupidi is his main character who has left the London Met for the Kent Coastline with a  resentful teenager in tow. There a drowned man is found in a slurry pit and the more D.S Cupidi finds, the more questions she has to ask and the more she asks, the more suspicious people grow.

The man drowned in the slurry pit had been herded there like an animal. He was North African, like many of the fruit pickers that work the fields. The more Cupidi discovers, the more she wants to ask – but these people are suspicious of questions.

William Shaw also received the “Eric Award” for services to the Morecambe and Vice Festival.

Salt Lane book

 

Alan Parks

Alan Parks writes what is termed as “Tartan Noir” with his book: Bloody January. He was a successful music industry executive, working with All Saints, New Order, Gnarl’s Barkley and Cee-Lo Green to name but a few.
He talked about how he was inspired by music and how it essentially navigated him through culture. He uses 70s music such as Small Faces and David Bowie. He set his book in 1970’s Glasgow, which is worth mentioning that he sees Glasgow during this time period, being more glam than L.A. with folk making a real effort and getting dressed up for the night. He said, it was a different side of the city, away from the violence that was going on at that time.

Bloody January is a debut novel by Alan Parks and has already been shortlisted for THE GRAND PRIX DE LITTÉRATURE POLICIÈRE.
In Bloody January, Detective Harry McCoy is the main character who investigates the dark underbelly of 70s Glasgow. It is hotly tipped to be a real contender as being a new voice in Tartan-Noir.

 

Bloody January

Joe Thomas

Joe Thomas is a visiting lecturer at Royal Holloway University of London and is the author of Paradise City. He said that he sees music as categories that is infused into his first novel, “Paradise City”, which is set in Sao Paolo. Those categories are: political, joy and melancholy.

Paradise City investigates the underbelly of deepest, darkest Sao, Paulo, Brazil, where there are drugs and guns. Mario Leme is the main character to feature here. He is a low-ranking detective in the Sao Paolo civil police. Every day on the way to work he sets off early and drives through the favela known as Paraisópolis – Paradise City – the place where his wife was gunned down.
There are plaudits for its freshness.

Paradise City book

More About The Music

They talked about how they use music to draw the audience into the character’s worlds, giving them a sense of place and how it adds a certain amount of background atmosphere.

This, I found particularly interesting because music has often cropped up in books, but, certainly in the books I have read in recent times, it has had a presence in a way that seems more than ever before. This I think, can help add to the atmosphere and gives readers a sense of what was going on culturally at a certain time, in a certain place. Today, with the internet, music platforms and tv programmes dedicated to music, it is easier than ever before to look up a song or instrumental piece that is mentioned in a book and actually listen to it, if it is unfamiliar to the reader.

This was an interesting panel of people and the topic of their conversation certainly grabbed my attention and was well done.

All these books can be found within several bookshops such as WH Smith and Waterstones, to name but a few and Amazon.

 

 

 

Peter Robinson on DCI Banks and Writing @Inspector_Banks @Hodder Books @EllyGriffiths @MorecambeVice #Morecambe #Lancaster #Author @LoveBooksGroup #Bookblogger From An “In Conversation with” panel

Closing the first day of the weekend at the Morecambe and Vice festival was Peter Robinson, author of DCI Banks as part of summer/autumn tour in England. He was on a panel “In Conversation” with Elly Griffiths.

Peter Robinson
Peter Robinson

 

A Little About the Author

Peter Robinson was there to promote his 25th DCI Banks book called Careless Love, which is available to purchase now. He began writing, or at least getting the series published in 1987 and writes a novel approximately once a year. He also writes stand alone novels. He likes food and wine and Scandi-Crime as well as a few US authors. He grew up in Leeds and now divides his time between the UK and Canada. He has won notable awards including CWA Dagger in the Library Award.

The Book

Careless Love UK

 

Banks and his team find themselves with two suspicious deaths. One involves the apparent suicide of a young local student, whose body is found in an abandoned car on a lonely country road. She didn’t own a car. Didn’t even drive. He also talked about the inconsistencies multiplying in this case and that Annie’s father’s new partner, Zelda, comes up with a shocking piece of information that alerts Banks and Annie to the return of an old enemy in a new guise. There is also another case which concerns a man in his sixties found dead in a gully up on the wild moorland.

Peter Robinson says that Zelda is the protagonist here and he talked of how she is a character who has been through a lot but has put herself back together again. In other words, he feels Zelda carries on and can do for a bit more time. He spoke of Banks and how he felt he too could go on a bit longer yet! He says at the end of this book, that there’s enough to say there’s more to come…
Of DCI Banks he says that he has a personal life but he is married to job. He also says of Banks, which I personally really liked and there’s something profound about it:
Banks is ordinary, but, as the series goes on, finds he is more extraordinary, which means we all are.

Setting

This book is set around North Yorkshire. Eastvale is modelled on Richmond and Ripon with cobbled market squares, which he does expand. They are familiar places if you know that part of the country, even though he has added the likes of buildings such as a college in Eastvale, which continues to expand. The thing that both amused and bemused me was that he when he was talking about the setting he mentioned that people ask him if Yorkshire really exists. I can tell you, reader, that it definitely exists in a very large part of the north of England, where there is much to see and do and many a famous author has lived and still do live in, including Peter Robinson himself who grew up Leeds, which is is one of the main known cities in the county. Other writers have too, around the county, such as Joanne Harris, Kate Atkinson, Susan Hill, the Bronte sister, to name but a few. Playwrights such as Alan Bennett and Alan Aykbourn and many a poet such as WH Auden and Ted Hughes also resided in Yorkshire. There are many writers who have written dramas for tv here too, such as Kay Mellor and Sally Wainwright.  So, as you see, it definitely exists and is a wonderfully talented county of England with its cities, which have a rich history, culture and more rural places with their rolling hills and dales. I could go on about what to do, but this is about a panel at a book festival. I will say, it’s a great area of England to explore if you haven’t already!

Music

Music within his books was touched upon and how Banks has a wide range of music tastes that can be developed, he said.
I have myself noticed there are a few series of book which use music within books and there was an entirely different panel devoted to that subject.
Peter Robinson believes that there is a playlist linking to Banks’ musical tastes on Spotify.

 “Only in a novel can you be with someone who is alone and follow them through life.”

He talked about this in the context of having characters being alone, doing things like listening to music and the reader knows. When you think about it, it is so true, only in writing can you see someone’s inner thoughts that the author wants to be revealed to a reader. Obviously too, as a reader you are looking into someone else’s world. In reality of course, alone, is exactly that, so I think this was the most profound statement made within this talk and put in a way that not all readers really think of. It can almost be something that the reader can take for granted, but when someone points this out, as Peter Robinson did, it turns it into something a bit more thought provoking…

Writing Style

Peter Robinson also spoke of his writing style, which was very interesting. It turns out that normally he does no planning, so there is no fully plotted outline, but he said writing 3 books like this means he is doing a bit more pre-planning than usual. He also said it is rare that he begins with violence, normally he begins with the time after all that would have happened, citing that the victim and place is most important. He also uses forensics to move the story forwards in his police procedural tales. He said he also likes the measured, longer sentences style of writing and talked of P.D. James also writing in this style. When setting the scene he talked about how most authors write about where they know and how he once decided to set a scene in a book in Peterborough, he didn’t really know the area, so that prompted him to do a bit of research.
To get ideas he said he looks at the world around him to keep things contemporary.

TV Success

With all his success in his writing career, he couldn’t perhaps not talk about the TV adaptation of his DCI Banks books. I was quite pleased it was brought up because I find it fascinating to find out what the author thinks about their creation being shown in visual form, once they’ve handed over the rights. He said that it was exciting at first when he heard from the TV company wanting to make his books into a drama. He had no involvement in the casting. For any who don’t know, Stephen Tompkinson was cast as DCI Banks. He acknowledged that he wasn’t how people saw his lead character in the books, but thought as the series went on, he could see Stephen being Banks, more and more as he felt that the actor brought out the character of Banks. He had however said he was a more emotional character on TV than in the books. He didn’t seem to think this was a really terrible thing though. It was just a fact and one that I got the impression he didn’t mind so terribly. What was interesting however was that he wasn’t too keen on the 3rd series due to too many changes and what was omitted from the books as they transferred the 3rd series onto screen. All in all though, certainly for earlier series I thought the author sounded good that the chance of having the opportunity for his work to be televised had happened.

Is Peter Robinson worth seeing at a literary event? I would say yes. He has interesting aspects to say to his audience and comes across well.

*Peter Robinson gave verbal permission to me for his photo to be used in my blog and for that I thank him very much.

_____________________________________________________

Elly Griffiths who I mentioned was the moderator is worth seeing. She asked great questions and allowed time for her interviewee to talk and it all seemed effortless and at ease.
Elly Griffiths is known for winning the CWA Dagger In the Library Award in 2016 with her book The Chalk Pit. She has 2 series that I know of. The Ruth Galloway novels and The Stephens and Mephisto novels.
Elly book

Appearances can be Deceptive in Literary Morecambe. @MorecambeVice #Lancashire @GardensMcbe

No one goes to Morecambe is what I was confronted with by a good friend of mine, slightly amused when I excitedly announced to her I was going there. It turned out she wasn’t the last person to point this out, nor were the puzzled looks.

So, why Morecambe? Read on in this post and subsequent posts to come as to why (there is literally too much to say in a single blog post to do everything justice.

Morecambe, a place of sea, sand and the most interesting  tales to tell and of course the chance to see the statue of Eric Morecambe, who did actually used to have a hotel there, which he visited and met various people in. Morecambe is now the new up and coming crime literary place to go. The Morecambe and Vice Festival is one of England’s newest festivals with this year (2018) only being its second. Already they have the setting just right. The Winter Gardens Theatre is beautiful, set just across from the promenade.

Morecambe

Winter Gardens ExteriorEric Morecambe

I arrived Saturday afternoon, where I picked up my weekend pass that I had purchased a few months earlier and was ticked off on the register. This in itself was exciting. I had arrived and feeling suddenly more welcome than ever as I donned my badge, it all seemed very official. The organisers are all very friendly. I went alone, but already I felt very welcome and very soon had the most wonderful conversations with the staff and other festival-goers and later on with actors and directors who are now also authors.

The weekend was split into sections, after each panel had spoken, there was a very adequate interval for book signing opportunities and time to get a coffee or snack. 1 hour for lunch was also well factored in. The atmosphere is fabulous with a pianist playing at each interval and music hall music streaming through during lunch and the chatter of people.

Over the entire weekend, there were 14 different panels of speakers – 7 each day. I travelled on the Saturday, therefore unfortunately missing most of the first day, but I did catch on the Saturday afternoon:

  • “Worth a Thousand Words”, which was about graphic novels. It’s not all as it first appears.
  • “In Conversation with Peter Robinson, who writes D.C. Banks moderated by Elly Griffiths.

On Sunday, after taking a morning walk to explore, after unexpectedly meeting with friends (just shows, anything can happen in Morecambe). I rejoined the already started second day of the festival. I saw:

  • Music to Die for about how music and writing together works and inspired authors.
  • Agatha Christie on Stage about how Agatha Christie was a playwright, not just and author.
  • From Page to Screen about some well known authors and screenwriters have dual lives.
  • If I Were Not Upon the Stage about how life treading on the boards influenced their work.
  • In Conversation with Daragh Carville

There were also panels from Northern writers and how the North is influencing their work, authors who wrote other genres but now changed to crime, how crime is crime from a panel discussing LGBT crime fiction, a panel discussing tricks of the trade and a writing masterclass to plot the perfect crime (on the page I may add. No getting any ideas 🙂

There is something really exciting happening in Morecambe. There will be a new tv drama series called The Bay set there about a crime that’s been committed. It is family driven since the writer says he likes to write about families, so he has been busy writing and filming The Bay about a family liaison officer. Lots of it is actually being filmed on the streets of Morecambe as well as the scenery, which is beautiful.  The writer, Daragh Carville, had said that he looked on a map that is used to show what was filmed where and what he found was that Morecambe and surrounding area was still blank, so, although he is Irish, he now lives in nearby Lancaster and is very passionate that this area does now get showcased within the medium of drama on tv.

I stayed at the beautiful, well run B&B “Yacht Bay View”. Set on the coast, it is not far from restaurants, cafes, The Winter Gardens, the Eric Morecambe statue and the train station. I chose a sea-view room. Prices were very reasonable. The hospitality is warm, friendly and welcoming. The room I was in was comfortable with a very good stocked hostess tray of a range refreshments, including water and biscuits. It has a very good shower and comfortable bed. Breakfast has an excellent selection and is very well done and they really seem to like to feed you. You really won’t go hungry during the day. I would certainly recommend it and would happily stay there again.

Morecambe at nightBoats in MorecambeTheatre stage in Winter Gardens   Pianist in Morecambe

So, the stage is ready, the scene is set. Please look out for more blogs in the evenings this week for more of an insight into some of the events mentioned earlier.