Sunday, 21 September 2008

Authors' evening

I enjoy collaborating with other authors – both in writing projects and at events for audiences. The Murder Squad ‘virtual collective’ has been hugely enjoyable since the seven of us got together back in 2000, but I also enjoy sharing a platform with a wide range of other writers – examples include Kate Ellis, Cilla Masters, Chris Simms, Stephen Booth and a number of other very good crime fiction practitioners.

Last Thursday’s event at Windermere St Annes School gave me the chance to work with two more writers for the very first time. I’d met Diane James once before, but this was my first encounter with Geraint Lewis. Diane shifts back and forth between fiction and true crime and I will post more about her work in the near future. Geraint has so far published one book, These Clouded Hills., a thriller set in Durham City (and I don’t know of any other crime novel set in that lovely place.)

Both Diane and Geraint are, like our host Paul Flint, members of the Arthur Ransome Society. In introducing us to our audience, Paul ingeniously made the link that my first Lake District Mystery includes a vital clue that is connected with a Ransome novel. This was Winter Holiday. I haven’t read much Ransome, but Winter Holiday was read to us by a teacher at junior school when I was eight or nine, and it’s stuck in my mind ever since.

You can never tell how an event will work out when you don’t really know the people you are appearing with. But I found Diane and Geraint were easy and charming companions and the mix seemed to suit the people who turned up for the evening. All in all, a very pleasant occasion.

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