Monday, 1 August 2011

Launching The Hanging Wood

I enjoyed enormously the launch of The Hanging Wood last Thursday evening. The setting was both delightful and appropriate – the historic, atmospheric and tranquil Gladstone’s Library, which gave me the idea for St Herbert’s Residential Library, which plays a central part in the novel.

I gave a talk on the writing of a crime series, focusing not only on how I came to write the novel, but also the pros and cons of writing a series. I wanted to develop a theme I’d touched on in my panel at Harrogate the previous week-end. It is this: how do you write a book in the middle of a series that appeals to someone who hasn’t read you before, without repeating information that will irritate your loyal and regular following? It’s a topic to which I give a good deal of thought each time I write a series novel, yet I’ve never seen much discussion about it.

There was an excellent crowd, and I signed lots of books. Among many pleasant conversations, I was delighted to chat to the former Dean of Liverpool Cathedral, who helped me with some aspects of my last Harry Devlin book, Waterloo Sunset.

The staff of the Library were marvellous, as always. I had a pleasant dinner in the ‘Food for Thought’ restaurant before the launch – a place I strongly recommend for good meals. And then after a relaxing end to the day, reading an old Margery Allingham in my very well-appointed room, I enjoyed breakfast with some of the other residents the next morning. If you are ever in the North West, and looking for somewhere to stay, I’m sure that Gladstone’s Library will fit the bill. It’s quite unique.


Anonymous said...

Martin - So glad your launch went so well :-). Lovely site, too! I wish you much success with The Hanging Wood. I know that one of what I hope will be many, many sales of your book will be to me.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Hope you'll do a blog series on that topic, Martin--it's something I think often about, myself. Hate to think I'm boring loyal readers or confusing new ones!

Dorte H said...

Wonderful surroundings, and exactly like I imagined when I read the book!

And good question about writing a series. Personally I´d keep the backstory to a minimum, but now and then I annoy my readers by keeping too much in the dark so... But I know that as a reader there are two things that put me off:

1) writers who think I am stupid

2) writers who write as if THEY are stupid (i.e. they give their readers information most people could figure out on their own) ;)

Martin Edwards said...

Margot, you are very kind. Thanks, as ever.

Martin Edwards said...

Hi Elizabeth, it's a subject I will definitely return to!

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Dorte, you are spot on!

aguja said...

Great that your launch went so well. It is encouraging as writing can be lonely and it is good to know that there are people out there who want to read what you write. I love the surroundings. You sound as if you are on a 'high'.
Thank you for sharing this special time with us.

Martin Edwards said...

Aguja, it's a great place and I hope you can sample it for yourself one of these days.