Day 17 of Ben Aaaronvitch’s epic trek, visiting every London Borough to talk about his Cityread book Rivers of London, and it was time to revisit the ‘scene of the crime’ – or as near as you get to it in library terms – when he came to Charing Cross Library (and his biggest audience yet in Central London). On arrival, he announced that he had broken his glasses, but this didn’t affect his performance or signings!
After introductions Ben ran a question and answer session for a full and enthusiastic audience, nearly all of whom had read at least the first book. From his answers we gleaned the following important information:
(a) He intends to continue writing books in the Peter Grant series as long as people keep buying and reading them
(b) the next book The Hanging Tree is due in November and will be set in London
(c) there will be a TV adaptation (no date yet).
He talked about how he keeps track of his plots and characters – a mix of a whiteboard, spreadsheets and blu-tacked notes. Growing up in an inner London borough gave him the background and he has friends to provide the specialist knowledge of jazz (see Moon over Soho) and police procedure. He mentioned a liking for matching cultural jokes and music tastes to the ages of his characters – Nightingale of course never gets the jokes!
Ben stressed the importance of geographical correctness – streets and rivers are real, but buildings such as restaurants mentioned in the text might be ‘transposed’ from another location. Characters tend to develop as the stories progress. While he knew how Lesley’s character would proceed, others tend to take on a life of their own, although he did give a hint of Peter Grant’s possible career progression in answer to a question on this… There was also the hint of a possible diversion into writing Scandinavian style noir as he is making a trip to a Swedish convention soon.
[Malcolm and Katrina]