Tag Archives: writing

Partners in Crime

Writers' panel at Paddington Library for National Crime Reading Month. L-R: Graeme Cameron, Claire Seeber, Simon Toyne and SJI Holliday

Writers’ panel L-R: Graeme Cameron, Claire Seeber, Simon Toyne and SJI Holliday

Paddington Library last week hosted a panel of four crime fiction writers as part of National Crime Reading Month. They discussed their work and crime fiction in general with a large and engaged audience.

Normal by Graeme Cameron Books by Claire Seeber Books by Simon Toyne Black Wood by SJI Holliday

Authors SJI HollidayClaire Seeber, Graeme Cameron and Simon Toyne enthused and entertained the crime fans with their views on writing, and offered for sale signed copies of their books.

The month-long reading campaign is co-ordinated by the Crime Writer’s Association.


Tweet a Short Story competition!

National Libraries Day 2014Are you feeling creative?

To celebrate National Libraries Day on Saturday 6 February and National Storytelling Week (30 January – 6 February) we have a short – very short – story competition!

  • Tweet a short story in 140 characters
  • It must include the hashtag #NLD132
  • Entries must be tweeted between midnight (12.00am) on Saturday 30 January and 12.00 noon on Monday 8 February

The winning story will be crowd judged:

  • £30 First Prize for the tweet with the most re-tweets
  • £20 Second Prize for our favourite library or book-themed tale

We will contact and announce the winners via Twitter: follow@WCCLibraries to find out more.

London in fiction – for World Book Night

The Hidden Girl by Louise MillarOn World Book Night Pimlico Library hosted a talk by two psychological thriller authors, Louise Voss and Louise Millar, who are part of the Killer Women group.

Focussing on the representation of London in their fiction, the authors also discussed their respective routes into writing and the creative process.

There was a lively discussion on many topics. The audience was particularly interested in the fact that Louise Voss co-authors books with Mark Edwards. They were intrigued by the writing process and the experience of writing alongside another author.

World Book Night 2015 at Pimlico Library, with authors Louise Voss and Louise Millar

As it was World Book Night, after the discussion attendees were given free copies of either the Cityread London title Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch  or the WBN title Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by MC Beaton.


Writing about Russia

Paddington Library hosted an interesting event to celebrate World Book Night on 23 April. Four authors – Vanora Bennett, Francis Spufford, Peter Higgins and William Ryan – who specialise in writing fiction and non-fiction about Russia, conducted a panel discussion about the pleasures and challenges of this fascinating subject.

World Book Night 2015 at Paddington Library

The authors gave first hand accounts of their visits to Russia and the sacrifices and hardships the Russian people have had to endure. I got the impression that Russia and the former Soviet Union are topsy turvy worlds in which nothing is what it seems. At the end they signed copies of their books. To explore their works, visit the library catalogue and search for books by Vanora Bennett, Francis Spufford, Peter Higgins and William Ryan

World Book Night 2015 at Paddington LibraryThe four writers kindly gave their time to support World Book Night and as part of the celebrations, members of the audience were all given a free copy of Elizabeth Fremantle‘s historical novel The Queen’s Gambit which is about the life of Katherine Parr, the 6th wife of King Henry VIII.


Charmed in Charing Cross

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!

Ben Aaronovitch at Charing Cross Library for Cityread London, April 2015

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:

Book jacket - Rivers of London(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.
CityRead London logo

[Malcolm and Katrina]