I spent yesterday and today at the St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford 19th (so I’ve missed 18 of them!) Crime Writers’ Conference, this year on the topic of humour in crime writing… crime and humour being my two favourite genres to write and read.
When my editor, Rachel, emailed me the details a few weeks ago I opened the attachment and smiled because not only was it a perfect topic but the final day fell on my 40-something <coughs> birthday I couldn’t resist (I wouldn’t have done anyway).
I had all good intentions of bringing you tonight the notes I created throughout the two days but they have more holes than Emmental so I shall work on them over the next few days and post them when there’s a gap (possibly as a 5a.m. flash after the series of Submission info.s have finished, so next Saturday morning)… which also gives me time to catch up with my 151 emails jumping up and down in my Inbox saying “pick me”.
So, as a taster, here’s the agenda for the weekend…
“Stop, you’re killing me” – humour in Crime Fiction!!
Marcia Talley: Comic Relief Or, What’s So Funny About Murder
Alan Bradley: The Undertaker’s Jest Book Or, I Want Some Red Roses for a Blue Lady
Barry Forshaw: Dark Laughter Hitchcock and his Writers
L.C. Tyler: Mayhem Magna the World of Colin Watson
Natasha Cooper: When You Stop Laughing, It’s Not a Bad Novel
Chris Ewan: Assembling the Team, Some Thoughts on Comic Caper Novels and the Gentleman Thief
Ruth Dudley Edwards: Sacred Cows are for Slaughtering
Val McDermid: What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding?
Simon Brett: (After-Dinner Speaker)
Meeting with Sisters in Crime
Peter Lovesey: ‘Amazed Enquiry Sat on her Face’ and Other Embarrassments in Crime Fiction
Gillian Linscott: My Funny Friend the Comic Role of the Side-Kick
Ann Cleeves: Lost in Translation: Does Humour Travel.
As you can see, a great line-up!
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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.