I went to the above festival recently and made 100+ pages (fortunately only A5) of notes so I thought I’d share them with you. Today is the third instalment and because of the quantity, it’ll be pretty much as I wrote it (not word for word but paraphrasing) so my apologies if it feels fragmented. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here.
In Space, No-one Can Hear You Scream – 2pm Friday 18th July 2014
After SM introduced the panel, he asked LT about his book and entry to crime-writing and other formats.
LT – prefers writing short stories and hates writing long forms.
SB – reads crime, particularly science-solved crimes. Loves classic horror stories although they can be dissatisfying because the author doesn’t have to explain.
SM – always anted to be a writer?
SB – met a journalist who was going to take a week off work to write a Mills & Boon. She had a student debut so tried to do the same but it didn’t get accepted.
SM – JS so prolific – is it difficult to peg down in theme / setting, are you a magpie?
JS – Yes. Reads everything and sometimes surprises himself. Like SJ, likes writing what he wants to read. Has written two locked-room mysteries.
SM – On page 30 everyone dies, leaving the reader to wonder how he pulls off the rest.
JS – Didn’t want to write a sci-fi novel so had his character who had won a place so was unfamiliar with his surroundings so didn’t need to be specific with the details.
SM to LB – did you have fun with the time-travelling aspect?
LB – yes, played with the 20th Century as who we are in it.
SM – Talked about the violence to women in LB’s books.
LB – spoken from indirect experience.
SB – Many writers have young attractive victims because readers want to read about them.
SM to JS – Good things happen to a good man but bad things happen to him.
JS – What if the guy is told by an algorithm that he’s not going to be president? Family tragedy at the beginning but the family issues are the heart and soul.
SM – A book about fate.
JS – Identity, fate and teeth crop up in everything he’s written. “Don’t ask about the teeth.”
SM – Referred to JS writing for the Guardian.
JS – If fans of the blog had their way they would have him just do that. He wrote The Machine (sci-fi horror).
SM – Lacey Flint series – so you like writing series?
SB – readers and publishers wanted more of the earlier characters but SB prefers writing about Lacey. There was a woman who was convinced her son was the Yorkshire Ripper and others had done the same (about people they knew). Something like that makes us wonder about those people close to us.
SM – asked about location.
LB – Interested in Detroit. Strange to see ruins of our era (industry etc) but still a live city because people still live there.
SM – Worried about being real / tech?
LB – Loves the internet but feels that intimacy is over. Humiliation (YouTube).
<questions then invited from the audience>