Event Alert: Get Writing! conference – Saturday 29th March 2014

Get Writing

If you’re writing a crime novel (or any genre of novel, in fact) then the annual Get Writing! conference organised by Verulam Writers Circle is well worth a visit. Taking place this year on Saturday 29th March at the University of Hertfordshire at their de Havilland Campus, there’s a jam-packed schedule aimed at everyone with an interest in writing.

The day is packed with talks, panels and practical workshops on all aspects of the creative process from idea to publication.

There’s also the chance to fast-pitch to agents and editors, or have a longer facetime session with them to discuss your work.

Workshops of special interest to aspiring crime writers are:

M R Hall (best selling crime thriller writer of many books including The Coroner, The Flight) and William Ryan (critically acclaimed author of the Captain Korolev crime series including The Holy Thief, and most recently The Twelfth Department) will be running a workshop on Constructing Character and Plot. [I attended a workshop run by them at Goldsboro Books last year – it was fantastic: practical, thought-provoking and lots of fun!]

Screenwriter and thriller writer Max Kinnings (author of fast-paced thrillers Baptism and, in 2014, Sacrifice) is running a workshop on How Studying Screenwriting can make you a Better Novelist, showing how he uses the script development model to shape a novel.

Also, there’s The Crime Panel with M R Hall, William Ryan, Max Kinnings, and fabulous thriller writer Emlyn Rees (author of action packed thrillers including Hunted, and dark psychological thrillers including That Summer He Died). And the Get Writing organisers are going to let me chair the panel!

To find out more about what promises to be a fantastic event hop on over to the Get Writing website …

Website: http://getwritingday.verulamwriterscircle.org.uk/

CTG Reviews: SACRIFICE by Max Kinnings

Sacrifice cover image

Sacrifice cover image

What the blurb says: “Disgraced hedge fund manager Graham Poynter hides shamefully in his Belgravia mansion. He lied, he cheated and he stole but the police and legal authorities are the least of his worries. Poynter and his family have come to the attention of a new style of hacktivist. The Adversary – or Advo – believes that non-violence only works up to a point and as Thomas Jefferson said, “Sometimes the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Jefferson might have added, “and bankers” …

Advo intends to make an example of Poynter as a warning to others in the banking industry who might think they can behave as he has done. The only person who stands between Poynter and his grisly destiny is blind hostage negotiator, Ed Malloy, who must negotiate with a faceless adversary who is hell-bent on exacting retribution on a minority which has gone unpunished for too long.”

Ed Malloy is having a bad day when he’s called to lead the negotiation at Graham Poynter’s Belgravia mansion. But things are about to get a whole lot worse, the situation is unlike any other Ed has faced. The hostage taker doesn’t fit the usual profile or follow the pattern of behaviour Ed would have expected. They make no demands, remain calm, and seem to be waiting for something. Ed is convinced there is another person manipulating events. But as tensions rise both at Graham Poynter’s mansion and inside the negotiating team, Ed struggles to find an approach that will bring the situation to a successful conclusion.

This book has a high concept, contemporary feel, with the story played out against a backdrop of underhanded banking practices, and the rise of a new style of ‘hacktivist’. If anything I’d have liked for the ‘hacktivist’ aspect of the plot to be explored in more detail, although I suspect that a future book in the Ed Malloy series may do just that.

And the story doesn’t hang around. It’s a fast paced, cinematic thriller. The tension starts high and doesn’t wane as the story unfolds. Through rotating point-of-view characters, including Graham Poynter’s daughter, Lily, his business partner, Bob Rushwood, and the hostage taker, more information is revealed to the reader than Ed is aware of. This adds an extra layer of tension and increases the suspense.

A non-stop rollercoaster ride from start to finish.

Highly recommended.

 

[With many thanks to Quercus for my copy of SACRIFICE]

My Reading List

Piles of books

Piles of books (Photo credit: ollily)

So many crime fiction books, not enough time!

I’ve always been a real hoarder of books, but recently my ‘To Read’ pile seems to have grown far more than usual.

On my list at the moment I’ve got:

  • BAPTISM by Max Kinnings
  • Heart-Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne
  • Snakes & Ladders by Sean Slater
  • Dark Eyes by William Richter
  • Sleep Walkers by Tom Grieves
  • The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
  • 11.22.63 by Stephen King
  • A Wanted Man by Lee Child
  • Survivor by Gregg Hurwitz

And with the darker nights drawing in, it’s the perfect time to curl up by the fire and read my way through them.

What’s on your ‘to read’ list at the moment?