A friend took me along to ‘The Big Book Group Summer Cult Fiction’ at the Dome. I had never heard of it before, but now I can recommend it as a good night out for those interested or involved in writing.
With Craig Melvin doing a cross between stand up and master of ceremonies we were set up for a good time. First up on the guest list was Peter James, what a wonderful talker he is, full of anecdotes and interesting information about his education, life, his writing and how his characters evolve.
What stuck in my mind was the need for research, no wonder we are told to write ‘what we know’ where some of our research could well be on hand.
Peter also regaled us with tales about his latest book set in the antiques trade in Brighton. He explained how ‘Brighton knockers’ go about their trade. Having lived for several years in South London I also happen to know all about them! They try and get entry into the homes of elderly people and then talk them into selling their valuables by very devious means for much less than they are worth.
Peter’s research for this book had taken him to Marbella, he was full of tales of dodgy dealing, some of which involved violence.
There was a quiz in the interval, an atmosphere of fun throughout and a bar.
The second guest was Araminta Hall, a personable young woman who manages to write best sellers as well as bringing up three young children. Her new book ‘Dot’ was intriguing in title and concept and I look forward to reading it. She had re-written it four times which was reassuring to the writers in the audience and had also managed to persuade her publisher to let her write in different genres. This is really unusual and proves that they have every faith in this author. She emphasised that writing is hard work, no waiting for a muse, it’s a job to which you have to give plenty of time to be successful.
The finale gave the audience a chance to test their creativity and come up with the next ‘best seller’. Having got a few lines for the Beginning, the Middle and the End some brave souls shared their brief synopsis with the audience with coaching from Araminta the prize.
Inspiring, energising and full of information. Great evening.
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