This week, I’ve been out and about at two separate writing events. On Monday evening, I was at the inaugural First Monday crime evening (and there is an excellent picture of the back of my head), then on Wednesday, I went to a meeting of the London chapter (all very Hell’s Angels) of the Crime Writers’ Association.
These events brought together lots of people with a heart-on-their-sleeve love of books and a common enjoyment of chatting over a drink. What struck me though was the sheer diversity within the crime genre.
Across the two evenings, I heard about a story set in contemporary Lagos (Easy Motion Tourist by Eyle Adenle – surely one of the best titles around) and a story set in a gay bar. I heard about money laundering from a finance specialist who also writes crime and how an idea left in a drawer for a decade became a best seller.
It was also great to talk to students from the City Lit crime MA, a course where, over two years, you write a crime novel. They were a term into the course and about to finalise their idea, to start the serious business of writing. I’ll remember the sheer enthusiasm of all these people for fiction as a tonic for those moments when trying to fill the blank page feels just too difficult.