Manchester Crime Scene at MLF

Manchester Town HallSo, welcome back for a return to my diary of attended events for the Manchester Literature Festival.

Tuesday 15th October, 2013 – Banqueting Room, Manchester Town Hall

Manchester Crime Scene

The event was chaired by journalist Helen Carter and featured well-established crime writers Val McDermid and Cath Staincliffe, alongside a relative newcomer to the genre, Tom Benn.

All three authors read passages from their individual works and responded to questions from Helen explaining how they had entered the world of writing, what had inspired their stories, and the motivations behind using Manchester as a setting for the crimes. 

Val McDermid is a feisty Scottish lady, with a journalistic background, who is responsible for the series of suspense novels featuring Dr Tony Hill. Incidentally, it was highlighted by Jenni Murray at Joanna Trollope’s event, that Val is currently working on a reimagining of Northanger Abbey for ‘The Austen Project’. She has confessed to struggling to write a novel that doesn’t contain a murder. One to look out for, methinks!

Cath Staincliffe is responsible for the popular Scott and Bailey novels and the creator of the hit TV series Blue Murder, starring Caroline Quentin. Although her genre may be crime, it was interesting to learn that she likes to introduce themes of nature into her narrative, with a definite emphasis on the surrounding environment.

Tom Benn is the youngest of the trio and to be congratulated for achieving publication at such a young age. His first book, The Doll Princess, was a noir novel set in a fictionalised Manchester around the time of the IRA bombing of 1996 and featured a drug-related murder. My partner has read this and found it to be stylised in its presentation, focusing on the staccato speech patterns of the Manchester accent. He felt it was a great start for a new writer, and that the author showed real potential to move on to produce even bigger and better things.

All in all, it was an enjoyable evening and fascinating to hear how one small kernel of an idea can lead to a best-selling series of books. Be back later in the week with the finale of my experiences at the MLF.

Thanks for stopping by!

Image credit: corinaldo / 123RF Stock Photo

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2 Responses to Manchester Crime Scene at MLF

  1. Sounds very interesting. As someone who once lived in Manchester for 3 years, I am particularly interested in the ‘staccato speech patterns of the Manchester accent’.

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