Authors in Autumn

There does appear to be quite a few literary festivals in autumn. Wimbledon Bookfest took place over ten days in October. For the first time it was properly indoors at Wimbledon Library, Wimbledon High School and Wimbledon Theatre. As fun as the tents on the Common were, it was nice to be in a dry place away from the wind and rain.

I was there presenting two events. The first was a last-minute host for James Read, whose book, Of Cabbages and Kimchi: A Practical Guide to the World of Fermented Food, wasn't one that I'd read! It's a very different kind of fermentation that happens in crime genre novels. But James' talk was fascinating and very educational. I'm still not sure if I want to make my own fermented food but at least I know a book that will help me if I change my mind.

The main author I was there for though was Janice Hallett. Although I've met Janice a few times, we've never had the chance for a really good chat and that's what the interview was like. If you've read any of her books - The Appeal, The Twyford Code and The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels, then you'll know that Janice doesn't write straightforward prose. Instead, using emails, WhatsApp messages, transcripts of audio recordings etc, Janice creates the story as she goes, weaving the different characters together, threading mysterious clues throughout. 

To be honest, I can't remember much of what we said but we did touch on pantsers vs planners. At the Theakston's Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate in the summer, other authors were astonished to hear that Janice is a pantser! As a fellow pantser myself, we've decided that it takes one to know one. Having said that, it is incredible to think that Janice doesn't have a detailed plan at the beginning, considering how intricate her books are. Also, the way you read it is the way she writes it, switching between the different points of view of her characters. We had a great time and I think the audience enjoyed it too.

But, it's still autumn and there are more authors to interview at West Barnes Library in Motspur Park! I'll be chatting to AA Chaudhuri and Jacqueline Sutherland on Monday 20th November at 7.30pm. Entry fee is £2 cash on the door and books will be available to buy on the night. Booking is required, not least so I know how many cookies to make! Booking can be done at the library in person, or by phone or email, or on Eventbrite.


Griselda Heppel said…
Well my husband makes kimchi, which I find too hot though I know it's terribly healthy. Fortunately he also makes sauerkraut which is AMAZING so I get the health benefits from that. From Cabbages to Kimchi is a great title and I imagine it's full of delicious recipes.

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