Saturday, September 06, 2008

"In that moment of joyous intimacy, men wear socks"

That's what John Connolly (center) said at this afternoon's discussion on Sex and Violence: How Far is Too Far? at the Sunday (Irish) Independent Books 2008 Crime Writing Series.

The comment, about one of the unsexy problems Connolly encounters writing sex scenes, was typical of the event's orientation. The authors came together in four panels over two days, and, amid all the good craic, a lot of practical, no-nonsense discussion emerged. For this post, I'll offer a selection of authors' comments from the event. Over the next few days, I'll follow some of them up with more detailed discussion. And now, readers, please welcome our panelists:

Declan Hughes on his early attraction to crime fiction: "A book without a mystery isn't a proper book."

Ruth Dudley Edwards on the start of her writing career: "Having got the check, I thought I ought to write a book. And I found I had a good time doing it."

Gene Kerrigan on one of his early inspirations, Richard Stark (Donald Westlake): "You start off in awe of someone else and trying to be as good as they are."

Alex Barclay (right): "I thought the story wasn't complete if there wasn't a mystery."

Tana French: "I actually have the narrator before I have the plot."

Edwards: "My hero is P.G. Wodehouse."

Paul Johnston: "I'm not even Irish, so I don't know why I'm here, either." (Laughter from audience.)

Hughes on his love for intricate, Big Sleep-esque plotting: "I like getting confused."

Hughes on a protagonist's personal entanglements: "I hate when the detective has a girlfriend."

Declan Burke (left) on his novel Eightball Boogie: "I thought it would be good to do a kind of Humphrey Bogart character set in rural Ireland."

Arlene Hunt (second from left) on how she tried to make her protagonists stand out: "They're terrible. ... Two detectives, they're just not that bright."

Brian McGilloway (second from right) on where Northern Ireland ends and the Irish Republic begins: "On the back roads, it's impossible to tell."

© Peter Rozovsky 2008

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6 Comments:

Blogger The Clandestine Samurai said...

I wouldn't say I hate when the protagonist has a girlfriend. More like, I hate the conventional love. Make her be humble and a bit ugly instead overwhelmingly beautiful. Have her be the masculine partner of the relationship and the man be the protected supporting character. Something.

September 06, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

That tallies nicely with Arlene Hunt's comments about her protagonists. She was explicit about her desire not to make her heroes brilliant and exceptional.

September 06, 2008  
Anonymous critical mick said...

Hey Peter,

Having a visiting dignitary in attendance (that's your good self, don't be humble) lent Books 2008 an importance that many of these events lack.

Magnificent to have met you and chatted about the wonderful world of worldwide crime fiction!

All the best,

Mick

PS Post some of the photos that you snapped!

September 07, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Mick, you're a true gent, though I hardly lent the event anything except possibly a touch of bohemian scruffiness thanks to my sandals. (Ruth Dudley Edwards told me she belongs to a club in London that bars sandals because it wants to keep out the poets.)

The photos will have to wait til I get home, but I'll post some of them when I do.

September 07, 2008  
Blogger crimeficreader said...

Peter,
You have weather good enough to wear sandals there? Did the recent lashings of rain miss Ireland? We've had flooding and landslides here in Wales. In certain areas people were advised not to travel at the end of last week. You are lucky your recent travels did not take in Wales!

Looking forward to reading more posts on your trip and seeing the pics...

September 07, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I am apparently a hardy soul, as someone remarked, because I've been wearng sandals almost the whole trip even through what rain we have had here. Forecasts say Ireland is due for weather much like what you have just described for Wales, though, so I may have to resort to shoes, which I did bring with me.

September 08, 2008  

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