Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hear and see authors speak

Krimi-Couch ("Denn lesen ist spannender"), host of the video interview with Colin Cotterill highlighted here, has put up three more interviews: one with Mark Billingham and Martyn Waites, one with Karin Slaughter and one with Linwood Barclay.

Some highlights: The Billingham/Waites interview opens with each author introducing the other and then a discussion of both authors' backgrounds as stand-up comedians, and Barclay talks about the surprising benefits of having one of his novels published in Germany before it came out in the English-speaking world.

I've heard Billingham, and the man is a formidable toastmaster. I can well believe that he could sustain the patter long enough to keep a crowd laughing and buying drinks. What other authors have done stand-up comedy?

© Peter Rozovsky 2008

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17 Comments:

Anonymous crimeficreader said...

I met someone called Jane Hill at Harrogate this year. She's on her third psychological thriller and is doing stand-up comedy. She was performing the stand-up comedy at the Edinburgh Festival later in the year.
Not read her books (yet) or seen her perform, but she was a very nice lady.

November 11, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Billingham presented awards and MC'd events at Bouchercon. Someone said that one had better not leave the room during one his routines lest one become his target.

I remember his advice to award recipients at the Anthonys when time was tight and conference-goers had trains and planes to catch: "Do what I do on the infrequent occasions when I have sex: Say, `Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!' then get off."

November 11, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Psychological thrillers and stand-up comedy are an interesting combination. I shall have to investigate this further and see if authors who double as comedians tend to write a particular kind of book.

November 11, 2008  
Blogger John McFetridge said...

Linwood Barclay wrote a humour column for the Toronto Star for many years and his first book was called, "Mike Harris Made Me Eat My Dog" - non-fiction account of the years Mike Harris was our premiere (made George W. look like a Rhodes scholar).

Also, Linwood's first four books are comic-mysteries featuring a sci-fi writer as amtaeur sleuth.

I don't know if he's ever done stand-up, but he's a very funny guy.

Also, one of Don Winslow's PI novels was about a retired Vegas stand-up and was pretty much an excuse for the guy to tell lots of old jokes. It was very funny.

November 11, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks for the note. As it happens, Linwood Barclay begins his own interview by explaining that his current book, or at least the one being released in Germany, gets away from the more humorous crime novels he had been writing.

I like the "Mike Harris" title. I have noticed that he is regarded with less than high respect. And what was the title of the Don Winslow novel in question?

November 11, 2008  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

I haven't heard the "band," so I don't know if it could be classified as comedy, but a musical group consisting of Mitch Albom, Dave Barry, Roy Blount Jr., Stephen King and Matt Groening among others surely would have elements of comedy attached.

November 11, 2008  
Blogger Logan Lamech said...

Well a lot of comedians have helped write sitcoms but I wouldn't have guessed many full fledged authors.

Logan Lamech
www.eloquentbooks.com/LingeringPoets.html

November 11, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

And you know that with Mitch Albom in it, the band would only sing about What's Really Important In Life.

November 12, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I don't know about sitcoms, but Martyn Waites and Mark Billingham say in their interview that they have acted in cop shows.

November 12, 2008  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

And in a Very Treacly Fashion.

November 12, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I was at college with Mitch Albom, and yes, I remember the professor he wrote about in "Tuesdays With Morrie," though he was never more than a name in a course catalogue to me.

I didn't know Albom; he was a year or two ahead of me. What I do remember is that he worked at or ran the record co-op in the student center. I enjoyed the phenomenon of a student named Albom selling record albums.

November 12, 2008  
Blogger Vanda Symon said...

I got to share a stage with Mark Billingham at the Christchurch Writers Festival, and I have to say I was a little intimidated - how does one compete with a stand-up comedian? I need not have worried, as although, yes, he was very slick and funny, he played fair and didn't monopolise. It certainly made for a fun and light-hearted crime panel with lots of audience response.

November 12, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Linda Richards posted recently about her initial apprehension at having to share stages with the likes of Mark Billingham and John Connolly. I believe someone else expressed similar apprehension about joining him on a panel at Bouchercon. But all reports have been positive. He appears by all accounts to be a gentleman as well as quick with a quip.

November 12, 2008  
Blogger 2KoP said...

I just wanted to let you know that I posted a link to your blog on my writing community's listserve. Here's the text:

Anyone interested in crime writing should check out Peter Rozovsky's blog, Detectives Beyond Borders: A Forum for International Crime Fiction. It covers everything related to crime fiction with lots of indepth discussion. Here's the link:

http://detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

Our group is Off Campus Writers' Workshop. It serves about 200 writers in all genres.

November 12, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Much obliged. And I have taken a look at the community's home page. The group appears to offer some interesting programs. I particularly noticed the ones on point of view and on wearing more than one hat. I have found myself thinking from time to time of authors who do precisely that, especially of authors who do it well.

Oh, and Off Campus Writers' Workshop is a pretty cool name.

November 13, 2008  
Blogger 2KoP said...

It is a cool name, usually shortened to OCWW. Last week we had to hold our meeting at a different location than our usual one, so I suggested that we had become the Off Off Campus Writers' Workshop — avant garde and totally inaccessible to the general audience. I'm off to our next session now.

November 13, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks for sounding off.

Perhaps I'll look you up if I'm in the Chicago area.

November 13, 2008  

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