Thursday, October 14, 2010

Having a chat and working on my three-legged table

Four bookclubs in the last few months, two by twitter and two with friends who inflicted suggested The Old School to their clubs. Different experiences but all vastly good fun.

Bookclub by twitter is intense. An hour of frantic reading, typing, keeping it concise, checking to see what's come through on the feed and backtracking to answer ... lucky the cyber drinks & nibbles are, well, imaginary. I was lucky to do one with the NSW Writers' Centre and the second with Avid Reader Bookstore in Brizzy. I'd have loved to have been sitting on the backdeck of Avid with their gang, but twitter was a great way of connecting to a live bookclub when you can't be there in person.

Bookclub with live readers is a far more leisurely event. You have a few hours to talk, about "the book", about other books, about politics, about life, about great TV and movies. Oh, and then of course there are the drinks and nibbles. Yum. Thanks Helen and Kate for lending your bookclubs to me for the night.

Now looking at some more live appearances. Off to Melbourne tomorrow to a Sisters in Crime event, From the Sydney of the Past to the Thailand of Today, with Angela Savage, Sulari Gentill with Robin Bowles interviewing us. Friday night, Bells Hotel, South Melbourne, brothers-in-law welcome.

Sulari's A Few Right Thinking Men and Angela's Behind the Night Bazaar, are crime novels which are as different as they can be from each other and from The Old School. Sulari's involves the New Guard and political intrigue in 1930s Sydney, Angela's, set in mid-1990s Thailand, involves police corruption and child prostitution rackets, and mine, set in Sydney in the early 1990s deals with police corruption, land rights and the Vietnam War. To some extent we are all a little bit stuck in the past!

The range of topics is a good example of why I love crime. It provides a sturdy skeleton but what goes around it, well, that's as unique as the author cares to make it.

And that's why I was thrilled to be asked to be on a panel for the Emerging Writers' Festival Roadshow when it swings into Sydney next month. More about that in an upcoming blog but at this stage put Sunday 7th November in your pocket and come on out to the NSW Writers' Centre in Rozelle. The session I'll be doing is titled Genre is Not a Dirty Word.

If free events are more your speed then come along to Kings Cross Library on Tuesday evening 26 October for a talk in the library about writing crime about Sydney. You may need to book details here.

Now off to work on my 3 legged table ...

... that pile of paper there is my three-legged table. It's Book 2, finally printed out but still missing one major plot line which I now need to weave through it. The subject matter has been intimidating me for a wee while. Then had a mental breakthrough a few days ago. Realised I was approaching it ALL WRONG. Could almost hear all the little levers and gears clicking into place for new approach. 

So work printed up (with very wide margins all round - don't panic at the size of the pile yet Jo!) so that I can now start reading through what's there, editing as I go and writing in the fourth leg. 

I can share the first line ...........

It was still a wound, not yet a scar.

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