Posts Tagged Crime fiction
Here’s a fabulous competition for unpublished crime writers (self-published authors are eligible to enter).
It will be judged by Elizabeth George, creator of the Inspector Lynley series.
First prize is a personal masterclass with Elizabeth plus an editorial consultation with the commissioning editor for crime at Hodder & Stoughton, Elizabeth’s UK publisher. Runners up will also be offered the editorial consultation.
Entry is by an online submission form and it requires the first chapter (up to 2,500 words) of your crime novel plus a 200-word synopsis.
Closing date is 2nd June 2020 and don’t forget to read the full terms and conditions.
If you’re a crime or thriller fan, January is your month. The first month of the year used to be the post-Christmas dead slot in the publishing world but not any more.
An article in today’s Sunday Times reports that January is the hot time to release new titles in these genres. The trend started with the January release of The Girl on the Train in 2015 and that book occupied the UK hardback number one spot for 20 weeks.
Nicholas Clee, joint editor of the book-trade newsletter, BookBrunch, says, “You’re making a statement putting your book out in January — you’re saying it could be the next Girl on the Train.” And there’s no sign of the popularity of this type of book diminishing. Alice O’Keeffe, books editor at the Bookseller magazine, puts it down to the “blurring of the psychological suspense thriller with the women’s fiction market. It pulls in two readerships.”
So what have fans got to look forward to in January?
Dark Pines by Will Dean is Nordic noir by a British author.
Need to Know by Karen Cleveland is about a CIA analyst who believes her husband could be a Russian sleeper agent.
Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka investigates the death of a teenager in a small Colorado town.
It looks like The Promise by Sally Jenkins, about a vow made in prison 30 years ago, will be in good company when it’s released on January 28th!
Recently, I’ve been turning my hand to crime-writing – inspired by some of the competitions mentioned on Helen’s blog.
I’ve sent my entry into the M.R. Hall competition (by email after the on-line form kept insisting that my entry was longer than the required 2,000 characters, but I think that glitch is fixed now).
My entry for the Cremona Hotel competition has been drafted – but will no doubt need a generous dose of spit and polish before it’s ready to go on its way.
Now I’m turning my mind to brainstorming ideas for the GKBC competition (stands for Giving Kudos to Brilliant Content) and after that there’s the ‘Win a Book’ competition in the May issue of Writing Magazine (write 250 words in which someone pulls a gun on a bank cashier).
Alongside this, and to get me into the mind-set of a crime writer, I’ve been reading Crime in the City – the Official Crime Writers’ Association Anthology 2003. I’ve just looked on Amazon and only second-hand copies are available now – so maybe I’ve got a rarity here!
Like all good stories, these tales are character-led and usually contain no great detail about the mechanics of the crime involved or the police procedures used in solving it. The latter often puts people (including me) off penning crime fiction for fear of getting the investigative procedures wrong, so short stories could be a good starting point.
The best way of finding out about police procedure is to make friends with a policeman but failing that, there are resources available on the internet. After a quick trawl I’ve found:
- Crime and Clues – the Art and Science of Criminal Investigation
- Writers Write – this page lists several websites that might interest crime writers
- Writing.ie -Really Useful Links for Crime Writers
Now, time to decide how my next victim’s going to die …