Hello and welcome to my Little Willow blog, well welcome to those who might stumble across it anyway as I have yet to give this address to anyone :) I thought I might try and see how I get along with just writing in it first. It's all a lot of random stuff, but hey, hopefully there'll be something interesting for people

Thursday, 19 August 2010

An Evening with...

I went last night to the Waterstones Liverpool One shop to see authors Mark Billingham and Stuart MacBride, both crime fiction writers. The evening was a Q&A session and there was quite a good crowd there to see them.

Mark Billingham started off the proceedings with a bit of a chat and talked about how he keeps an actual notebook of emails he receives from people complaining about the swearing in his books. He went on to tell us that the reason he keeps a note of them is because he can't understand why someone who is happy enough to read about murder and rape and blood is put off by a bit of swearing - and to be fair, he has a point. He read out a few of these emails which had everybody laughing.

Mark was originally a stand up comedian so he has a stage presence about him, making him someone you want to listen to, and of course, he has a sense of humour about it all. He went on to read the prologue of his book which sounded very intriguing.

Stuart MacBride followed on from Mark and began by acknowledging that most people there had probably come to see Mark - to which nobody really replied, but I guess was probably the case. Stuart was also a very interesting person to listen to and he talked about getting into the business and how his first book was so different to the run of current ones. His first book was a stand alone novel which was a crime fiction book but set in the future and he even admitted to writing this style so he didn't have to do much research - as it's in the future, you don't have to adhere to current laws etc.

Both authors talked about attending writer's conferences and doing other Q&A sessions and Mark said he was always happy for anyone to ask him any question, even if it's one he's been asked a million times before, as he said the questioner has travelled to come and see him and is likely to buy their book, so he sees no problem and doesn't understand why some authors get frustrated over it.

The floor was opened for the audience to ask questions, and there were a few common questions asked regarding Mark's new TV show of the first two books in the Thorne series, about if he'd had an idea for an actor in his head and he was asked about the cameo he had filmed. Both authors were asked about their characters and also about comparisons made to other crime fiction authors. Both Mark and Stuart claimed that the crime fiction lot are a nice bunch and they have good banter, but when needed, they're there to help each other out, regarding getting reviews for their new books etc.

The evening went on for over an hour and at the close, they signed any books people had purchased. I bought Mark's new one and Stuart's first one.
They were both very nice people and I'm glad I went along, despite not asking any questions about their writing, which I should have done but it was just too scary and I thought it could have gone off topic from what other people actually wanted to hear about, but there's always the option to ask any questions on Mark's Facebook page if I really wanted to :)


  1. I thought it was really good. So glad I went.

  2. "and I thought it could have gone off topic from what other people actually wanted to hear about" - that's the point of the q&a though, that everyone can ask what they want to hear about. What if no one else had thought about your question but would actually have really liked to hear the answer. Even if no one else wanted to hear it, your questions would be exactly as valid as anyone elses. But I do understand the scared thing, and would have sat and just listened too!! x

  3. I know I know my questions are just as valid, but again, you know what I'm like, I'm not good with doing that or asking questions etc etc :)
    But I graciously thank you for saying that my questions are valid :)

  4. Haha I knew as I was writing it that it wouldn't make a difference to how you might act at future things like this, and that you were probably already aware that they were valid. But it needed saying anyway cause you is silly :) x