Saturday, 1 September 2012

Ann Cleeves Night

Well as mentioned in the previous post I was off to see and meet Ann Cleeves - Crime author at Brighouse Libarary as part of Brighouse Arts Festival week and it was a joyful and fullfilling event with snacks and free wine - hiccup.
I met up with my CWG partner in crime Karen and we went to look at Ann's books on offer to buy.  We are both new to this author and her work and if it wasn't for Ann's Vera Stanhope novels making their way to the small screen we wouldn't have heard of her - although she has wrote quite a few novels.
Karen picked a Vera Stanhope novel and I picked Red Bones - a novel in her Shetland Quartet.

When we went in and waited for Ann she came in and was very down to earth and humble and I am pleased for her success.
Ann mentioned that it was an accident her Vera Stanhope Crow Trap novel got made into a t.v. series as she was a midlist author and her book was bought 2nd hand in Oxfarm by Eileen Collins who was a book scout for ITV Productions and buying it for her holiday.  The rest as they say is history!  Hope that happens to me also - ha ha.

Ann mentioned how she invented Vera Stanhope - she was told by her editors to write a psycological thriller as at the time detective novels weren't in fashion.  Half way through the novel she had writers block and had been told when this happens to introduce a new character (Phillip Pullman also said this).
So in middle of a funeral scene doors open and in walks Vera - more bag lady than detective and Ann liked the character so much she wrote her again.
Ann wanted an anti female detective one who wasn't in shape or good looking - and so Vera is overweight, drinks alot and scruffy and real.
Ann went on to talk about her writing style and that she never plots the novels in advance and that all writers like herself are nosy.
She also adviced that TV Productions buy up a lot of crime novels and not many actually get made it's just so they have the option and other productions can't make them so she was really lucky.
Ann also read out from her novel Silent Voices - which I found quite amusing and to say I don't normally read crime fiction (Sci-fi and fantasy my stlye baby) it wanted me to hear and read more.

Ann also told us what she was working on next a new Vera Stanhope novel and a new Shetland Quartet - so look out for those in the near future.
She ended on a Q & A session then went out to mingle with all us readers and writers and book sign.
Myself and Karen had our books signed and she was very approachable.
I asked if she had any tips for writers - she said to just keep on writing and more importantly if writing a novel to finish it!
Karen gave me a lift (thanks Karen) and all in all an enjoyable night - and yes it has got my creative juices flowing again - so will be writing and posting a new story very soon.

Thanks Ann x


  1. Sounds like it was a good evening. So, now you're feeling inspired, I'm looking forward to reading your story - as a woman! :)

  2. That doesn't sound quite right - I mean your story written from a woman's POV!! :)