Thursday, 20 September 2012

John Connolly Author Talk

Hi peeps how you all?

Well still not written or even read much - still reading Wizards First Rule by Terry Goodkind from January - lol but going to get back into that as well as writing.  Still to do a short story from a woman's POV.

Anyway in the meantime on Monday 17th September went to the usual CWG - Cleckheaton Writers Group and had fun chatting about what we were writing but more importantly there was a buzz of excitement as we were going to an author event at Cleckheaton Town Hall to see a talk with crime novelist John Connolly.

Now I have to hold my hand up - I not a great fan of crime and had never heard of John Connolly - most popular for his Charlie Parker series.  His newest novel is out now.

Here's a snippet of what I learnt from his talk about him and his writing.
He writes American crime based in Maine although he is Irish but there are no great crimes taking place in Ireland.
Advised that all Writers are Readers first and that deadlines are suggestions - and usually go past - ha.
Here John quoted Douglas Adams who said that he enjoyed the sound of another deadline wizzing past!
When he wrote his first novel he put everything into it plot wise and other novelists do too as they don't know if they will be published again and want to get a great book out!

John advised that writers usually end a series by killing off the main characters ala Morse and it is usually hard to conclude a series satisfactory.
He isn't sure if he will be killing off Charlie Parker or at least not telling anyone.  John has an overall plot arc for the series although when he first started the series he didn't and started as he wrote more of them.

John shared that he writes without planning the plot and usually jus knows the opening scene of a novel.
He also writes 1000 words a day.
He also gets to about 20,000 words in his novels and wants to give up or throw away and advised that is around the point most writers usually abandon their attempts at a novel between 20,000 to 40,000 words.
But he also advised you learn valuable lesson from finishing a novel.

He also told us about his foray into films whereby one of his short storys was made into a film with Kevin Costner staring although it bombed and went straight to DVD.
He warned when film companies pay writers it's usually to go away - lol - and that you have to be very careful when selling your work to studios!

After his talk myself and fellow CWG bought a book each and waited in a long cue to get it signed. 
John was a very  friendly person and down to earth author - probably the most since I met David Gemmell a few years back - would put both talks at 10 out of 10.
I asked John for writing tips he advised to keep writing and to finish.  To be persistent and with a bit of luck you can get published as the big publishers are always wanting manuscripts - without them wouldn't be around.  He also told me and Karen it took him 5 years to get published.

All in all a very enjoyable evening with a confident yet very down to earth guy - my fellow CWG member Karen also has a review of the evening which is more detailed and includes a photo of her and John! 
Go to to read it! 

Enjoy x

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the link to my blog Neil and look forward to reading your story from the POV of a woman at the next meeting (hopefully :)