I have not led a life of crime – but today I spent a day dedicated to crime! Courtesy of Southwold Library, and thanks to its brilliant librarian Charlotte, a mini-crime-novel fest took place today.
Yes, where else but the scout hut!
Five authors turned up to regale us with tales of their writing and publishing careers, what inspires them and what matters to them, and to read small and tempting portions of their books. Each author’s current works were available for sale (and signing) and a delicious lunch was provided.
I had heard, and read, Nicola Upson before and she was as excellent this time as before. Ruth Dugdall was a new name to me but her talk and her passion for justice impressed me enough to part with folding money for two of her books.
Only one other writer tempted me to buy a book – Penny Hancock. The snippet she read from Tideline was so gripping I wanted more.
Here were five charming women, aged late 30s-early 40s. They seemed perfectly normal and nice. But four of them write books that would give me nightmares. Stalkers, serial killers, cannibalism, child abduction and imprisonment… all with nasty psychological twists. Not what I would call either entertainment or escapism.
Am I alone in preferring the fiction I read to cheer me up rather than frighten me? To give me a sense of ‘all’s right with the world’ rather than the opposite? To spend my reading time in pleasant rather than unpleasant company?
Or am I just getting old and out of touch?