Friday, March 10, 2006

At Writers' Week

I've spent most of this week at Adelaide Writers' Week, hence no blogging as I am too knackered to do anything of the kind. Because it's quite exhausting, sitting around day after day under the palm trees in perfect weather, sipping a good double-shot macchiato (latte? I speet on eet) or a free glass of Fox Creek Vixen sparkling red (chardonnay? Pah) and catching up with like-minded friends from all over the country while you listen to Minette Walters, Val McDermid, Robert Fisk, Vikram Seth, Robert Drewe, Helen Garner, Delia Falconer and so on and so forth talk about their work and their lives.

Such a bore.

I think my very favourite was crime writer Val McDermid, of Wire in the Blood fame, who has a wonderful caramello sort of alto-chorister's voice in which she pours forth grammatically perfect impromptu sentences in the beautiful accents of Scotland. She's also very funny. At question time one audience member asked her how she had managed to create and keep track of the several different 'detective' type series characters -- Lindsay Gordon, Kate Brannigan, Carol Jordan and Tony Hill -- who run through her fiction. 'I'm schizophrenic,' she replied with a straight face. 'I'm a Gemini with Gemini rising -- there are four of us in here.'


elsewhere said...

I heard Val McDiarmid on the radio and thought she was very good value. And the crime writers' panel was, surprisingly, one of my favourites (maybe because the detective narrative is so fundamental to so much writing?)

comicstriphero said...

I know this will probably incur literature-snoberry induced snubbery, but I am currently enjoying Wire in the Blood on DVD.

Well, when I say 'enjoying', one completely must be in the right frame of mind for so much twisted blood and gore.

But, your time at Adelaide Writers' week sounds pretty good. And please stop spitting in my latte.

Pavlov's Cat said...

No no -- no snobbery nor snubbery of any kind here -- I thought Wire in the Blood was absolutely wonderful, epecially Robson Green(e?) who has the perfect balance of charisma and creepiness for Tony Hill. In fact, inspired by this information, I will get it on DVD forthwith for my best mate who is about to have a knee reconstruction, poor love, on condition that she lets me watch it with her.

Yep, Elsewhere, the McDermid voice is gorgeous and would have sounded fab on radio. Re crime -- I get the feeling this will surprise Elsewhere almost as much as her discovery that I like to watch the tennis, but I am a mad keen (though fairly discriminating) reader of crime, for the exact reason you give, the purity and power of the (good) crime narrative. Dorothy L Sayers from the Golden Age, Chesterton (despite his politics) for the quirkiness of Father Brown, Doyle/Sherlock Holmes of course, and all the good ole contemporary gals -- Cornwell despite the fact that she is clearly barking, McDermid, even Elizabeth George (though the telly series is better than the books, not a thing one can often say), and of course the great Kathy Reichs.

Erm ... I think I'd better write a proper post about all this.

Spit, latte, metaphor only, please disregard.