A Life Of Crime
a terrible crime - you get paid to work out the most god-awful outrage,
do something absolutely brutal against humanity and you are allowed
to display these grisly creations in shops all across the country. They
even give you awards for it. It is depraved and unfair and yet - we
all want a piece of the action. Right now Hannibal is all
the rage, big in the box office and astonishingly, the soundtrack is
played on classic FM. Why are we so fascinated by crime? Why do millions
of books on crime sell every year? Crime fiction, True crime, Historic
crime; there is no end to the appetite for this stuff and yet as crime
figures rise in our cities and rural areas, so does our fear of crime.
Youd think wed want to read nice happy stories, wouldnt
you, to take our minds off it?
We have been very lucky at Hackwriters these past few weeks with the
excellent and popular crime and thriller writers Joanna Hines and Michelle
Spring visiting us to give us the inside view of making crime pay.
Joanna Hines's latest is Improvising Carla' (published January
2001). It's a gripping psychological thriller that has found a deserved
place in the bestseller lists. Joanna was teaching us how to avoid pitfalls
and keep a novel on track. She is based here in Cornwall, so its
great to have a local writer make time for aspiring future competitors.
Joanna works hard and it is fascinating to see how skilfully she plans
and develops her literary themes.
Michelle Spring followed closely on her heels. She is the author of
the upcoming In the Midnight Hour, published this April.
What we discovered is not so much about the craft of writing; we know
it is hard and depends on good research and characterisation, but the
astonishing amount of effort that goes into marketing, making sure you
network, and getting people to know you. Michelle in particular taught
us that the world isnt waiting for us to finish our great work.
You have to put in as much effort as you put into writing it into making
sure people care about it and want to read it. In a forest of books,
how do you get yours to be seen and bought instead of others? We learned
a great deal from both authors and nothing they said deterred us from
getting out there with our manuscripts to look for agents and publishers
when the time comes. More importantly Michelle pointed us to her new
collective of crime writers, banding together to support and nurture
each other in a group called The Unusual Suspects. Check
them out and when they appear in your area, go and support them. Youll
learn something and find a cracking good read.
Thank you Joanna and Michelle.
Joanna with the Hackwriters Team Pic:
THE HACKWRITERS TEAM
IMPROVISING CARLA* Click on Pic
Robert Rimmer firstname.lastname@example.org
"A chiller of a thriller about real women... beautifully crafted,
subtle and good."
- Frances Fyfield
IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR
Paperback - 352 pages (19 April, 2001) Orion; ISBN: 0752824813
Amazon.co.uk Sales Rank: 52,274 Synopsis:
12 years ago, a child vanished without trace. Now on a quiet street
in Cambridge, the mother discovers a young man whom she hopes
is her missing son. If he is, where has he been all these years?
And what is his connection with the violence that begins with
his arrival and ends with murder?
Hour is a wonderfully tight portrait of a human tragedy. The setting
and locations are wonderully realistic - you feel Michelle Spring
is there in person documenting this family - excellent work' Sam
See also The
LAUNCH OF FIRST CHAPTERS
This brings up to March in Hackwriters. We want to say a big thank you
to www.metaplus.com for awarding
us The Metaplus Creative Writing Website
Award 2001. It has come at a time when we are launching our new
First Chapters section in Hackwriters. Jayne Sharratt has sent us her
wonderful opening to Life in a Northern Town and
Joerg Lisgard demonstrates his stuff with the first three short chapters
of Love a novella. Since I know no shame, my own
novel Going Indigo first chapter is up there too,
as it has just come back onto the market following the termination of
my old publishers. For publisher and agents, our showcased writers retain
all their rights and we only request a finders fee should the books
be taken on. We also retain our first chapter sample rights when we
do a print version of Hackwriters.
Hackwriters is growing. We are a magazine that is constantly evolving
and we do so with the help of our readers. It needs you, the reader,
to help spread the word. If you are also a writer of quality work, submit
it to us. (Yes, we do reject work; but we are here to encourage talent
that attempts to respect the written word, good ideas, has style and
wit. If you submit a first chapter, you must be committed to completing
the whole novel). Or we send Oliver round with a big scowl.
All constructive feedback is sent to the authors. We hope this section
of our award-winning fiction site will grow into something good and
respected by agents and publishers.
Right now we are
showcasing the very talented Carine
who is looking for a media or publishing job in London. We will
be showcasing other writers and contributors to Hackwriters in the near
THIS MONTH'S WRITING
This month we're writing about Sport (this week's issue), the images
that foreign countries project, Business and Politics and the Short
Story. If you fancy any of those themes, write on. We want to hear from
you. You chose the content, we set the theme.
All the best and may the farmers recover, the slaughter of the animals
be forgiven and your rail journeys be safe. (What are the odds of Russias
Mir space station landing on the 9.45 from Truro anyway?)
Sam North - Managing Editor
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