Hi from St Hilda's
I'm writing from St Hilda's College Oxford, sitting at a desk in my room, with a glimpse of garden and the river. There's gentle English rain, the sound of bells chiming the quarter and I'm ecstatic because I've just finished the first draft of my new Vera novel. Though it's a very untidy draft and there's still a lot of work to do, it's always reassuring to reach the end of a story. I never plot in advance and I wasn't quite sure how it would be resolved.
I'm in St Hilda's for the crime and mystery conference, an annual gathering that celebrates traditional writing in congenial company. I've been a regular attender for nearly ten years and more recently I've come to Oxford a week early so I can write. It's a treat to concentrate on work without the usual distractions and then to have a chance to be sociable when everyone else arrives for the conference weekend. This year the theme is: The Question of Genre: What is Crime Fiction? and I look forward to hearing papers that consider my chosen genre, sharing bookish gossip over wine and dinner and renewing old friendships. St Hilda's is open to anyone with a passion for crime fiction and new people are always made to feel very welcome, so do check us out.