Beastly (and other) pleasures
This week the CWA's short story collection ORIGINAL SINS was published. It has a new home with Severn House, but the same experienced editor: my old friend Martin Edwards. The jacket design is stylish and Martin assures me that there's a superb range of stories from masters and mistresses of the genre like Sophie Hannah, Reg Hill and Chris Fowler, as well as from relative newcomers to the form.
My contribution to the anthology is BEASTLY PLEASURES and it's very different from anything I've written before. It features taxidermy, sexual obsession and it was great fun to write. For a writer with a series detective, short fiction provides an opportunity to experiment, to play with the genre. I hope my story is very playful.
Occasionally I agree to take part in an event a long time in advance and as the time approaches I regret having accepted the invitation. Sophie Hannah, a successful crimewriter who made her name as a popular poet, wrote a funny and very real verse about a cancelled school visit. The writer who has been hired to run the workshop is delighted, the teacher is delighted, and the kids are over the moon - they didn't want a talk by a boring poet anyway.
I did find myself hoping for a last minute cancellation of the Mystery Women event in Whitby earlier in the month. My husband would have the car that weekend and Whitby isn't an easy place to get to by public transport. But in the end I was SO pleased that it went ahead. The Whitby Bookshop is everything a good independent bookshop should be. It has enthusiastic staff who love to read, regular customers who meet to talk about books and a great range of stock. It even has a shop's cat called Poppy.
My partner in crime for the evening was Lesley Horton, who writes hard-hitting and thoughtful novels based in Bradford. She spent part of her teaching career working in a special unit for pregnant teenagers and brings that special experience to her books. After the event she and her husband kindly drove me to the pub where we'd booked to stay the night, a beautiful place in the wilds of the North York Moors, a fitting end to a lovely evening.