Jessica Collins writes:
Low lights and candles set the scene for the relaxed and enjoyable evening that we were about to have. The authors (Frances Brody, Clare Fisher, Chris Nickson and June Taylor, pictured) each had some time to introduce themselves and their current projects before we got to pry and ask them some questions.
There’s an idea about writers, (discussed often by George R. R. Martin), that they are somewhere on the scale between ‘architects’ and ‘gardeners’; that they write either by knowing every room and detail beforehand or by planting the seed of the story before kind of waiting to watch what ends up growing. Though I’m sure the classic ‘what is your process?’ question is dreaded by most authors—maybe for its recurrence—the answer for each seemed to come about naturally. It was great to have such a variety in the room.
The fact that this came about naturally may or may not be attributed to avoiding spoilers for their novels… but it was still interesting to discuss the different ways in which research influenced their final product!
It was interesting, too, that though they each had their own process, their own distinct voices, to notice their similarities. All at this time seemed particularly interested in women (young women, female detectives, political women, female prisoners), which was refreshing as well as apt for Women’s History Month. Of course, it was also fitting that discussions of real places within the novels, usually Leeds, kept cropping up. A very well chosen group of writers, if you ask me, and a very lovely event.
LitFest is grateful for the support from Leeds University student Jess Collins