If you saw my recent blog post about the Thriller event at Waterstones Milton Keynes, you can probably take a wild stab at just how excited I was (hint: VERY) when I found out about the Crime and Wine night at Waterstones Oxford, with Cally Taylor, Lucy Foley and Olivia Kiernan, a trio of criminally excellent authors. I'm already a big Cally Taylor fan, and I'm always excited to discover new crime and thriller authors. It's the reason I keep running out of money.
Olivia led the discussion with tonnes of insightful questions for Cally and Lucy, discussing their highly-acclaimed books Sleep and The Hunting Party. I wrote way too many notes to share them all, but here are my highlights.
Both of these books were set in the beautiful but remote Scottish Highlands, and involve the characters being trapped there due to extreme weather. There's something about being trapped somewhere that gives a book that Agatha Christie edge. Nowadays, the challenge is to find a setting with zero phone signal!
When asked what comes first, for Lucy it is the characters, with the setting being the spark that lights the touch paper.
"In the event of heavy snowfall, you may find you aren't able to leave the estate."
The words that inspired the premise for The Hunting Party. Unintentionally chilling...
And where do ideas typically form? In the shower, apparently. Cally doesn't always plan out the twists straight away, and once added a plot twist during a round of edits... and yes, it came to her in the shower. Writing tip: take lots of showers!
When asked about becoming an "overnight success", Cally says it only took 10 years to achieve that (eek!), and advises it takes 10 books to make a career. I'd like to share with you Cally's bucket list because I think I'll be adding these to my own...
1. Become a Richard and Judy book club read
2. Have posters on the London Underground
3. Release a hardback book
... all of which were achieved in 2019. What a woman!
Here's a little more about these inspiring women.
The Crime and Wine night was well worth the drive from sunny Northampton, and I came away with three gorgeous signed books that I'm having as a little early Christmas present to myself.
Thanks Waterstones for putting on such a great event!