7 October 2014

#BookADayUK #Crime: Fiction v Reality

The Beverley Literature Festival is in full swing, and at the weekend I attended a Crime panel discussing Fiction v Reality. 

Anya Lipska’s novels give insights into the London Polish community where she lives; Mari Hannah writes fiction set in her native Northumbria with research help from Mo Dowdy, a former DI on the Serious Incident Squad; David Mark, hosting the event, was fifteen years a journalist, seven as a crime reporter with the Yorkshire Post and sets his novels in Hull. 

Their discussion was lively and informative, veering from the emotionally serious to the light-hearted as aspects of their writing were unpicked. Each had faced opposition from mainstream publishing for their settings, though none could imagine conjuring a fictional town or city – it would be far too much work – and they agreed that TV programmes not only glossed over much police procedure but escaped with anachronisms that would be hounded as fantasy in novels. 

I understand their, and their readers’, need for reality. It’s something I take pains to imbue in the Torc of Moonlight  trilogy, even having a handy ex officer reading the police sections to ensure authenticity. Crime, Mythic Fantasy... both are about people set in a contemporary world. Writers should always be faithful to their subject and readership, and to be honest I’ve never met one who wasn’t.  

The East Riding of Yorkshire's Beverley Literature Festival continues until 11 October. If you're in the area, don't miss it.

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