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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Reading & Writing
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Being a contrarian, I probably wasn't the first choice to be placed on a crime writers' panel dedicated to Agatha Christie. I wasn't prepared to sit there praising her uncritically, but I figured her audience was there to hear exactly that, so when official Christie doyenne Sophie Hannah declared that there was no other author worth reading in the world, I admit I lost it a little and we argued -…
22 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Reading & Writing
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Into this fan frenzy steps muggins... Yesterday I was on a panel at London's literary crime festival in the Grand Connaught Hotel (as featured in Sherlock Holmes stories), discussing her with four aficionados; her being Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowan, DBE, 1890-1976, known for 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections. The panel, which had real Christie experts on it…
22 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
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It has been in the back of my head for a long time that there is a right and a wrong way to behave after becoming a writer. Because we don't work in corporate environments we have to form a creed for ourselves, but what should it be? Before I was brave enough to try novels I had written a very bad book called 'The Ultimate Party Book', and my America editor told me, 'we take our parties very…
15 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Reading & Writing
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As some of you know, I write a weekly column for the Independent on Sunday called 'Invisible Ink', about once massively popular authors who have now become a minority taste or who have vanished altogether. I thought carefully about including Margery Allingham in the column. She's hardly ever out of print, and readers certainly know her name, but very few of them have really got to grips with her…
11 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Reading & Writing
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Every year Harrogate hosts Britain's biggest gathering of crime writers and their readers at the Old Swan Hotel, and the four-day event, called the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, is usually a sell-out. People in Yorkshire are avid readers (and drinkers of the eponymous beer) but there are also visitors from all over the world. It's not surprising; even before you get to the…
2 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
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The press said 'Geraldine McEwan, known for playing Agatha Christie's Miss Marple, has died at Charing Cross Hospital, aged 82'. There's mention of the awards she won for the TV production of 'Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit', Sheridan's 'The Rivals' and Congreve's 'The Way Of The World'. But to me her most inhabited role was as Lucia in EF Benson's acidulous 'Mapp and Lucia'. As Michael Coveney…
9 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Bryant & May
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Someone I hadn't caught up with for a while said to me, 'So, you're still churning out those Bryant & May books are you?' I pointed out that yes, mystery novels were one type of book I write, although there were many others. He said; 'Then why do you bother with the crime stuff? They're all the same, aren't they?' I explained that my stand-alone novels sold a fraction of the copies that my series…
17 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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The play is set in a fantasy world of mock-tudor wood-paneling, an England that I've never seen. Each of the eight actors in it have to sign up for a minimum of 47 weeks. One says that during quiet performances you can hear the play creak. That's hardly surprising; 'The Mousetrap' opened in the West End of London in 1952, and has been running continuously since then. It has by far the longest…
5 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Reading & Writing
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The game of Consequences - finishing something started by someone else - has long been popular among crime writers. Charles Dickens had, in a way, inspired the idea in another form with books like 'Mugby Junction' and 'The Haunted House'. In these he started off a story and had other writers deliver additional episodes which were slotted in after his, although they were far more episodic by nature…
2 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Reading & Writing
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Publishing PRs can be a bit of a punchline; there are plenty of jokes about posh girls called Daisy or Emma looking to fill the time between finishing school and marriage to a trustafarian, but in reality a good PR is worth her weight in diamonds (they're usually women, although I know a few male literary PRs). I've had a great many, ranging from Liz Hurley's sister (funny and charming) to one…
2 comments

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