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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Books
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I've no doubt that writers' block is real but the name covers a host of symptoms. As someone who has been linguistically incontinent since age six I was never able to understand how some writers could complain of bunged-up word pipes. It seems such a vague condition. Block just means you're unable to write for any number of reasons. Edmund Crispin, one of my favourite Golden Age authors, stopped…
23 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Books
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For some time now writer and editor Martin Edwards has been unearthing rarely seen crime gems from the British Library, and looking at the history of the British crime novel in volumes like 'The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books' and 'The Golden Age of Murder', the latter concerning the badly behaved author-members of the Golden Age's exclusive Detection Club. PD James felt that you could better…
19 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Reading & Writing
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When it came to filling in the Crime Writer's Association form for which sub-genre of crime I wrote in, I had to stop and think for a minute. I suddenly felt like Hamlet and the players discussing types of play; comedy-pastoral-allegorical and so on. What was I? Not procedural, that's for sure, not cosies either, thank you very much. All I could come up with was 'mystery', and surprisingly, that…
6 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Bryant & May
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Mystery authors can be tricksters; some of us like to hide puzzles, jokes and references inside our books - we can't resist it. Musicians do it all the time, and I've been doing it for years in the Bryant & May books. The most obvious joke is the names of the detectives, which were taken from a matchbox (this will be made more explicit in an upcoming volume of Bryant & May short stories exploring…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Bryant & May
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Don't believe that publishers spend their time waiting for authors to deliver. Much of our lives are spent waiting for publishers to decide. While I'm in a holding pattern over the fate of Bryant & May, and a number of other works, here's a Q&A I did recently about writing. 'The Bleeding Heart is the eleventh outing for your detectives and they're still going strong. A couple of elderly and grumpy…
13 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Reading & Writing
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Robert Bruce Montgomery, born 1921, was the organist and choirmaster of St John's College, Oxford. This spirited, funny man turned to composing movie music and wrote six scores for the 'Carry On' films. He also wrote the Gervase Fen books, eleven joyous volumes, all but one of which were produced between 1945 and 1951. The first set the tone for what was to follow. Fen is Professor of English…
9 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Reading & Writing
I have to review a lot of thrillers. Many start out with a paragraph describing the weather. They go in the bin. Others starts with a cop pulling on a cigarette and staring at a dead body. Just as predictable as the weather - bin. But it shouldn't be like this, particularly in a thriller. You should be grabbed and dragged into the story from the outset. Here are five good openings, picked at…
8 comments
Christopher Fowler
There's been a lot of talk recently about awards going to books with comedy elements. The Booker, always famously po-faced about its selections, is lightening up - so is comedy finally to be accepted as a valid artistic tool? I'm a proud past winner of the Last Laugh award for the year's best comedy crime novel, because the Bryant & May books have funny elements - but let's be careful here. The…
8 comments

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