Let me qualify this. I am talking about crime writing here. Exactly one week ago I was at the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate and waiting for Dragons Pen to begin. Excited and fevered writers were about to pitch their ideas to publishers and agents. What I didnt know then and certainly realize now is that the crime writing genre is considered to be numero uno. I presume this means for sales of books? Not only that but it also most popular with a particular category of reader and this was also news to me. I thought crime was for guys but no the female of the species has a strange devotion for crime novels. Has to be a certain type of crime mind, I dont think they would be interested in say some clever heist where the little guy hits back at a large corporation. Oh no the ladies like something else, something creepy, sinister, edgy. something with plenty of blood and guts. This was confirmed by a recent newspaper article which posed the question…
Blood, guts and girly gore: Why do female authors write nastier and more violent crime novels than men do?
As if to confirm this, the book which won The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2012 was ….The end of the Wasp Season by Denise Mina. Check out this comment..
In this dark, bitter, compelling thriller, a young woman is brutally murdered in her home in Glasgow. Pregnant DS Alex Morrow investigates the crime, while having problems with her arrogant boss and psycho brother. And, down in Kent, a disgraced financier hangs himself from a tree, but not before he’s psychologically damaged his whole family.
Now this has serious implications for any crime writer. If your market audience is mostly female well that is who you are writing for, leastaways if you want to get published or noticed. It has certainly made me stop and think and maybe revise what I planned. I was going to start just after the murders and let the tale explain itself though the testimony of numerous characters. OK maybe not, if blood is needed then so be it. I do after all have four cut-throat murders to write about!
And here again is more synchronicity. I never set out to write a crime novel, the story seemed to find me and now events seem to be shaping how the novel will be written. I would not have been at Harrogate but for an invite to join LinkedIn from my sister. How many times have I blanked LinkedIn invites before? It was a communication from LinkedIn that alerted me to the Harrogate event, without that I would not have been there. Then I would not have discovered that crime does indeed pay. Crime writing that is…..
These are the mumblings and mutterings of writer and researcher Michael Sheridan aka Bakersfieldlad, who will be back in about a weeks time with some talk about research.
Whoops – forgot to add categories and tags again so post edited and properly set up!