Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Stylish Faber and Faber!

This week’s Stylist Magazine is very much book orientated and crime fiction authors have not done too badly out of it indeed.   
Most importantly, Stylist have linked up with Faber and Faber to find and publish a new crime writer.

 The judges are –
·         Ruth Rendell, award-winning author of over 60 crime fiction novels with book sales in excess of 20 million.
·         Lisa Smosarski, Stylist’s editor
·         Hannah Griffiths, publishing director, and Angus Cargill, senior editor, at Faber and Faber
·         Sue Swift, head of literary acquisitions at Kudos Television and Shine Pictures – a company responsible for adapting crime novels for TV and makers of Spooks

 To enter the competition you will need to complete the first 6,000 words of your original crime or thriller novel. The novel must feature a female protagonist. Alongside this you will need to submit an outline, no longer than 300 words, to show how the story will develop but which doesn’t reveal the ending, plus a 250-word biography of the central character.
The Prize - The winning author of our fiction competition will have their debut novel published by Faber and Faber publishing house and will receive a book advance of £5,000. The runner-up will receive a place on a three-month writing course of their choice – worth up to £1,750 – at Faber Academy, Faber and Faber’s esteemed creative writing programme.
Further information about the competition (including submission details) can be found here.

The Style List has suggested Lynn Shepherd’s gothic tale Tom-All-Alone’s.  Amanda Ross the creator of the Richard and Judy Book Club has picked Into The Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes as one of her favourite reads of 2012.
With e-books having both their friends and their foes, Lucy Mangan’s column “I Love Books, But I Loathe E-Readers” makes for interesting reading.  I can actually agree with some of her comments one of them being “E-readers have the memory to store 3,500 books, but where are the memories real books bring?” The whole column is worth reading.

Alexandra Heminslet’s article Who Killed Chic Lit looks at the demise of Chick Lit and the rise of crime fiction written by women.  With insights from Claire McGowan, Director of the CWA who believes that this new genre has emerged as women naturally write crime differently to men.  She went on to say that “there’s a definite gender divide in the type of crime fiction people write” Kerry Hood, Publicity Director at Hodder & Stoughton explains “it’s much more in keeping with the times: “In the late Nineties, women wanted the fairy-tale ending, but now they are buying novels that start with a fairy-tale which then unravels…..””.  Whilst this is an interesting article, I am not sure that I agree with all the comments especially the one about simple economics being behind the move to a more unisex genre and authors as Jojo Moyes states.  She goes on to say that “Crimes and thrillers can be shared between couples, which makes them feel like more of an economical buy during a recession”.  I personally don’t think that is strictly true as dedicated readers of crime fiction whether they be male of female have been reading the genre (whether the author be male or female) for a very long time and have not just jumped on the bandwagon as a result of the Stieg Larsson effect.

In the online edition of Stylist they also reveal that Lucy Liu has been signed up to play Watson in the CBS version of Sherlock which is to be called Elementary.  In the US version, Jonny Lee Miller is said to be a British former addict, living in Brooklyn with his surgeon friend Joan Watson (who lost her medical licence after the death of a patient). Sherlock will work for NYPD instead of Scotland Yard.  Needless to say and as Shotsblog have commented on this before, the BBC will be watching this one closely.

The Stylist’s pick of the essential whodunnits have also been picked. The novels that they consider to be the top ten crime novels are:-

The Big Sleep (1939) by Raymond Chandler
The Moonstone (1868) by Wilkie Collins
The Spy Who Came In From The Cold (1963) by John Le Carré
The Daughter of Time (1951) by Josephine Tey
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) by Agatha Christie
The Maltese Falcon (1930) by Dashiell Hammett
The Water’s Lovely (2006) by Ruth Rendell
Gaudy Night (1935) By Dorothy L Sayers
Rebecca (1938) by Daphne Du Maurier
The Name of the Rose (1980) by Umberto Eco
I can agree with most of the books that they have listed but have to admit to being a bit disappointed with the Ruth Rendell.  I would have chosen one of her earlier books.
Stylist are also looking for people to vote on their website for their favourite crime novel.   There is a list of 50 of their favourite crime novels to vote on.  The link is here. Please do vote and leave a comment as well.  If you feel more inclined you can also tweet @stylistmagazine.  Included amongst the 50 crime novels to be voted on are the ten novels included above as well as Mystery Man (2009) by Colin Bateman, Tell No One (2010) by Harlan Coben,  Black Lands (2010) by Belinda Bauer, Lucky You (1997) by Carl Hiaasen, The Black Dahlia (1987) by James Ellroy, Brighton Rock (1938) by Graham Greene, The Hard Way (2006) by Lee Child, Inspector Ghote Hunts the Peacock (1969) by HRF Keating, The Talented Mr Ripley (1955) by Patricia Highsmith, Over My Dead Body (1940) by Rex Stout,  The Day of the Jackal (1971) by Frederick Forsyth, From Russia with Love (1959) by Ian Fleming, Spook Country (2007), by William Gibson and The Murder Room (2004) by PD James to name a few. Certainly a mixture of classic and contemporary crime novels.
Cathi Unsworth is also holding a lunchtime Masterclass where she will be answering questions. 

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