Writers’ Centre Norwich Young Ambassador Hannah Richmond reviews our debut authors panel at Noirwich Crime Writing Festival 2017. Hannah attends the City of Norwich School.
On Saturday 16 September I was invited to attend ‘Fresh Blood’ as part of the Noirwich Crime Writing Festival. Fresh Blood was a Q&A-style event with debut crime novelists Imran Mahmood, Steph Broadribb, and Joseph Knox. Between them, their novels cover tales of bounty hunters, young detectives caught stealing drugs from evidence lockers, and defendants on trial without a barrister – a broad spectrum of perspectives, but an interesting one. I felt the variety amongst these three alone was a perfect way to represent the future of crime writing. Before this event, I had never heard of these authors, nor read any of their work, so it was fascinating to go into the event with no idea who they were or what they would be like, getting my first impressions of them by hearing the premise of their books.
The event was held at the suitably atmospheric Norwich Arts Centre, in the auditorium. We were supplied with a complimentary Dead Good Books goodie-bag filled with books and teasers, which surprised and pleased me. Our host, crime reviewer Ayo Onatade, promised us that she would “see what makes them tick and make [us] laugh”; she delivered on both counts. All the authors were confident, entertaining speakers, and from the start I felt there was a good rapport built on-stage.
During the hour, a great range of questions were answered – from what inspired them to start writing crime, to whether they agreed that literacy may stop criminals reoffending. It was brilliant to hear first-hand what each author aimed to achieve with their writing, what informed their work, and where they wanted to take the genre. The main takeaway, for me, was this: write what you love, write what you know, and keep writing and rewriting until it’s the best it can be. I certainly intend to read their books.