Last night (18th Sept 2012) saw another author event with John Connolly and Mark Billingham at Waterstones in Nottingham. Both are successful crime writers and could easily have held the night on their own, but we had a double treat. Both authors have books out and work in the pipeline. But there is one other thing they have in common and that is "Books to Die For" which is a collection of 'essays' that 120 different writers have produced telling why their choice of mystery novel is a book "to die for". Not all the selections are gritty murder mysteries - the brief was 'mystery' and didn't include the word 'murder'. Authors like AS Byatt (Possesion) are included as well as Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently) also murder mysteries including Agatha Christie (Hercules Poirot) and Reginald Hill (Dalziel & Pascoe).
The evening started with Billingham giving a brief introduction of himself and then reading a very short story "Fifty Shades of Thorne" - an extremely entertaining satirical piece that had the room laughing from the off. He then read from the next Tom Thorne novel - a work in progress which he didn't give the title to because he said it would probably change yet.
Connolly then talked to us about himself and "Books to Die For" and once again it was peppered with humour that kept the room laughing.
Both authors then sat and discussed, between themselves but to the room, various mystery writers and their works, again keeping the mood light hearted. Most of the authors discussed were featured in the collection and, sadly, many were new to me, but with stories spanning from 1841 to 2008 perhaps that isn't too surprising.
With works by both authors available for purchase - or take your own collection in - a book signing followed.
Another great event by Waterstones giving fans and casual readers a chance to meet and ask questions of successful writers.