Last week we went to Waterstones in Nottingham for an author event with a difference - instead of one author, there were three! The theme was crime in exotic locations and Martin Walker, Colin Cotterill and Elly Griffiths were there to talk about their respective novels set in locations from France to Thailand and Laos to the closer-to-home Norfolk coast.
Now I must admit that I haven't actually read anything by any of these authors but, although much of the audience at these events is made up of die-hard fans, I find them an excellent way to discover new books to read.
Colin Cotterill told us about his life which has taken him from Britain first to Australia and then to Asia where he lives now. His long running Dr Siri series of murder mysteries is set in Laos but, as Dr Siri is now in his 70s when even an imaginary crime-fighter should be taking things easy, Cotterill has a new series with a new heroine, crime reporter Jimm Juree, which is set in Thailand. Grandad, There's A Head on The Beach is the second in this series
Elly Griffiths used to be an editor - and never believed authors when they talked of how a plot came to them 'in a flash' or of the characters taking control of their destinies. Now she's an author herself, she knows better! Her series starring forensic archaeologist Ruth
Galloway is inspired in part by Griffiths' husband who left his lucrative
City job and retrained as an archaeologist.
After many years travelling as foreign correspondent for The Guardian, Martin Walker settled down in the Perigord region of France in the 1990s. His latest book, The Resistance Man, is the sixth in his series of detective stories drawing inspiration from the people and landscape of his adopted home. The main character, chief of police Bruno Courreges, and many of the supporting cast are based on his friends and neighbours.
After the reading there came the normal Q+A session - but with a difference. After the audience had asked their questions, the authors had one they wanted to ask - how many people would be interested in reading an erotic novel with elderly characters? A sort of geriatric Shades of Grey? The booksellers present were all in favour of it; the general public less so. The authors were adamant that this was a serious question - so perhaps we know what they're planning for future books.....
All in all another interesting evening.