Friday, June 03, 2011

Christine Poulson, crime writer

Ten years ago, I sat next to a woman at a Fiction Masterclass at the Sheffield Literary Festival, and the next day I met her at my local Quaker meeting. I had just read a Mslexia article about writing buddies, who critique each others’ work, cheer each others’ successes, commiserate over rejections, and gee each other up when the going gets tough. Being a pushy sort, I said to this woman whom I had only just met, “Would you like to be my writing buddy?”

She reeled: she is not a pushy sort, and she is also more grown up than me. I could see her thinking, “Can this woman even write?”

She did become my writing buddy. And more. These days I can ring her up and say (as I did yesterday): “I’m feeling sad about something, and I’m driving past your house, can I come in and get a hug?” And she will say,“Yes, I could do with a hug myself.”

That woman is Christine Poulson, crime writer extraordinaire, accomplished in creating intricate plots, and writing suspenseful novels and brilliant short stories, and other arcane arts not part of my skill set. Today she is interviewing me on her blog. You can read the interview here.


Jacob Naylor (Pennsylvania, USA) said...

Hello Ms. Hepworth

I've been reading your blog now for over a year. I've commented a scant few times (less than I should have), probably partly because I feel guilty that I'm in love with your blog, but have yet to read any of your books. Your interview with Christine Poulson was wonderful to read, and made me want to read your books more than ever. You mentioned that all your current/future projects will have to wait, as you've been buried in publishing responsibilities and want to get back to your "real life." That is how I excuse myself from reading novels like I used to: my real life is too important (remodeling our home, working as much as possible to pay for it, and a VERY busy 18-month old boy to keep up with). So, there's my excuse for not reading your novels. That said, I'm thinking about picking up one of them this summer. Anyway, thanks for all your blogging, insight, and humor. Keep on blogging!

Sue Hepworth said...

This is such a humbling comment. Thank you for making it. But I feel really really nervous now that you might pick up one of my books to read, and find that you hate it! Can I just say that quite a lot of (older) men liked Plotting for Beginners. And then can I say that I think this new one is my best, and I have been known to describe it as a Plotting for Beginners with attitude. Lastly - it's on sale with free postage to anywhere in the world from The Book Depository, and last time I looked, it was reduced in price. Oh, oh, this is really the last thing - I am uploading an ebook version onto on Monday.

Christine said...

And all this time I've been thinking YOU were the grown-up one! (Perhaps that's one of the secrets of a great friendship). Thanks, dear friend.

galant said...

How amazing ... I read your input on I Prefer Reading today, have already ordered your book (Amazon said there was just one left, more on order, so that's great on both counts!) and then I thought I'd take a peep at your own blog. And there, as I scroll down you mention Christine Poulson, whose three great Cambridge-set crime novels I have (and have read.) Indeed, your own face, Sue, looks familiar to me, but I can't think why! I shall now read the interview with you on Christine's blog - I hope she has another book in the pipeline, too, as I so enjoyed her first three crime novels, excellent stuff.
Margaret P

Sue Hepworth said...

How lovely to hear from you, Margaret.I will tell Chrissie you're looking forward to her next novel. She'll be really pleased (or "right chuffed" as they say in Sheffield, just over the hill.)
Do let me know what you think of my novel when you've read it. One of the characters is a bit like Marmite - you either love him or hate him.

galant said...

Yes, "reet chuffed" is how it would be pronounced. I might live in Torbay, Devon, but I'm born of Lancastrian parents (my late mother said that the best thing to come out of Yorkshire was the road to Lancashire ... only joking!)
I shall certainly let you know what I think of your book, Sue. And I have a writing buddy, too, but we've never thought of each other as such. I write feature articles for magazines and my friend writes historical novels (published by Hale) which are set here in the west country, either on Dartmoor, or on the River Teign. We check each other's work, as you and Christine do. It has saved many an "egg on phizzog" moment for both of us!