Last night Melissa and I went along to the WOW Crime Social at The Southbank Centre. The event had been organised for International Women’s Day, in partnership with Bloomberg, as part of the week-long Women of the World festival.
Over the course of the evening, we heard from bestselling crime writers Sophie Hannah, Dreda Say Mitchell and Cathi Unsworth. The discussion was moderated by Kate Rhodes, who is part of the Killer Women collective. As big fans of Sophie Hannah’s work, with one of my favourites being the newest Poirot tale The Monogram Murders and Melissa’s Kind of Cruel, we were looking forward to seeing her in the flesh. She didn’t disappoint. Her answers were interesting and compelling. We wished that we have been there for longer. An hour seems far too short.
While we got to hear a snippet from each of the author’s novels, the majority of the questions centred around women in crime. There was everything from the creative process to the theme of girlhood in fiction. One of the most interesting things we discovered is that Sophie Hannah tries to get into the head of a character when she is developing them. Until the character is fully formed, she considers gender irrelevant. Hannah tries to live and breathe a character. She wants to understand them before they feature on the page.
The event opened our eyes to a couple of new authors that we hadn’t heard of before. Please don’t mind us while we purchase some more books for this weekend’s reading!