The Noirwich Crime Writing Festival is an annual celebration bringing together superstar crime authors, exciting new talent and fans of all things crime fiction. This year it took place in mid-september and some of the great crime writers who appeared have shared their top writing rituals with us.
Stella Duffy, author of London Lies Beneath – ‘Sit down, do the work.’
Imran Mahmood, author of You Don’t Know Me – ‘I have to be able to write at the drop of a hat anywhere I happen to be – so I can’t afford rituals!’
Karen Maitland, author of The Plague Charmer – ‘A mug of tea before, during and after.I sit down at the keyboard at 9am and start writing whether or not I feel inspired. All the time I’m writing a novel I keep an object on the desk which I collected when I was planning it. For the current book, it’s a white stone with a red stain on it. For the last one, The Plague Charmer, it was a fragment of bone I found buried.’
Mel McGrath, author of Give Me the Child – ‘Every morning I apply a specially made superglue for writers to my office chair. Then I sit down at my keyboard.’
Nick Quantrill, author of The Dead Can’t Talk – ‘I can’t abide silence. I need low-level noise, coffee and (ideally) my favourite armchair.’
Stav Sherez, author of The Intrusions – ‘Coffee. Cigarettes.’
Lone Theils, author of Fatal Crossing – ‘I try to go away when I write intensely, simply because the reality of daily life has a way of dragging you out of the book and it takes me a while to get back in. When I am home I tend to take a short drive to the ocean every morning and go for a quick swim before I start writing. In the car I think about the plot and what I want to work on. The ocean always clears my mind.’
Laura Wilson, author of The Other Woman – ‘Notebooks. I’ve been scribbling down ideas in the same type for almost 20 years. Sadly, they’ve now stopped making them.’
Felicia Yap, author of Yesterday – ‘I thrive on having no rituals or routine, on doing things a little differently each time. Variety adds spice to both life and writing, at least in my case.’
Leye Adenle, author of Easy Motion Tourist – ‘None, unless ‘procrastinate till there’s a deadline’ is a ritual.’
So what’s your writing ritual?
All ten authors spoke at Noirwich Crime Writing Festival, which took place 14-17 September 2017. Catch up with the latest news and future events here: noirwich.co.uk