Sunday, 11 September 2016

Brisbane Writers Festival - Part 1: Perpetrators

I don't always jump aboard the hype train; I'm not the best team player and, I don't always have the necessary cash to afford a sudden whim to go out and join in. So, I'm really turning over a new leaf this month, because I have a lot of writing-related news to share with you.

To begin with, I am planning on doing NaNoWriMo this year. Yes, I know, I've railed against it in the past. But this year, I actually have a cool idea that I am keen to turn into a novel or novella. I'm sick of being an unpublished writer, and  Beloved, my girlfriend, is already published, so it's about time that I take a risk and try out this whole publishing thing.
As for what the book is about, I cannot say, I don't like talking about unpublished books. What I can tell you is that the working title, and potential 'finished' title is GIDEON.

Another fun thing, this is the first every blog post I an writing entirely on my phone. The first time I got this thing, I said it would be interesting to write using my phone, so here it is. Officially, this is the first blog post I'm writing using only my thumb.

Thirdly, the reason I'm writing this on my phone is because I'm currently at the Brisbane Writer's Festival. I'm between panels at the moment, and I'm going to use the time effectively by writing during the writers festival. I've heard a lot interesting talks today. Listened to some interesting people, and overall there is a fascinating theme that ties everything together about victimization and story focus.

So, I'm going to four panels here, today:

Crime and Curiosity, was a panel of Kate Kyriaciou, Mark Tedeshi and Emily Maguire, all about true crime and crime in fiction and asking why this fascinates us. In short, "emotion"; so, it was interesting listening to these true crime writers . . . but, fiction is my heart and soul, and I found one of the speakers most compelling, so I bought a copy of An Isolated Incident by Emily Maguire, a book that focuses on not a murder victim, but her sister, as the media runs with the story of her sister's death. Ms Maguire was kind enough to sign it for me, and I look forward to reading it.

Psycho, was a panel held mere minutes later, I had enough time to buy the book, get it signed, then right upstairs to a panel all about how we find these maniacs so fascinating, with Justine Larbalestier, Caroline Overington and Caroline Kepnes. In this, the ladies discussed what psychopathy is, how those elements are reflected in fiction and how, ironically, it is our empathy that makes these sociopaths so fascinating. Now, my beloved was the one that told me to go to the festival, and it was because she is a fan of Justine Larbalestier. I bought her new book My Sister, Rosa had her sign it and although she was sick, she graciously took a photo with me, to send to my girlfriend, and signed my old copy of Liar.

Then, I had lunch at Stone & Wood (great smoked steak) and got a mocha at Cafe Brisbane (amazing coffee, I should have got iced latte, the shot quality was perfection, no need for chocolate or sugar) before heading to my third panel.

Beautiful Failures was a talk with journalist-cum-author, Lucy Clark, who saw her daughter's anxieties at school and wrote an article called My daughter, my beautiful failure, only to investigate this further to discover greater failures in the education system, and containing her discoveries in a book for which the panel was named. I'm afraid my wallet was not forgiving enough to let me buy more books, but you can read her original article on the guardian website.

And now, I'm sitting outside a café, by the riverside, waiting for my next panel to begin.

Overlords and Underworlds will be panelled by Justin Cronin, Angela Slatter and Candice Fox, and promises to reveal the dark and distant places that these writers find themselves in when they leave the real world behind.
I'm looking forward to it, I've found some of the talks I've already listened to exciting and interesting, but also inspiring. But also, despite the fact that I came here on a whim, and had an amazing time, all of the panels/talks/discussions I've been a part of so far have all had an underlying theme that has permeated discussion and insidiously infiltrated my mind. And that theme is . . . going to be the subject of a future post.

See, another writing related thing coming up soon is my Halloween Countdown. So that I will have the stamina to write NaNoWriMo, I am writing the countdown now, so I can take a break in October and use Nove(l)mber as the writing month for which it is intended. Part 2 of this Brisbane Writers Festival blog will be posted during the countdown.

Until then, I'm the Absurd Word Nerd, I'm having a fantastic day today listening to writers and enjoying Brisbane, and if I'm lucky enough this November, and get published, I may even be able to be one of the presenters at a future BWF . . . I can only hope.
If you have any kind of writing, reading or book festival happening in your area, I highly encourage you to take part, or to come on down to Brisbane, it's a lot of fun.

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