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How To Write Crime Fiction

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5th April 2017 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm


Learn from one of crime-writing’s masters as Writers & Artists invite best-selling novelist Mark Billingham into our offices for a practical two-hour workshop dedicated on how to write crime fiction. 

What are the rules of writing crime? And when is it ok to break them? During this exclusive evening masterclass, Mark will share the techniques and practical tips you need to create the perfect crime novel. Covering everything from creating protagonists your readers care about through to the importance of researching and understanding the ever-changing landscape of the crime genre, you’ll learn how to drive your novel forward and keep your readers gripped until the very last page.

Speaker Profile

Mark Billingham was born and brought up in Birmingham. He began his career as an actor, his credits including small-screen greats such as Dempsey & Makepeace, Birds of a Feather, Juliet Bravo and four series of cult children’s classic Maid Marian And Her Merry Men. Whilst continuing his relationship with TV through writing for a variety of shows, he branched out into stand-up comedy and worked all over the world for more than twenty years, appearing regularly at The Comedy Store, as well as on screen with Spitting Image, The Mary Whitehouse Experience and Live At Jongleurs. He has gone on to present widely on TV and radio, hosting shows including Going Live, TV’s Favourite Detective, Passport to Murder, Mark Billingham’s Rule Book of Crime and documentaries on everything from Patricia Highsmith to Columbo. He has also showcased his peculiar and largely useless ability to retain trivia on radio and TV shows such as Quote Unquote, The Write Stuff, Pointless Celebrities, Eggheads and Celebrity Mastermind, which he won, thanks to knowing far more than is healthy about Elvis Costello. 

A Sunday Times number one bestseller, Mark’s first crime novel was published in 2001. Sleepyhead was an instant bestseller and was later singled out by the Times as one of the novels that had shaped the decade. It has since sold over 650,000 copies. 

The series of crime novels featuring London-based detective Tom Thorne includes The Dying Hours, Lifeless, Good As Dead and Time Of Death. Lazybones and Death Message both won the Theakstons Old Peculier Award for Crime Novel Of The Year. The books are published in more than twenty-five countries and have sold over five million copies. The new Tom Thorne novel, Love Like Blood will be published in June 2017.

An acclaimed television series based on the Thorne novels was screened on Sky One in Autumn 2010, starring David Morrissey as Tom Thorne. As with all TV adaptations, it was different from the book in several respects and Mark received a lot of angry emails from readers. He is expecting plenty more when a major new six-part series, based on the standalone thriller In The Dark is screened on BBC1 in 2017. 

Mark lives in London with his wife and two children. He is currently hard at what is laughably called ‘work’, writing his next novel.

Visit Mark's website here.  

Event details

The event will be held at Bloomsbury Publishing, 50 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3DP. Doors will open at 6pm, with drinks provided upon arrival.

Drinks will start at 6pm and your workshop begins at 6.30pm prompt, finishing at 8.30pm.