PAULA HAWKINS IN CONVERSATION WITH NJ COOPER

SPECIAL GUEST PAULA HAWKINS WITH NJ COOPER

Friday morning came around too fast after yesterday evenings award ceremony and family drinking!

This was time well spent. We chuckled at the geographical locations of Clerkenwell, The City and Regents Canal as described by NJ Cooper knowing that it wasn’t really like that. Literary license, we allowed and then concentrated on what was a worthwhile discussion.

I have not read any of Paula Hawkin’s books although we have them at home and Michelle has read them. The Girl on the Train was a phenomenon with an estimated 23 million copies sold. This was followed by two Sunday Times number one best sellers – Into the Water and A Slow Fire Burning.

She is an acclaimed writer and the interviewer NJ Cooper is a very experienced author. The matters raised were skilfully asked and the conversation flowed. Most of the discussion as about the characters in her latest release ‘Blind Spot’, so the programme declares “reaffirms her mastery of twists and intrigue”.

I may well read her latest as everything said whetted my appetite. The characters were discussed with detail but with no plot spoilers. NJ Cooper highlighted Hawkins use of the phrase “It’s not my fault” which appertains to several of her characters. From the discussion the story will fall into the category of sadness and misery. One thing that interested me was that in the process of writing there should be joy with space to develop the tale. I liked that idea.

Another subject matter was ‘women write crime’ and looking at the visitors here women are over represented! We discussed why covers with nude lovely girls is acceptable but male men is a no-no. Strange that but I think we have been trained to accept that by what we see in front of us. It’s like the old rule where animal cruelty is unacceptable. Maybe rules are there to be circumvented or ignored!

Other comments were:

An idea cannot be copyrighted (but of course plagiarism is frowned upon)

Nowadays people say things because they can – disagree, complain or object often without a feeling of responsibility.

Paula allows her work to be seen by ‘sensitivity readers’. One of her characters has a disability and since she has had no personal experience of it she took care to get it right. Took some advice and overruled some. It pays to be careful.

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John Edwards

Farm labourer’s son and rural boy from Herefordshire where he was surrounded by beauty and love. Took himself off to London where he worked for 33 years, but the countryside never left him. Rurality came to him again in Cornwall and now in Alicante, Spain. There to appreciate the wildlife. Abhors waste, the indiscriminate use of plastic and its wanton disposal into our oceans. A follower of Raptor Persecution and a desire to eliminate the callous killing of everything to support pheasant and grouse shooting. They kill so much that is a joy for me to see. On a lighter note an avid follower of his home town football team, Hereford FC and Gloucester Rugby.

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