Saturday, July 21, 2012

Harrogate - Writing for Your Life

I missed the controversial e-book panel to get some sustenance and returned for:

Writing for Your Life:

Writers are often told to ‘write what you know’, but what if that knowledge could cost you your life? This is a unique opportunity to hear former intelligence agents and investigative journalists talk about revealing the secrets that some people want kept hidden. From the safety of their cosy offices, most crime writers routinely knock off tales of murder, but David Hosp, Chris Morgan Jones, Tony Thompson and Boris Starling tell Charles Cumming what it’s like when the writing itself is a matter of life and death?

My rather brief notes:

CC applied to work at MI6 but contrary to rumour didn't get in. Thinly disguised Vladimir Putin in The Trinity Six.

CMJ: described as a "loss" when lose a target that's under surveillance. Cannot track someone with just one person unlike in films/books.

BS also writing as Daniel Blake with a series set in the US: New Orleans, Pittsburg.

DH writes on ferry to Boston and back cf le Carre on a train

TT is a true crime writer - has he risked his life - yes and told of when he interviewed a criminal called The Governor; he only wanted a short quote and so took no notes. The Governor rambled on for an hour and then wanted TT to read his words back to him. TT had a few minutes to decipher (his non-existent) shorthand notes and then had to read it three times (in front of burly thugs) before being allowed free.
DH (a lawyer) is involved in the Innocence Project - looking at cases where the person might be innocent. His third book, Innocence is based on the project - a real case where fingerprint faked and whole dept shut down for 3 years,

CMJ would get others people to take risks, didn't do surveillance himself and recommends that you always have a woman on the team as they are less obtrusive.

DH's new book, The Guardian, is a standalone looking at the changing role of women in military, though they can't go into combat there are a lot in military police. he's toying with the idea of bringing her back.

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