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Incorporating Writing Issue Vol 2

Incorporating Writing Issue Vol 2

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Published by Andrew Oldham
Guest edited by Chaz Brenchley. Interview with Val McDermid.
Guest edited by Chaz Brenchley. Interview with Val McDermid.

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Published by: Andrew Oldham on Apr 30, 2012
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www.incwriters.com Incorporating Writing Issue 3 Volume 2Contactincorporatingmag@yahoo.co.uk ----------------------------------------------------
Incorporating Writing
is an imprint of The Incwriters Society (UK). Themagazine is managed by an editorial team independent of The Society'sConstitution.Nothing in this magazine may be reproduced in whole or part  without permission of the publishers. We cannot accept responsibility forunsolicited manuscripts, reproduction of articles, photographs or content.Incorporating Writing has endeavoured to ensure that all information insidethe magazine is correct, however prices and details are subject to change.  Individual contributors indemnify Incorporating Writing, The IncwritersSociety (UK) against copyright claims, monetary claims, tax payments / NIcontributions, or any other claims. This magazine is produced in the UK ©The Incwriters Society (UK) 2005 ----------------------------------------------------In this issue:
Issue 3 Volume 1: Crime & Fantasy
1. Editorialby Chaz BrenchleyWhat do you do for a living?
"I am a passionate advocate of genre fiction on its own terms, as I havebeen a passionate reader of it all my life; and at the same time I will goto the wall for the proposition that there is nothing that so-called literary fiction has, that genre fiction lacks or needs to lack"
 2. InterviewsFrom One Corner to Another: Interview with Val McDermidVal McDermid talks about her time as a journalist, crime genre writing, whysome ideas just won't get out of her head and how short story writing tookher to a new place in her work.Boudica and Beyond: Interview with Manda ScottManda Scott tackles writing history vs fantasy, delves into British historyand the shaman.3. ArticlesGenre PublishingJohn Jarrold has set up SF and Fantasy lists at three major publishinghouses here he looks at the state of the genre and why quality always winsout.But Don’t You Just Make It All Up?Juliet McKenna, Fantasy novelist, shows that there is more to genre writingthan sitting at a desk and plucking at a lyre. Even Fantasy is grounded inthe reality of research and understanding.Why is there such a synergy between comics and fantasy?Jean Rogers shows that there is more to comics than chewing gum giveaways.Bloody ForeignersAnn Cleeves considers crime fiction from Europe and the rest of the world.Series or stand-alone?Martin Edwards looks at the strong pull to resurrect the serial detective.Bestiality, Parthenogenis and Women's Underwear: Love and Sex In MayhemParva And Pulp CityLove, sex and crime fiction. What about love, sex and crime writers? AndrewTaylor says let the facts speak for themselves.
What we mean and how we are seenFarah Mendlesohn looks at the thorny subject of genre from how we perceiveSF to Literary publications.4. ColumnsCubicle EscapeeSharon Sadle escaped her cubicle on September 22, 2005. What follows is hernew column for Incorporating Writing, as Sharon travels into the heart ofAmerica.5. ReviewsReviews April 2006--------------------------------------------------1. Editorial
"Probably every writer wants to think that they're an individual, with anoriginal furrow to plough"
 What do you do for a living?Editorial by Chaz BrenchleyWhen people asked at parties what I did, I used to say I was a typist. Thatwas back in the old days, though, near enough thirty years ago, when we didstill use typewriters. These days I'm more honest, necessarily, because'data entry operative' would be just too dull for words. So when I'm asked,I admit to being a writer. The next question, always, is "What do youwrite?" Novels, I say; novels and short stories. And then again there's theinevitable follow-up question, "What sort of novels?" and I find myselfconfessing once more that I live down the dirty end of genre. Crime,horror, fantasy, I say. And no longer bother to assert that genre fictionhas as much (or, yes, as little) literary merit as any other form ofwriting, because they won't hear that. They're thinking Christie, King andTolkien; they think they've got me taped.As it happens, they're wrong on all three counts. People have said of mywork - with some justification - that my crime fiction borders on horror,my horror fiction is really a kind of dark fantasy, and my fantasy is asopaque and mysterious as any crime novel. All of this - of course! - isdeliberate. The other thing that happens at parties, my arms fly around allungainly as I describe a triangle with crime, horror and fantasy at itsangles, and myself camped out somewhere in that desolate margin between.The hinterland, I say. It's my natural home.Probably every writer wants to think that they're an individual, with anoriginal furrow to plough. Even once we get past the romantic-loner image(if we ever do, if we ever see the need), the creative impulse is almostalways solitary; you want to find a territory that no one else has touched,and stake it out entirely for yourself. Which can be unfortunate - or atleast uncommercial - in the contemporary publishing business, whereeverybody wants the same as last week, the same as the other guy, safesales and no risks, no innovation.See? I told you. Romantic loner, riding his hobby-horse out into thewilderness alone. But my point is that I'm not as alone as I used to be.Genre boundaries are breaking down. What tops the mainstream crime lists inthe UK these days is serial-killer thrillers, by and large; and hooray forthat, but the distinction between the best of those and genuinepsychological (as opposed to supernatural) horror is a shaving off afraction of a doubt. When I was first approached about guest-editing thisissue, the word was that they wanted it to focus on crime and fantasy, asthough those were two distinct genres; and so they are, except that I havefriends who write crime stories set in a fantasy environment, and friends
who write fantasies in the guise of crime fiction. Where does Jasper Ffordebelong? Hodder publishes him as mainstream, which is what I'd do too, ifonly to avoid the issue. But they do the same with David Mitchell, to givehim the literary credibility he needs to win the kudos and awards that hedeserves; and I would claim his most successful book, 'Cloud Atlas',absolutely for science fiction (which in my lexicon is a subdivision offantasy - you see how complicated these questions get?).So no division is absolute; there is always leakage, and there is alwaysblurring. Nevertheless, genre writers are becoming more militant in supportof what they do. Ian Rankin has recently been asserting the literaryqualities of crime fiction (and the prejudice of those judges who ignoreit, come prizegiving time); meanwhile, numbers of us have formed smallpromotional groups to take our own message ('to promote our own books'would be a crude way to put it, as we spend much of the time promoting thegenre in general) directly to the public. I think it's interesting toobserve that a founder member of the first such group, Murder Squadwww.murdersquad.co.uk, is also a founder member of the first such fantasygroup, The Write Fantasticwww.thewritefantastic.com. It would be, ah,invidious to name him.But the point is this, that I am a passionate advocate of genre fiction onits own terms, as I have been a passionate reader of it all my life; and atthe same time I will go to the wall for the proposition that there isnothing that so-called literary fiction has, that genre fiction lacks orneeds to lack. I seem to be building the walls up with one hand, while Iknock them down with the other. So what is it that I'm saying - vive ladifférence or plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose? Either way, I seemto be speaking a whole nother language, which is the last defence of theromantic loner; but happily, of course, I am perfectly capable of believingtwo entirely contradictory things at the same time. That's inherent; I'm anovelist, and you have to believe both sides of every argument, or howcould your characters fight about it?----------------------------------------------------2. Interviews
"You learn very quickly that no matter what shitstorm is whirling throughyour own life, you have to put it to one side and get the bloody story written"
 From One Corner to Another: Interview with Val McDermidInterview by Chaz BrenchleyVal McDermid grew up in a Scottish mining community, then read English atOxford. She was a journalist for 16 years, starting out in the south-weston local papers and radio stations. She was a news reporter on the ScottishDaily Record and worked freelance for Gay News. Journalism then took her toManchester, to The People. From 1988 until 1991 she was Northern BureauChief. Her first foray into the world of crime fiction was with thepublication of Report for Murder in 1987. Since then she has risen tobecome one of our most successful novelists; she has won the CWA GoldDagger and the Grand Prix des Romans D’Aventure, and her books areinternational bestsellers. A major ITV seriesbased on her booksbegan in2002, to great acclaim, with Robson Green playing the lead role; the fourthseries is due for transmission in early 2006. She has also written a non-fiction book,A Suitable Job for a Woman: Inside the World of FemalePrivate Eyes. Val McDermid divides her time between Cheshire and theNorthumberland coast.You were a journalist before you were a novelist. I know you ended up in asenior position on a Sunday tabloid, but I don’t know what kind of reporter

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