Monday, September 08, 2008

A Crime Novelist's Progress

On Saturday, I did a signing at Waterstone's, Westwood Cross, Kent. I didn't sell that many books, but met some very nice people, some of whom had read all the books, one of whom bought the latest and then an hour later came back and bought the rest. The manager showed me my sales over the months on their computer - a bit of a blur as I hadn't got my glasses on - and both he, Neil, and his assistant, Claire, were absolutely charming.

Since Murder by the Sea came out, I have been on the cover of a Saturday Review magazine (only in Kent, unfortunately!) and been interviewed (again) by our local papers, and, impressively, by a Kent glossy for their October edition. I have also featured recently in a magazine called This England in a piece about Kent based crime writers. I have also been asked to contribute to a charity anthology alongside such luminaries of my genre as Simon Brett and Reginald Hill and been asked to write a feature for the local paper.

Fears for the future were unfounded as the fifth Libby Sarjeant book has been commissioned for release next June and I have already started on that. This year I have also served on a panel at CrimeFest with other luminaries Andrew Taylor, Lesley Horton and Stephen Booth and, as previously anguished about, organised the Crime Writers' Association Conference.

OK - now. My problem is this. Can I now call myself a novelist? Can I now call myself a CRIME novelist? I can tell you (if anybody's reading this) I certainly don't feel like one. I feel as though I'm playing at it, and someone will pop their head round the door sooner or later and say: "Come on, now, Lesley, time to stop playing those silly games."

Oh, well. I suppose I just go on playing...

7 comments:

montyandrosie said...

It's good, though, isn't it - every time someone asks you what you do and you say: "I'm a novelist. A crime novelist", you're trying it out on your tongue, seeing how it fits and how it sounds and how it feels when you say it. ie excitement every time.

Imagine getting to a stage where someone asks you what you do and you say: "Yeah. (sigh) I'm a crime novelist." and........ NOTHING...... no feeling of being found out any moment, no feeling of defying something, no delicious feeling of adventure.

I reckon you've reached the top already. How brill is that?!?

And I knew you before you were famous. Heh

Jan Jones said...

Well, other people seem fairly convinced, so you could at least TRY thinking of yourself as one.

Kate Walker said...

OF ourse you're a crime novelist - albeit a CN suffering from Imposter Syndrome.

But don't worry - we all suffer from that. I think of you as a Crime Novelist anyway.

Cograts on the publication of Murder by the Sea - I really must try to catch up with reading all these books that my Crime Novelist friend writes!

Lesley Cookman said...

Thanks, all. Imposter Syndrome - I like that, Kate. My daughters both suffer from it, too, albeit in a different sphere.

Must try harder...

liz fenwick said...

You are a Ceime Novelist, just keep saying it :-)

Jane Henry said...

Course you're a crime novelist. I do know the feeling though. Have only just been able to bring myself to say to people I write for a living...

WhereDunnit said...

I'm glad you saw the piece on crime fiction in Kent which was published in 'This England' - though it was so long after I wrote it that it was finally published that I'd given up hope of ever seeing it in print!