Had a great evening yesterday at Waterstones Birmingham listening to Mark Billingham and Martyn Waites (aka Tania Carver) talk about crime writing and their new books (sorry about the crap picture – it’s the best of a bunch of crap pictures. I’m blaming Mark. When I saw him in Reading, the picture was crap, too).
I’ve seen Mark a couple of times before and I follow Martyn on Twitter (Mark too), but this was the first time I’d seen him in person. Well, maybe not the first time. I did see them both in a hat shop on my way to the event. Martin was being egged on by Mark to buy a hat. It must have worked. He came in wearing it.
Both read from their books: Mark from the new Tom Thorne thriller, The Dying Hours, and Martyn from his (well, Tania’s) forthcoming novel, The Doll’s House, and both had a humourous tale to tell. Mark read some of the complaint letters he’d received over the years, which are always good for a laugh. The ‘oddest’ fan was a soldier saying Mark’s portrayal of one of the Sheriff’s soldiers in Maid Marian and her Merry Men inspired him to join up. Really? Ah well, judge for yourself. Mark (playing hapless Gary) is the one on the left in the preview image below. Or if you want to see him in all his glory, he’s about eight minutes in.
A signed copy of Mark’s The Dying Hours and Choked, by Tania Carver, rounded off a nice evening.
Oh, and I’m sure it was Stuart Maconie sitting a few rows back from me in the audience.