Ealing author Nicola Rayner was among those who took to the stage at the Chiswick Book Festival yesterday (11 September 2022), joining fellow writers Susie Lynes and Emma Curtis for Criminal Women, a fascinating look at the art of writing successful psychological thrillers.
Welsh-born Nicola, who is originally from Abergavenny but now lives in the borough, is one of a number of Ealing-based authors who are taking part in the event – which began life as the Ealing Literary Festival, and is now in its 14th year.
The talk, chaired by playwright Lisa Evans, saw the author discuss her own writing, and her career as a journalist writing about dance, as well as her successful thriller novels You and Me and The Girl Before You.
Lynes, a former BBC producer originally from Liverpool, also gave insight into her writing career and her latest book The Ex, a thriller set in Lyme Regis which takes place as the country was starting to come out of lockdown in 2021.
Curtis, meanwhile, discussed how her own writing career began with literary fiction before moving into psychological thrillers – which have included Keep Her Quiet and Invite Me In.
As well as each of the women talking about how they got into writing in the first place, such topics as characterisation, the business of editing, how to write from different points of view and the importance of setting and location in novels. The trio stayed around afterwards to sign copies of their books, as well as chat with some of those who had attended.
The festival is set to continue throughout the week, with other highlights including an evening marking the 60th anniversary of the Ealing Club – now the subject of a new anthology which recounts the borough’s role in the creation of R&B, and the ‘Marshall’ sound of guitar-based rock music which became familiar all around the world.
Stephanie and Laura Flanders, the daughters of actor and comedy songwriter Michael Flanders –- will also be taking part in a talk on Wednesday September 14 at Acton’s Act One cinema. The pair who are both journalists – will discuss their father’s impact on comedy as well as the world of disability, Flanders having spent much of his adult life in a wheelchair after contracting polio as a young man.
You can find out ticket information for these and other events here.