We caught up with Zoë Sharp ahead of her event with Julia Crouch, Thrilling Tales and Psychological Twists which will be taking place on Saturday 14 September.

At first, I admit, I thought the chair for my Saturday late afternoon panel, criminologist Professor David Wilson, was ignoring me. We writers are, by our very nature, insecure quivering wrecks of self-doubt, and his CV is a daunting list of accomplishments.

Right up until a few days before the event I’d still had no contact, no word, no warning, no idea of what was on his mind for the conversation between the esteemed academic and former prison governor, myself, and fellow crime author Julia Crouch.

Julia’s CV, I have to say, is also a little daunting. She’s been a theatre director, playwright and a graphic designer before taking an OU course in Creative Writing and getting a three-book deal with Headline.

What, I wondered, can I possibly contribute to this discussion? Julia’s books have been described as masterpieces of psychological tension and drama. David has spent years studying the nastiest criminals in the country—some of them at very close quarters.

And then the ‘psychological’ bit of the topic finally dawned on me.

I was to be the lab-rat in some kind of social experiment.

The best crime novels are all about creating conflict, after all. Take a writer who’s made her name writing about tough, troubled women in difficult situations—ex-soldier turned bodyguard heroine Charlie Fox in my long-running crime thriller series, and now ex-CSI turned crime-scene cleaner Kelly Jacks in my new standalone, The Blood Whisperer. A writer whose first instinct is, perhaps, to hit first and ask questions later.

Put her together with a writer noted for her twisting take on what initially might seem like everyday situations—a friend coming to stay in Cuckoo, a fractured marriage in Every Vow you Break, childhood questions unanswered in Tarnished. A writer who specialises in tales that start out perfectly normal and then take a dark turn somewhere along the way.

Add in the Professor of Criminology at Birmingham City University (BCU), who is held to be one of the country’s leading experts on crime and punishment, as well as being the best-selling author of The History of British Serial Killing, a National Teaching Fellow of England and Wales, a TV presenter on violent crimes and the criminals who commit them, and you have the scene set for … well, almost anything.

So, come expecting bloodshed. Come to guess which one of us will be carrying a concealed weapon. (OK, not much imagination needed there.)
Come wearing something machine washable. Or simply come expecting a lively discussion.

Six-thirty on Saturday. Be there. We’ll be waiting.

And—trust me on this—you don’t want to make us angry …

Click here for event details