THE KILLER WOMEN STORY
A Q&A WITH CO-FOUNDERS MELANIE MCGRATH AND LOUISE MILLAR
WHAT IS KILLER WOMEN?
Killer Women is an author collective of 20 female crime-writers, who work together to put on exciting, innovative crime fiction events around the country, for men and women. We also offer our Crime Club members exclusive access to free chapters of our new books, giveaways, competitions and discounted early bird tickets to our annual Killer Weekend event.
WHY DID YOU SET UP KILLER WOMEN?
As colleagues, we loved catching up at crime festivals but found we were quickly home again, alone with our murderous thoughts, pyjamas on, cat on knee. In 2015, we decided to replicate that social experience, by inviting a few crime-writing colleagues to join us around Mel’s dining room table in London to chat about writing, over an occasional bottle of wine. Except it didn’t feel the same. At book events, we meet up with readers, too. Something was missing. You lot. Ideas started to fly about events we could create together and Killer Women was born.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM A KILLER WOMEN EVENT?
Our events encompass our passion for crime fiction, and hopefully yours, whether that’s a bookshop debate about ‘Women and Violence in Crime Fiction’; a festival panel interview with the real-life detectives who help us research novels; a crime-writing masterclass on ‘How to Create Suspense’ taught by us; a festival pitching event to one of our agents or editors; an exclusive murder mystery night in a library (dressed up as your favourite detective); and hopefully a chance for crime-related chat over a Killer Women cocktail with us in the bar afterwards. Many of you also came to our fantastic, inaugural Killer Weekend crime-writing festival in 2016, which featured special guests Val McDermid, Mark Billingham, Martina Cole, Ann Cleeves, and was filmed for BBC One’s Imagine by Alan Yentob.
WHO ARE THE KILLER WOMEN?
We have 20 members, who represent a number of different sub-genres of crime fiction.
HOW WAS YOUR 2018 AND WHAT DO YOU HAVE PLANNED FOR 2019?
Following the success of our 2016 Crime Club collection of Killer Women short stories – described as ‘deadly, brilliant’ by Peter James and nominated for an Audie award – we launched our second Crime Club collection in October (theme: The Body) which The Times listed as one of their crime fiction picks of the year.
Our 2018 Killer Women Crime Festival in London’s Covent Garden was sold out. Among the wonderful writers and experts we welcomed Sophie Hannah talking about adapting Agatha Christie, the Secret Barrister revealing the secrets of the criminal justice system and criminal psychologist Jennifer Rees talking about how to spot a psychopath.
In 2019 we are really looking forward to be launching the Killer Women mentoring scheme to support talented new writers in two of the most under-represented groups within crime fiction. Our Festival is returning bigger and better than ever in its new slot of 15 March 2020. Details of Killer Women Festival 2020 can be found here.
Mel and Louise X
OUR LATEST BOOKS
KILLER WOMEN CRIME CLUB
Sign up for our free Killer Women Crime Club to discover the latest criminally good writing including exclusive giveaways, sample chapters, reading recommendations, writing tips and early bird festival tickets.