From comedian to crime writer, Mark Billingham’s life has been an absorbing journey
For British crime author Mark Billingham, a story can come from anywhere— from a newspaper report, to life around him and of course, “his own twisted imagination”. “Being an ardent crime reader, I keep in mind what my reader would like to pore over. So the plot takes shape, without any pretermined plans,” says Billingham. He was in the city’s British Library as part of Lit Sutra: UK-India Literary Conversations, where he spoke on The Detective and the Criminal Mind.
Born and brought up in Birmingham, Billingham’s life has followed an interesting curve, from a sought after stand-up comedian to an actor and now a highly successful crime writer. His debut novel was called Sleepyhead, which introduced the London-based police procedural series, featuring Inspector Tom Thorne and his team of inner-city cops.
Since then, there have been half a dozen Thorne novels, the latest being Death Message, which deals with the dark side of text messaging. “The idea is to create characters who engross, engage and create suspense. A twist in the tale is paramount and one of the most interesting aspects of a crime novel,” he adds. At present, Billingham is at work on a series of thrillers for children.
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