Episode 87 - Neil Richards and Matt Costello: Part 1


This Writing Life has talked to a pair of writers before: David Mitchell and Michel Faber. But Neil Richards and Matt Costello are the first bona fide writing team. We meet, ostensibly, to discuss Dead in the Water, the first full-length novel in their already successful 'Cherringham' e-book crime series: previous episodes have consisted of short stories and novellas.

But we quickly branch off to talk about their collaborative work for television, video games - and on the day we met - a top secret movie project. After a little podcast skulduggery, we begin by gently denigrating Gloucester, pondering Xanadu, displaying American and reserved English accents before starting at the beginning of their writing partnership. From here, we turn to:

  • the background and evolution of 'Cherringham'
  • death and crime in the Cotswolds
  • how do we define 'cosy' crime?
  • the relative skills of Costello and Richards
  • writing for television v novels
  • pacing and the art of the e-cliffhanger
  • 'I have been scared of writing novels': Neil Richards on learning to writing prose
  • the writing relationship: who's the boss and work schedules
  • cricket or baseball: American v British voices
  • collaboration: creation, structure and editing

Part two of three to follow.

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