Highly-acclaimed debut thriller writer, Jack Bowman, whose real identity has been the subject of much speculation in crime writing circles, is to take part in the Killer Weekend 2017 crime writing weekend in London next month. His appearance, in his favourite fitted grey dress and high heels might surprise a few of the budding crime novelists present, because Jack Bowman is the pseudonym for Gold Dagger winning, best-selling author, Belinda Bauer. Bauer published High Rollers in 2014, writing as a man because the action packed, high-octane, macho thriller bears little resemblance to her usual style of subtle, originally-plotted mysteries. Whilst Bauer has hundreds of thousands of devoted readers around the world, and regularly attends literary events, this will be her first outing as ‘Jack.’
“High Rollers is one of the most intelligently crafted and skillful thrillers I’ve read.” Killer Woman Sharon Bolton. On her decision finally to ‘come out’ as Bowman, Bauer said, ‘I’ve always loved action-packed books full of guns and violence but got so fed up with the litany of macho nonsense turned out by people like Clive Cussler. I wanted to write a thriller that was every bit as technically adept, but also felt just a bit subversive. I hope it’s a book that will be enjoyed by men AND women – possibly for different reasons. ’Bauer/Bowman will take part in the thriller masterclass along with Mick Herron, James Swallow and Karen Robinson, at 11.15 on Sunday 29 October. Aspiring writers in the audience will hear the group discuss key elements of thriller writing such as structure, research, pace and tension and will have the chance to question the panel on trickier aspects of the genre such as balancing plot and character development.
Killer Woman Laura Wilson said, ‘Presenting a thriller panel at our weekend was proving challenging. It couldn’t be entirely composed of men, we are Killer Women after all, but women tend not to write the traditional man-running-away-from-explosion type of thriller on which we wanted to focus. When we heard that Jack Bowman might be a woman, we were determined to book ‘him’ if at all possible.’ Killer Woman and co-organiser Melanie McGrath described Bauer as one of the most admired and respected crime writers currently working in Britain, saying, ‘Belinda will be a great addition to the programme, whatever she chooses to call herself on the day.’
Bowman’s biography describes him as, “a writer and a gambler, who does not blog, tweet or answer the phone or the door to unsolicited callers.” He is thirty eight. Or was once. Or will be soon. He lives alone.” Those who know Bauer well say that, gender aside, all this is entirely true.
Belinda Bauer Belinda Bauer’s debut novel, Blacklands, won the CWA Gold Dagger and is an international bestseller. Her fourth novel, Rubbernecker, won the Theakston’s Prize for crime novel of the year, and she has been awarded the CWA Dagger in the Library. Published in over thirty countries, she has written seven novels under her own name and is working on the next Jack Bowman book.
The Killer Weekend Saturday 28 – Sunday 29 October 2017, 82 St Martins Lane, London, WC2N 4AG. Aimed at aspiring crime writers, this is a weekend of practical workshops, exclusive masterclasses and pitch sessions given by top crime writers, publishers and agents. Attendees can also book exclusive one-to-one interviews with experts in police procedure, criminal justice and forensics. It is the second crime writing weekend organized by the Killer Women. The first, in 2016, was a sell out.