In this episode of The Writing Life, we are joined by author, screenwriter and lecturer Tom Benn to discuss his latest novel, Oxblood. Set in 1980s South Manchester, Benn’s blazing novel of female solidarity and the legacy of male violence centres on three generations of women at the heart of an underworld family. It won the 2022 Sunday Times Charlotte Aitken Young Writer of the Year Award and was longlisted for the Gold Dagger 2023 and Gordon Burn Prize 2022.
Tom chats to NCW CEO Chris Gribble about the genesis of Oxblood and why it took six years for him to write. He talks about choosing to write a crime novel in a ‘different way’ from a female perspective; and his aim to re-sensitise the reader through dark or violent stories. He and Chris also discuss how publishers may react to a book like Oxblood, which sits within the crime genre but also interweaves elements of other genres.
For the introduction, Steph is joined by NCW Development Manager Dan Scales to talk about a new fundraising campaign launched this month for Escalator, our long-running talent development programme for underrepresented writers. You can support the campaign here.
Applications for Escalator 2023-24 close at 10am BST on Tuesday 19 September 2023. Find out more and apply here.
Edited by Omni Mix
Image © Beth Moseley
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