The 3 workshops at Granville Boys High School were a pleasure for me, and I hope useful and enjoyable for the lads - all doing extension studies English and wanting to learn about crime writing to assist with their coursework.
We had some great chats about genre, story, themes, setting, and characters - heavily biased towards the hard-boiled and noir side of things, I'm happy to admit. The lads were quite clear by the time we parted company that I'm not into cozies!
I shared some judiciously chosen excerpts from Harry's World with them: certain scenes definitely being only for adult audiences. Didn't need any parents complaining when their sons came home and waxed lyrical about when Harry gets busy with the ladies! And I prepared some pages of great quotes from crime writers I love, giving them samples of some of the finest writing in the hard-boiled genre - a miniature showcase of how beautifully and strikingly the English language can be used.
It was great to see young minds getting into the mode of story construction and to see the ideas they had, and to hear some of their work in response to the writing exercises I did with them. And I think they enjoyed having an ex-cop turned crime author to chat with - being teenage lads there were quite a few questions about guns!
Anyway, fellas, all the best with your writing exploits.
And many thanks to WestWords (Michelle Rickerby and Michael Campbell) for inviting me to participate - I hope to do it again.
You can see the great stuff they do with the kids in Western Sydney at their website: www.westwords.com.au