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Franschhoek Literary Festival

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

X-Rated: Crime Writers Margie Orford, Angela Makholwa and Sue Rabie at the FLF

Angela Makholwa, Margie Orford and Jenny Crwys-Williams

The Grande Dames of crime fiction: Angela Makholwa, Margie Orford and Sue Rabie met with Jenny Crwys-Williams to discuss those places they won’t dare go.

Daddy's GirlRed InkBlood at BayA taboo is something that’s very real in society but, that which we are forbidden to represent publicly – hence the success of crime writing which depicts taboos in their various hideous forms.

There are however certain issues even these authors won’t tackle: for Makholwa it’s incest and children, Rabie is more concerned with the influence of graphic portrayals of crime on children, and Margie thinks it’s about how far you’re willing to take your reader into the mind of a criminal. Oh and she also doesn’t like gratuitous violence.

Something all three agree on is that crime writing should take place in a very moral sphere. Mostly there are the victims (books sell well if they’re children), the good guys and the bad guys. Mostly the good guys finish victoriously. Those elements are simple, how you choose to terrify your audience in between depends on your own scruples.

Look out for new books from the pros: Margie Orford has just signed a new three-book deal and Angela Makholwa is working on a book about black widows – husbands beware!

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