Brendan Cole, Sherrie Hewson, Kelvin MacKenzie, Matt Allwright, Angela Griffin and Diarmuid Gavin will be assigned murder detection challenges by our own star author Minette Walters- including dog tracking, resisting a violent attack and an autopsy, and will then have to use what they learn to inspire their own crime fiction novel.
Minette will be mentor, judge and executioner across the series, setting the celebrities their challenges, mentoring their writing efforts and "bumping off" the least impressive writer at the end of every episode. The best writer will then develop his or her idea into a novel to be published on World Book Day 2009. Proceeds from the book will go to RaW - the BBC reading and writing campaign to improve literacy in the UK.
Tune in or set the video next week- and to whet your appetite, Dreda Say Mitchell will be reviewing Murder Most Famous on Monday's Front Row at 7.15 on Radio 4.
Roger : The book starts in 1939 with a central character called Joseph Vaughan at twelve years old. He grows up in a small rural farming community in Georgia, USA, called Augusta Falls, and is witness to the devastating effect of a series of child murders that occur within the surrounding area over the subsequent decade, so much so that he and his friends band together in an effort to do something to stop the killings from taking place. The book spans fifty years of his life, and throughout the entirety of these five decades he is determined to identify and bring to justice the perpetrator of these crimes. I wrote the novel for a simple reason: To once again put an ordinary individual in an extraordinary situation, and at the same time highlight the sheer indomitably of the human spirit. It has always amazed me the degree to which a human being can rebound from loss or tragedy. The central character of A Quiet Belief In Angels loses everything, and yet survives. I wanted to tell his story - a story about childhood, about the way children deal with things that they should never have to deal with, how their means and methods of coping are so very different from adults. I also wanted to remind myself of the sheer magic of the written word, and how such classics as To Kill A Mockingbird enchanted me as a child, and somehow helped me deal with whatever happened personally.