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tv   Meet the Author  BBC News  December 28, 2017 7:45pm-8:01pm GMT

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at london's alexandra palace. the likes of peter wright and adrian lewis have already fallen and this afternoon fifth seed mensur suljovic of austria has been knocked out. suljovic was beaten four sets to nil by the world youth champion dmitri van den bergh from belgium in the last 16 — van den bergh was in brilliant form and suljovic hardly had an opportunity. and in the last eight, van den bergh will face one of the sport's rising stars, england's rob cross. the 20th seed beat scot john henderson 4 sets to one this afternoon. rafael nadal‘s ongoing knee injury has forced him to pull out of the brisbane international, the traditional warm up event for the australian open. roger federer does not have any injury worries and has been enjoying sun, sand and sea in melbourne. he is staying typically grounded.
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expectations are higher, but i try to remind myself, i don't think it's normal and realistic to aim for the same things i did this year. i will try to keep it cool, try my best and we will see what happens, but preparation has been good so far. we will see how things go in perth. that's it from us. you can listen to commentary on crystal palace against arsenal on radio five live, and test match special is on this evening. is i will be back with more sport throughout the evening, but now it is time for meet the author. vera stanhope rides again.
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the seagulll is the eighth book by ann cleeves featuring her slightly scruffy, determined but very warm detective inspector, who's drawn into a mystery touching rather uncomfortably on the story of her own father and his dodgy friends on tyneside. it's been an immensely successful series from a writer who's been high in the league table of british crime writers for many years. her other detective inspector, jimmy perez, for example, having become a favourite tv cop in shetland. welcome. when you get a character — invent a character — that you really like, like vera stanhope, you like to stick with them, don't you? i do, and i think that's one of the joys of writing crime fiction. there are very few other genres where you can follow a character through a number of books. there's some literary fiction, but crime, it's expected that we're going to write a series, and it's great to be able to develop
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a character that grows. that's an interesting phrase — "it's expected". you know that you're writing not for a specific audience, but for a general audience that likes this kind of story. you must feel that you now know them quite well? yes, because i go out and meet them. i love doing library events and book shop events and meeting readers. and i'm a reader, i'm a fan as well. i read crime fiction, so i love that sense of getting to know a character very well, and watching him grow or her grow. i think crime writers as a breed are like that, aren't they? i mean, they all read each other‘s work... yeah. ..even though maybe they don't like to admit it? yeah, i think we're a very jolly bunch. we're so used to people looking down their noses at us, because we're genre fiction, that we come together and we fight back. those days have gone, haven't they? imean... i think there's still a little bit of that. you think there's a wee bit of snobbishness about? yeah, still a bit of that. but you all enjoy paddling around in gore, and all these dark deeds, and actually you're like sort of,
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i don't know, anybody who works in a kind of profession or trade, where they're facing death all the time, they're actually quite full of fun and stories. yeah, i think so. i'm not really into the gore. i'm more into using that as a framework to develop characters and to look at the things that really interest me, so... well, we don't want to talk about the plot in great detail, because obviously that would spoil it for people who haven't read the book yet. but we can say that vera stanhope, your detective inspector in this series, the eighth book in the series, is taken, by chance — she doesn't really expect it — into her own past, and this rather dodgy ne'er—do—well father of hers, who had been sort of slightly grand, but then shall we say, fell into bad company? yeah. it's classic fictional material, isn't it? i think it is, and i love that idea of looking at the relationship between the daughter and the father, and that theme, i think, goes through the book — there are other daughters and other fathers.
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and she is a character who is, you know, a bit scruffy and very determined and sometimes quite rough with people. but the essential thing, it strikes me about her, is her fundamental warmth. i mean, she's a good person? 0h, she is a good person — in the tradition of classic crime, i think. that the detectives are flawed, they appear brusque, but they are good, because at the end, i think that's why, especially now in times of trouble and uncertainty, people are going back to classic crime, because there is at the end a sense of order restored, of good triumphing — and we need that sense at a time of confusion, that things will be well. well, that's good that you define, or interesting, that you define classic crime as order being restored. somehow, you know, people may not all be happy, but at least the fundamentals have been revealed to be still there. yeah. so, there's a reassurance involved. i think so, and i think that's why it's so popular at the minute, why
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the british library crime classics are doing amazingly, the between—the—wars books, that are selling fanta... yes. because people like that sense of, as i say, in a time of confusion, that in the end, justice prevails. and we know where we are. we know where we are, and we know the difference between good and evil, and even if there are ambiguities in all the characters, and confusions, which there have to be, otherwise it's a pretty boring story, we find at the end with a sigh, that it's ok — somebody may have come to a sticky end, a good person may have been brought down, but something remains. yes, and the end of the seagull is quite ambiguous, and you're not quite sure that the killer has been unmasked, but there is that sense ofjustice prevailing, i think. it's quite good, at the same time, isn't it, to have people wondering about the alternative explanations to an ending — to say, "ok, order has been restored,
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but i wonder how it happened?" yeah. no, i think that's... because you want the book to live on after the reader's finished it. that's interesting, yes. because everybody sees the book in a different way, that's why book clubs are so interesting, as you know. yes. people have different ideas, they see different pictures in their heads when they read. you have a way of creating an atmosphere, and i'm thinking, for example, of the shetland books, which, of course, made it to the small screen very, very successfully. and what was it about that atmosphere, there, the bleakness and bareness of shetland — which is very beautiful as well — that gave you the spark? i suppose i first went there a0... more than a0 years ago, because i dropped out of university and just by chance i got the job working in the bird observatory in fair isle. and since then, i've been going back, but i haven't really been there in midwinter. i went in midwinter and there
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was snow, and it is very bare, because there are no trees, really, in shetland. no trees. and so it's that contrast, i think, between the... you can see for miles, but then the contrast between that and any possible secrets. and the warmth of the domestic scenes within the croft houses, that attracted me first. yes, the fact that even on a bare landscape, all kinds of things can be concealed. yes. you've also got the feeling in shetland of stepping away from the world, haven't you? i'm not saying that pejoratively about what goes on in shetland. but it is distant. it is. it is the edge of our known universe in the uk. it's 14 hours by boat from aberdeen, so it's a long way. and it does feel separate, and it feels... and they're very self—reliant, shetlanders, so they do things their own way. do you write, you know, in a continuous stream, really, or are their big gaps? i alternate between... i wouldn't just want to write vera, because... no. at the end, i've had enough and i want to go off and try something new.
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you want a break. yes, so i've been alternating with shetland. so, i've just finished the very last shetland book, just now, so... the very last, the end of the series. the end of the series. did you come to the end just because you thought, well, that it, time to close the covers on this, it's done, i am not going to keep it, give it artificial resuscitation? i'd said all that i can about the place, and about the characters that i'd created, i think. yes. and i don't want to be bored by them — and i certainly don't want the readers to be bored by them. so, better end while i'm still enjoying it. do you find writing, which you've been doing for a long time, very successfully, and with great dedication, do you find it a kind of therapy as well? oh, it's an escape, isn't it? we lose ourselves in a different world when we're writing, just as when we're reading. so, certainly it's an escape. but you need to be there living as well, otherwise you run out of things to write about, so it's a good balance. but when you're in full flow in a story, and it's working,
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the rest of the world doesn't exist? no, there's nothing like it. it's an amazing feeling. ann cleeves, author of the seagulll, thank you very much. thank you. good evening. snow and ice have caused problems for some of us this week, and it looks like there was more to come. the met office has issued an amber warning for snow across parts of the country as we head through the early part of tomorrow, because tonight, things will continue to turn very cold, with a hard, widespread frost. then this weather pushes in from the west. some rain and snow, temporarily from parts of northern ireland, wales and into the midlands. as we go into tomorrow morning, the area of most concern is around the south of the pennines,
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through parts of lancashire into west and yorkshire. here, we could see up to 15 centimetres of snow on high ground. even at low levels, a fair covering. we will also see snow falling to low levels in the far north of england and southern scotland. more like the rain and sleet towards the coast. further south, it will be all about the rain. as that falls on cold surfaces, that could give some ice. tomorrow morning could bring one or two might travel issues. through the day, the snow will move north and peter out. still some rain and sleet mixing intimate as we go through the day. further south, something brighter, and a few showers towards the south coast. temperatures starting to climb in the south—west corner, ii celsius in plymouth. 0n friday night, another system moves in. it will bring snow over the highest hills, but we will mostly
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see rain from it, we suspect. the skies should brighton on saturday, spells of sunshine and showery rain. in the south, wet weather likely to be making its way into the far south that times. still mild to the south, colder to the north. quite windy on new year's eve. still cold enough potentially for snow on high ground in the north. milder by this stage, temperatures of 5—13dc. if you are celebrating at midnight, there will bea celebrating at midnight, there will be a lot of dry weather, and clear spells around. a small chance of showers. temperatures don't look particularly low but there is likely to bea particularly low but there is likely to be a strong and fairly chilly breeze. this is bbc news. the headlines at 8pm: at least 41 people are killed in a bomb attack in a cultural centre in the afghan capital kabul. so—called islamic state says it was responsible. this is the building where the explosion happened
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and you can see the building has been almost completely destroyed. a murder investigation is underway after a woman found dead in a north london park is named as iuliana tudos. britain braces itself as forecasters predict the coldest night of the year. it comes as ice and sub—zero temperatures cause treacherous driving conditions in some parts. also this hour: finding mariusz. the social media campaign which helped to reunite a christmas wage packet with its owner. and coming up in half an hour...
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