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Crime author goes back to school to inspire the next generation of budding writers

BySven Wardle

Mar 1, 2023
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A crime author returned to Richmond School and Sixth Form College to share his writing experiences with students and inspire the next generation of budding writers.

Arthur Wheeler, a former Richmond School student in the 1960s, who writes under the pen name of AK Adams, spent time working with two groups of students – Year 10 and Year 11 students, who had a particular interest in creative writing, and Year 13 students who are studying the representation of gender in crime fiction for their A-level English Language Investigation paper.

Arthur gave an overview of his journey to becoming a crime writer and then discussed in detail how he approaches a new book, from his inspiration and plot generation to developing and interweaving different sub-plots, twists and turns to add further intrigue to a story.

Crime writing in particular is all about problem solving, ensuring all loose ends are tied up. The students learned about conceiving mystery and suspense, the importance of attention to detail is in crime writing and immersing themselves into detective mode.

Rebecca Weston, Lead Teacher for English, said: “It was wonderful for our students to hear an author talking about the joy that writing can bring. As a published writer, Arthur was able to pass on some thoughtful advice about how to generate ideas, the practicalities of writing a novel, and just how important it is to think about the pacing of a plot. Some of the students have already begun to plan out their own stories.”

Ellie Hughes, a Year 10 student who has a real passion for Sherlock Holmes and has been writing her own novel for a while, added: “Mr Wheeler gave some very helpful advice about writing and the art and craft of putting a novel together. He suggested ways to inject tension and suspense into writing and how important the blurb on the back cover of a novel is, being the hook to get readers to buy into the story and ultimately buy the book! Just by being there, he proved that a student from Richmond School could be a published novelist.”

Arthur turned to writing after retiring from a successful career in the healthcare industry.  He chose the crime thriller genre as he welcomes the challenge of creating the anticipation of ‘what happens next’ for his readers.  Arthur has recently published his eighth novel, ‘Outlive the Lie’, about a mother who has her baby, Adam, snatched from a special care baby unit in Sunderland, and then, with the help of the police and social services, begins her search for him.  Arthur’s books are available locally at Richmond’s Castle Hill Bookshop, as well as Amazon and Waterstones and you can follow him on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/A.K.AdamsAuthor/

Arthur said: “It was a privilege to chat to such inquisitive and interested students who posed insightful questions. I really hope the students got something out of the sessions and if I have only inspired one of them to go on and do some creative writing then I consider that a success. However, judging by the response in the room, I am confident that many of the students are already creating some fantastic writing and I hope this continues

“It’s a credit to the school that they seemed to really engage with the idea of what it would be like to go further with their own writing because there are certainly a few budding writers among them.”