Review of Emma Flint

Posted on: 29 April 2022 by Imogen Massey in Liverpool Literary Festival 2023

Emma Flint

Emma Flint is a true crime author, of two novels: Little Deaths and Other Women. In her talk at the Liverpool Literary Festival, hosted by Dr Melissa Raines, she spoke about developing her characters, real crimes, and the process of writing her novels. For either a new writer or just a true crime fan, her talk was informative and interesting to all those sitting in the audience, listening to the process of writing a true crime novelist.

Flint spoke to her audience about the emotional aspect of developing characters and her focus on the victims of the crime, in her novels, and how that affected her in day-to-day life. When she went food shopping, what food would her characters buy? What Christmas presents would she buy them? What clothes would they buy? Flint highlighted that she would prioritise her characters over the plot, and the emotional connection a reader would have to the characters assisted in the intensity of the reader's investment in the plot. When reading her novel, you can feel the emotional depth she had embedded into her characters, and in doing so created two fantastic and gripping novels.

In her talk about true crimes, Flint did in fact talk about true crimes that she had not written about. Ted Bundy and his adoring crowds, in the conversation about Bundy, she explained the double standard between men and women’s attractiveness in crime media; in terms of her second book, the attractiveness of the male lead and how that affected his involvement in the crime. Jefrey Dalmer, and his documentary, which Flint told her audience her distaste to the lack of identity given to the victims, a fact in which she would not do in her own work. Dennis Nelson, and his flat in North London that nobody seems to want to stay in; she expressed her view that the media coverage on the flat fed into the omnipresence of the criminal. And a finally meant to Jack the Ripper, and a suggestion to Sally Ruben’s novel Five, in which she discovered a real version of the five female victims.

Throughout her talk, Flint spoke about the process of her writing and the novel ideas, she suggested to an aspiring novelist to read anything and everything, including newspaper articles to gain inspiration for writing. Because her two novels are fictionalised version of true crime, she explained part of her process of researching into these crimes and providing herself with an accurate representation of events. It was truly fascinating to listen to Flint’s writing process and her emotional depth in regard to these books.