Friday, 4 July 2008

Natasha Cooper

I’ve written posts about a good many crime novelists since this blog started, but there are, of course, even more talented practitioners whom I haven’t yet got round to mentioning. One of them is Natasha Cooper, a consistently entertaining writer with whom I had an enjoyable lunch recently while we were attending Crimefest at Bristol. She’s been a full-time writer for around twenty years, but before then she worked in publishing, and during our conversation I found her insights into that fascinating (if often maddening) business to be full of interest as well as common sense.

Natasha Cooper is, in fact, a pseudonym, which conceals the identity of Daphne Wright. I’ve known Daphne for a number of years, and I enjoyed her early books some years before we first met. She chaired the Crime Writers’ Association and has also been heavily involved with the Harrogate crime festival in recent years. At Crimefest, she was ‘Toastrix’ at the Saturday evening banquet, and performed that tricky task with her customary unobtrusive efficiency; the speeches were made, and the awards were awarded, with speed as well as grace, and she was one of those responsible for ensuring that the banquet was enjoyable throughout and didn’t become too protracted.

The name of Natasha Cooper is not, I think, generally associated with short stories, but I was gratified a couple of years back when she submitted a short story for consideration for a CWA anthology I was editing, with a theme of ‘crimes of identity’. The story, ‘The People in the Flat across the Road’, was crisp and effective and I didn’t hesitate before accepting it. At the launch of the book in the Pump Rooms at Harrogate, she read the story and members of the audience were as enthusiastic in their reaction as I had been.


Anonymous said...

My name is Jane Cavolina and I was Daphne/Natasha Cooper's editor at Crown Publishers. I'd like to get in touch with her. Can you ask her to write me at Thank you for passing this message on to her! I just read her story, "The Brick," and I wanted to tell her how much I enjoyed it. Thanks again.

Martin Edwards said...

Will do, Jane.