Thanks to all our contributors during the first week and to those with whom we have corresponded. We have been contacted by a number of generous and thoughtful people offering articles which we have been more than happy to accommodate here. Also, HarperCollins have come up trumps with prizes for our planned competitions – some exceptionally super ones – and Reginald Hill’s editor, Julia Wisdom has delivered her personal piece for the site. (We promise you that tears will come into your eyes.) At the bottom of this page you will find pictures of Reg Hill’s HarperCollins covers as they changed over the years. Our thanks to Emad Akhtar of HarperCollins for his boundless enthusiasm and sterling work!
Within that correspondence it’s been fabulous to hear from two of Reg Hill’s old friends. We posted up Iwan Morelius’s personal tribute in week one and another from Jane Holmes will come soon. Jane was one of a weekly walking group and she has kindly shared with us a picture as well as stories of walks, animal companions, games played and the entertainment of words.
In week one it’s been a privilege to host Reg Hill’s old friend Mike Ripley to open the series of posts. He concentrated on Reg’s humour and the jokes they shared, including Mike’s moniker: a ribbing to the popularity of Scandi-crime. Who knew that Reg was in on this one? Mike Walters provided a wonderful insight on the extent to which Reg was an inspiration to his own crime writing career and spoke about a little-covered book: Under World.
With crime fiction aficionado José Ignacio Escribano we have seen how someone can have missed the work of Reginald Hill up to a point, and then to be pulled in and highly impressed when reading The Woodcutter. That was one of the aims of this site too: to get people reading Reginald Hill – reading again, reading more, or as José Ignacio Escribano has proven, reading for the first time and falling for the hook.
In addition to The Woodcutter, we’ve had wonderful insights into The Death of Dalziel (from Barry Forshaw); The Stranger House (from Sarah Ward, Bill Selnes and Bill Kitson); On Beulah Height (from Norman Pricde). Where Martin Edwards cast an erudite eye over the short stories of Reg Hill, Bernadette Bean from Australia provided us with a dissecting critique comparing the novel to the TV series episode for A Clubbable Woman, Hill’s first Dalziel and Pascoe novel.
Thanks to those offers of articles during week one, we’ve now extended the duration of this site for live posting to 5 July, the day of closure of the CWA’s Crime Writing Month.
Thanks also to everyone who has left a comment here. Sadly, our week one experience means we’ve had to review our approach to comments. For a site with a definitive ‘live’ life we have as open a window as possible for the timeline for leaving comments. However, this attracts spammers at an earlier stage and therefore we have had to employ full moderation on comments received. So please bear with us on waiting to see your comments appear; we’ll be as quick as we possibly can. We also appeal to those who have strong feelings about certain topics: please contact us as per the contacts page with your thoughts. We want to keep this site as a celebration of the life and work of Reginald Hill in the purest form possible. None of us wants to see it go off at a tangent facilitating a debate on other matters. Thank you for your co-operation here.
We have more excellent articles for you this coming week, and on Friday we will run our first competition. Thank you again for contributing, reading and adding your comments. Thank you also for sharing news of this site with others, whenever and wherever you can.
Rhian & Margot