He talked about the spin-off series of novellas, of which The October Man is the first. There are three more to come, so far, one about Abigail, one about Agent Reynolds and one about Nightingale (in the 1920s). However, an audience member did suggest one about Lady Ty, which he said he hadn't considered before, so you never know.
He talked about being a writer:
- Write what you love and hope that someone will read it
- Don't bother going on writing courses where you offer your work to fellow students to critique - give your work to a couple of people whose opinions you trust
- Keep writing until you find your own voice and style
- Be nice to booksellers
- Don't give your characters skills that you don't know anything about, unless you are prepared to research
- Embrace the Nerd (the reader who contacts you as an author, putting you right on the fact that the Police didn't use the particular sort of baton you mentioned until such and such a time - or any other fact you got wrong). Apparently, the nerds become writing advisors!
- Even small characters will take on a life of their own - he said that several characters were just there to open a door, but insisted on taking part (including the foxes)
- A novel is around 90,000 words and a novella is around 40,000
He also advised would-be novelists to read the book 'How not to write a novel' by Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman.
Apparently, the character of Peter Grant was originally going to be female, called Simone, but then 'Peter' just strolled into view, fully formed (with a chorus of heavenly voices) and that was it.
Of course, all of this was from Mr Aaronovitch's experience and also illustrated with many an anecdote about the publishing world/writing/scriptwriting.
I have read the Rivers of London series and enjoyed them - the next one is due in November 2019 and although he didn't give much away, he did say that the story wouldn't be going where we necessarily thought it would. He also mentioned 'children' (plural) too...