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18th January 2016, 9:18am
Award-winning crime writer examines TV adaptations in latest Great Minds lecture
Ann Cleeves credit: Micha Theiner A UK crime writer whose work has been turned into an award-winning TV drama will talk about moving characters from books to the small screen in the latest instalment of the University of Lincoln’s Great Minds lecture series.

Novelist Ann Cleeves will describe how she develops the narrative and characters in her Vera Stanhope and Shetland series of books, and how those characters have translated into on-screen personas.

The Vera Stanhope books have been adapted by ITV for the series Vera, which won Best Drama in the regional Royal Television Society Awards in March 2014. More recently, the Shetland novels have been brought to the life in a BBC One drama, with a third season of Shetland beginning on 15th January 2016.

Ann Cleeves’ Great Minds guest lecture, titled Vera Stanhope, Jimmy Perez and Me, will take place on 2nd February 2016 at 5.30pm on the University of Lincoln’s main Brayford Pool Campus. The lecture will be followed by a Q&A session with members of the audience, and Ann will also be selling and signing copies of her books at the event, with support from Lindum Books.

Admission is free but booking is essential. Priority will be given to groups from UK schools and colleges.

“I have great faith in the people who make the shows,” said Ann, whose books have been translated into 20 languages, with the latest, The Moth Catchers, published last September.

“They always capture the spirit of the book even if some of the plot lines are dropped or altered and the actors are brilliant. I don't really think of the book as mine once it's published; every reader brings their own history, imagination and prejudice to the novel.

“The pictures they have in their heads are very different from the ones I have in mine. The adaptation process just takes that one step further. One of the most rewarding things about being adapted to the screen is that two of my favourite places are being shown in all their glory.  

“I live in north east England and I've loved Shetland since I first went there 40 years ago, and filming for both shows takes place in those areas. The cinematography in each is magnificent.  Both places welcome tourists and if the dramas bring more people to the locations I'll be delighted.”

In 2006 Ann won the inaugural Duncan Lawrie Dagger, the richest crime-writing prize in the world, for her novel Raven Black. She was also Cheltenham Literature Festival's first reader-in-residence and in 2012 was admitted to the Crime Thriller Hall of Fame alongside such all-time greats as Colin Dexter, Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle.

This season’s Great Minds speakers have so far included naturalist and broadcaster Chris Packham, TV presenter Jason Bradbury, art critic and presenter Andrew Graham-Dixon, and Speaker of the House of Commons, the Right Honourable John Bercow MP.

Upcoming speakers for 2016 include archaeologist Professor Carenza Lewis and environmental and conservation champion, Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE.

To book a space at Ann Cleeves’ Great Minds talk, phone the University of Lincoln Events Office on +44(0)1522 837100, visit or email

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