Friday 28 March 2014

Bettina von Cossel - Abseiling for Literature!

How long have you been a Greenacre Writer?

I joined Greenacre Writers' 'Finish That Novel' group in August 2010 and never looked back. Usually I write in German, but the group gave me the confidence to write my first English novel which is currently in the publisher's slush pile, waiting to be discovered.

As well as a crime writing talk, what else are you doing for the 3rd ever Finchley Literary Festival?

I'll be doing something really scary in aid of this year's Finchley Literary Festival: a sponsored abseiling down Church Langley Water Tower, Harlow. That's the imposing water tower next to the M11 on the way towards Stansted Airport. I'm sure you've noticed it driving along the motorway because it's just HUGE!  I'm not really looking forward to my big day on May 4 because I've never abseiled before and I have this thing about heights. 

On the other hand, who would sponsor you if your task was easy?

Have you ever done anything like this before?

No, I never abseiled before but in aid of HAB (Homeless Action in Barnet) I spent a cold and spooky November night in the cemetery of St Mary's East Barnet, with a black bin bag shielding my borrowed sleeping bag from the wetness seeping up from the ground. Needless to say, I'm the only person in my family who peacefully rested on a graveyard and came back.

What has motivated you to do it?

A literary festival can't live from words alone. Helpers are needed, volunteers, organisers, professionals, goodwill, donations, you name it... My sponsored abseiling is just a small part but I hope the money raised will help the Finchley Literary Festival in any possible way.

How important do you think Literary Festivals are?

Nothing beats a literary festival. Not only do they bring literature into town but there are also workshops about writing, how to find a publisher, or how to make yourself known as an author. Visitors can mingle in a like-minded crowd and rub shoulders with authors, poets, and screen writers alike. Who knows? After all these helpful workshops, next year they might be the ones giving the autographs...

How can people sponsor you?

I'd be more than grateful for your help, and any amount will be much appreciated!  

You can donate via paypal and email the following details to

Full name,
Gift aid (yes / no)
Amount Sponsored

Alternatively just contact Greenacre Writers and let them know that you'd like to sponsor me: - Thank you so much!

Bettina von Cossel will be giving the following talk at The Finchley Literary Festival:

Crime Writing - How to Kill your Darlings?
Tuesday 27th May
Church End Library, N3 1TR 
Free of charge. 

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