This time last week I was on the train to Bristol and my second CrimeFest courtesy of my publishers Urbane Publications.
What a difference a year makes! Last year I was looking forward to the publication of Dancers in the Wind in October. This year I had just celebrated the launch of the second Hannah Weybridge thriller, Death’s Silent Judgement. And I was booked to take part in a panel!
There are often three panels taking place at the same time so it’s wise to study the programme beforehand and make decisions. Friday was a busy day for me as I went to four panels and then appeared on one of the last ones of the day “Journalists: Characters who tell stories for a living” moderated by Rod Reynolds. Once I’d got over my nerves, this was great fun and the other three panelists, Walter Lucius, Antti Tuomainen and Matt Wesolowski were a hoot.
On the Friday evening there were two drinks receptions – the first being the Crime Writers’ Association’s Dagger Announcement always fun with a thrill of expectation. Not mine I hasten to add, but one day…
One of the wonderful things about CrimeFest is meeting up with other writers, book bloggers and readers, publishers and agents. Some of whom I know well, others I’ve enjoyed getting to know better. There was a wonderful woman from Melbourne who had a great idea for circumventing having to take numerous signed copies back with her. She asked authors on the panels to sign her programme and then bought the books in her home city.
Last year I had to leave on the Saturday morning to attend a wedding, so this year I booked for the Gala Dinner which was great fun – especially sitting with and near other Urbane authors. The only disappointment was that Matthew Smith, CEO of Urbane Publications, was unable to join us.
Listening to other authors discussing their work is fascinating and instructive. My favourite panel was the last one I went to before leaving: Short Stories – Motives for Murder moderated by Martin Edwards and joined by fellow CWA grandees Ann Cleeves, Janet Laurence, Peter Lovesy and LC Tayor. The rapport between these five was brilliant and as writers they are inspirational.
So dates in the diary for CrimeFest 2018!
Panel photo courtesy of Joy Kluver.