The International Crime Fiction Convention
was held this year in a new venue at the Mercure Grand Hotel, Bristol.
There are now several major crime fiction conferences/festivals in the UK. All are good, but CrimeFest is unique in that if you are a published author and register for the conference by a specific date you will be offered a place on a panel (currently I think this is not open to Indie authors). At all other UK conferences/festivals a place on a panel is by invitation only. For a mid-list or new author without the chance of getting in front of an audience a conference weekend can be a costly business. At CrimeFest this year there were three panels of new authors, and I counted in all 150 authors attended. What a delight to get a chance to talk with many new and established writers.
The first panel on Thursday was one of
Debut Authors: An Infusion of Fresh Blood.
I was at this point still on the M5 but my colleague Radmila May was able to attend this panel and you can read her report below.
Report by Radmila May
Fresh Blood on Thursday
For this third panel for debut authors, the discussion was once again led by Jake Kerridge. He began with Dominick Donald who, after reading history, went into the army, and from there sent on to being a lecturer, a U.N. official and an editorial writer, then, after a Ph.D., an advisor on political risk. His novel Breathe is set in London in the 1950s at the time of the famous smog. It was partly inspired by the infamous Christie murders. It was Sunday Times Book of the Year. In Fiona Barton’s The Chemical Detective, set in Slovenia and Chernobyl, explosives expert Dr Jacqueline Silver attempts to expose the deadly trade in chemical weapons. Then came Olivia Isaac-Henry whose Someone You Know, involving the disappearance of a 14-year old girl and the effect on family dynamics, has been very highly praised. Carolyn Kirby’s The Conviction of Cora Burns, is set in Victorian Birmingham and questions whether the roots of violence lie in our hearts or the scars that life has inflicted on our psyches. Marcelle Perks’s Night Driver is set in Germany and features a lorry driver who is also a serial killer, the trade in illegal human organs, and a main protagonist who is heavily pregnant.
Good luck to all these crime writers of the future.
Photos by Lizzie Sirett
Lisa Hall, Have You Seen Her.
Jacqui Rose, Sinner.
Emily Koch, If I Die Before I Wake.
Far right is Cara Black author of Murder On the Left Bank.
Don’t Make Me Laugh: Humour in Crime Fiction
was at 11.20am
Next to Mike is Ruth Dudley Edwards , Killing the Emperors.
The participating moderator was Peter Guttridge - Swimming with the Dead
With David is author Alison Joseph who interviewed the guest of Honour John Harvey on Saturday at 15.10.
On Saturday I attended the 10.10am panel
Unlikely Alliances: Partners, Sidekicks and Friends.
M W Craven observed that a side kick is a way to have dialogue. Len asked if Mike’s time managing teams in the army or the probation office had helped. Yes, said Mike as he got to understand the conflicts between departments and different agencies. The army has the tightest teams. Asked ‘Do resembled your character?’ Mike replied ‘yes Fluke’. (DI Avison Fluke was the protagonist in an earlier series written as Mike Craven. His latest book is The Pupped Show. The second in the series also featuring Washington Poe, Black Summer will be published in July.
It was indeed a splendid affair.
The Toast Master was Robert Thorogood who kept us entertained.
And the food was good.
Simon Brett, Felix Francis,
Ruth Dudley Edwards,
Lizzie Sirett and John Sirett.