I just spent a really enjoyable weekend at CrimeFest in Bristol, a convention for fans of the crime writing genre comprised of panels, interviews, reading groups, writing workshops, dinners, and award presentations. The life of an author can be a pretty solitary one at times, so its always a treat to get out and meet others that are involved/interested in crime writing, as it reminds me that I’m not alone.

This was my first time at CrimeFest and I’ve got nothing but praise for co-organisers Myles Allfrey and Adrian Muller, as the event was professional yet informative, stimulating yet relaxing, sobering yet intoxicating, but most of all fun. As I’ve come to expect from events such as this, everyone I met was incredibly supportive, and it was nice to catch up with a few old friends as well as make some new ones.

I appeared at two panels held on the Sunday: Pick Up On South Street: A Date With Debut Authors; and Edge Of Doom: What Pushes Your Characters Over the Edge? This was the first time that I’ve been up on stage as a published author, and I’d like to thank all the other panellists for making the experience such an enjoyable on – so the following authors should all take a bow: Alison Bruce, M.R. Hall, Matt Hilton, Jenni Mills, Aly Monroe, Brian McGilloway, and Caro Ramsey. And special mention should go to the two moderating authors for each panel, namely Peter Guttridge and Martin Edwards, as the skilful way that they kept each debate moving along in a lively and interesting fashion was an education in itself.

I’d also like to give a brief mention to some of the other authors I had a chance to chat to over the weekend, to give you a flavour of the weird and wonderful conversations that events such as this can throw up:

Declan Hughes, whose passionate speech on the wonder of all things Bob Dylan was a joy to witness at 2 a.m. in the bar on Saturday morning.

Barry Forshaw, whose knowledge of Cary Grant’s Bristolian past puts mine to shame.

Paul Johnson, whose wise words on the life of an author act as a valuable guide for a novice such as myself (although the four letter broadside he directed at me when I left the bar before dawn was slightly less eloquent than usual!)

Simon Kernick, whose unflinching support for Bristol’s kebab shops is laudable in these recessionary times.

And the incomparable Kevin Wignall, whose ability to impersonate half the cast of Where Eagles Dare never fails to impress.

Next week I’ll be appearing on Future Radio, a Norwich based community station, on Thursday 21st at 11 a.m. If you’re within broadcast range tune in on 96.9FM to catch the interview, if not, tune in to next week’s blog to see how I got on.

Cheers,
Steve

What’s Steve been listening to this week?
The Sufferer And The Witness – by Rise Against
To Lose My Life – by White Lies
The Bronx III – by The Bronx

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