Tuesday, 10 June 2008
FEAR AND LOVING AT THE CRIMEFEST
Just back from the Bristol Crimefest, where, no (sadly), I did not win the Last Laugh Award. I did however finally meet face to face a number of people that I had previously known only by their books or their blogs or by email. Peter Guttridge set the toughest pub quiz that I have ever come across (and, no again, I didn’t win that either).
I also, and this is where the fear comes into it, sat on my first panel discussing humour in crime fiction before an audience that included Ian Rankin. In this respect it was a very democratic event – one day I listened to Ian Rankin’s account of how he got to be a best selling author – the next day he listened to me telling anecdotes about my dog.
I also listened to Jeff Lindsay being very funny about pretty well everything, Al Guthrie’s brilliant erotic crime pastiche, and Chris Ewan’s Indiana Jones’ Diary (12st 4, cigarettes 6, Nazis killed 2½ v.g.). I learned that there were no rabbits in C12th England and I was informed that early medieval buckets went “clunk” not “clank”. It certainly wasn’t dull.
Moreover (and this is where I justify the loving bit of the title) the entire murderous crowd of writer and critics and bloggers and readers were all so nice. Those of us short-listed for the Last Laugh weren’t even properly bitchy about Ruth Dudley Edwards when she won it (well, not very, and certainly not to her face).
So, if you are reading this blog then it was good to meet you, Myles, Adrian, Peter, Al, Declan, Ruth, Rhian, Karen, Maxine, Jane, Roz, Louise, Dave, Chris, Bill, Toby, Barry, Jessica, Steve, Pat … and of course Ian. See you all at the next one, when Brian (sadly and unavoidably absent this time) will hopefully be there too.
In the meantime, my next appearance is at the Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green at 6.30 on Thursday 12 June, when Alison Joseph and I are reading and answering questions.