Tuesday, 10 June 2008


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.


David Isaak said...

Hi, Len--

Your book deserved some sort of prize, but as Clint Eastwood says late in the film Unforgiven, "Deserve's got nothing to do with it."

I'm astonished by the fact that 12th Century England had no rabbits, though. Alarmed, in fact. Were the isles lacking only in rabbits per se, or was there a general absence of all lagomorph species?

You seem to attend more interesting conferences than I.

Brian McGilloway said...

Hi Len

Sounds great, though hard luck on the Award. Sorry I missed it - though it sounds like you fought the good fight for MNW admirably on your own!


Alis said...

Hi David - just to allay your worries, we had hares!

Sion Scott-Wilson said...

Great fun, Len. And there's always next year.


Tim Stretton said...

Len, sorry that you didn't win, but it sounds like a fun weekend.

I understand it was so successful it's going to be an annual event from now on?

Eliza Graham said...

Sounds like a great conference. Boo, hiss that you didn't win.

Next time.

David Isaak said...

Thanks, Alis. I was appalled at the idea of an Arthurian England totally lacking in furry hopping things.