I’m just back from a few days away, spent in a very sunny Bristol. The main focus of the trip was Crimefest 2012, and the organisers did an excellent job, as ever, with the result that this year’s convention was perhaps the best so far – and I’ve enjoyed them all.
On Thursday I moderated , once again, the panel on Forgotten Authors. Peter Guttridge, Caroline Todd, John Curran and Dolores Gordon-Smith did a great job in enthusing the audience for a range of writers, including Helen McCloy (who is definitely on my must-read list), Ira Levin and R.Austin Freeman. I’m really pleased this panel is so popular - in fact, I’ve been asked to moderate it yet again next year...
My second panel was on Sunday. This time Peter was the moderator and our theme was “past and present”. Tom Harper, Penny Hancock (whom I hadn’t met before, a very pleasant lady who has made a big splash with her debut novel) and Kate Ellis were my fellow panellists. Great fun.
Peter featured yet again in the Mastermind quiz – and this year, he was the winner, pipping Peter Rozovsky by the narrowest of margins. Rhian Davies, a blogger of note, and Jake Kerridge, one of our most knowledgeable reviewers, were the other contestants, and all of them deserve congratulation: sitting in that black chair can be a real ordeal, believe me.
On a personal level, I was thrilled that no fewer than four stories which have appeared in books I have edited were short-listed for the CWA Short Story Dagger. My warmest congratulations to Cath Staincliffe, Margaret Murphy, Claire Seeber and Bernie Crosthwaite. Of course, the greatest joy was to meet old friends and make new ones, and my abiding memories will include a host of fascinating conversations with people who –whatever their differences of background – share a love of crime fiction.