Michael and Stanley - Thursday
Several of our co-bloggers have asked about our experiences at Crimefest. I’d like to give the scintillating definitive report here today, but having landed in Johannesburg a few hours ago after a packed overnight flight from London in sardine class, scintillating isn’t my word of the day.
As always it was great fun. Being based in South Africa, it’s always a great treat when one has the opportunity to meet old friends at writing conventions and to make new ones. And Crimefest really is one of the friendliest and most enjoyable of the bunch. It’s in the hundreds of participants rather than in the thousands, and even though it now has three parallel panels on the Saturday instead of the usual two, almost all the panels are full and there are plenty of readers buying books.
|Caroline Todd with Michael|
Almost all the Orenda Books mystery authors were there and we had a great dinner together on the opening Thursday night. I think they’ve all had their arms twisted to write a guest blog for us here, so you’ll be hearing more about them then.
Not really a big drinker...
|Bill and Toby Gottfried|
Loyal to Kubu as always!
Apart from the general camaraderie and good cheer (usually of the alcoholic variety), there were a variety of highlights. Featured author interviews with great writers (and speakers) Ian Rankin, Peter James, and Norway’s Anne Holt. An excellent panel around real and fictional spying where James Naughtie talked about his fact-based fiction and Adam Sisman talked about his recent biography of John Le Carré.
A highlight for us was meeting ‘Karen Perry,’ a successful thriller writing partnership from Dublin consisting of Karen Gillece and Paul Perry.
|Paul Perry and Karen Gillece|
The four of us made up a panel chaired by Jake Kerridge. I hope the audience enjoyed it as much as we did. It was amazing (or perhaps not) how closely the two teams felt about most issues. I’m looking forward to reading their books.
Probably if you care about these things, you already know all about the various Crime Writers Association Dagger shortlists. Hearty congratulations to Jorn Horst on his nomination for THE CAVE MAN for the International Dagger. He’s written about it before here. I’ve read it and it’s a very fine book. He’s head to head with South African thriller master Deon Meyer (up for the award for the second or third time) for his latest book ICARUS. (You can read my interview with Deon about this excellent book here.)
|Our farewell dinner|
Michael with Peter Rozovsky
while Adrian Muller has a well earned meal.
|Stan with Alex Shaw|
|The Icelanders Cometh|
Ragnar Jonasson and Yrsa Sigurdardottir (with grandson)
Of course the most important highlight for us was the release of DEADLY HARVEST for the first time in the UK. We really love that cover!