On a surprisingly hot Thursday last week I packed my weekend bag and headed to CrimeFest. Held in Bristol, from the 15 – 18 May the Royal Marriott Hotel on College Green played host to hundreds of crime writers and readers for a long weekend of panels and interviews celebrating and debating crime fiction.
Having checked into the rather gorgeous conference hotel, I hurried along to my first panel of the afternoon: Locked Rooms & Closed Locations: Writing Yourself into a Corner. Here, the panellists Nev Fountain, Thomas Mogford, Anotonia Hodgson, LC Tyler, and moderator, Charles (Caroline) Todd discussed the settings that inspired their own novels, how they’ve used elements of locked room or closed location settings in their writing, and the difficulties that can be encountered when writing a traditional locked room mystery with an entirely plausible ending.
Next, I trotted along to the Iceland Noir panel. Iceland Noir authors Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Quentin Bates, and Michael Ridpath, along with publisher Petur Mar Olafsson and moderator Barry Forshaw, talked about the rise of Icelandic crime fiction, the cold but beautiful landscape of Iceland, and the dreadfulness of the traditional Icelandic food! Each member of the audience was given a raffle ticket, and at the end of the panel one lucky person won an all-expenses paid trip to this years’ Iceland Noir crime writing festival in Reykjavik in November. Sadly that person was not me.
Then it was off to the bar, to catch up with friends, and on to the Crimefest Pub Quiz, hosted by crimewriter, critic, and quiz master, Peter Guttridge. Despite the amount of wine drunk, we were still able to do much better this year – rising one place from last to second from last! We didn’t mind though, it was still a lot of fun.
As I fell into bed in the early hours of Friday morning, I set my alarm for 7.30am and promised myself I’d get up in a few hours time to see the first panel.
Check out Confessions from CrimeFest: Part 2 to see if I managed it …