Thursday, April 02, 2015

Readying Another Start for CrimeFest

I’ve long wanted to attend the annual CrimeFest convention in Bristol, England--at least as long as my colleague Ali Karim has been talking it up to me (which is pretty much since the whole thing began, in 2008). But so far, I haven’t managed to make it over to Great Britain for that event. Maybe someday, if I ever have the money to spare or ever complete the novel I’ve been working on for years, I shall go.

Meanwhile, CrimeFest co-creator Adrian Muller (who I had a wonderful opportunity to talk with in Long Beach during last fall’s Bouchercon) sent along the following brief explanation of what this year’s participants can expect from CrimeFest:
Lee Child, Maj Sjöwall, James Runcie and Sophie Hannah are among the top names set to speak at this year’s CrimeFest convention in Bristol, 14th-17th May. The UK’s biggest crime fiction convention will see over 400 authors, agents, publishers and crime fiction fans from across the globe descend on the city for a jam-packed four days, including over fifty curated panels and speaking events. The international Bristol-based event runs across four days at the Marriott Royal Hotel, and has been named as one of the best festivals in the world by The Guardian. The event has featured in The Independent’s “The 50 Best Festivals” and is one of the most popular dates in the crime publishing calendar.

Lee Child, bestselling author of the Jack Reacher thrillers, will be in conversation with Maj Sjöwall, often considered the founder of Scandinavian crime fiction. Child described the opportunity to interview Sjöwall [as] a “pleasure and privilege.” James Runcie, author of the Sydney Chambers mysteries, recently dramatised for ITV as
Grantchester, will be interviewed alongside Catherine Aird, the 2015 recipient of the British Crime Writers’ Association’s Diamond Dagger Award for excellence in crime writing. To celebrate 125 years of Agatha Christie, Sophie Hannah, author of recent Poirot novel The Monogram Murders, and Mathew Prichard, Christie’s own grandson and chairman of Agatha Christie Limited, will be in conversation with John Curran.

Representing his CrimeFest co-hosts Myles Allfrey and Donna Moore, Adrian Muller said: “Every year we are told that the convention was the best one yet, which creates an enormous pressure to maintain the quality for the one to come. But a large part of CrimeFest’s success is due to the enthusiasm our delegates bring to the event. It is amazing how many of them sign up the preceding year without even knowing which authors will be attending. That kind of support is what keeps CrimeFest going.”

The convention also includes a Pitch an Agent strand, a literary agent speed-dating session where unpublished authors can present their ideas in a Dragon’s Den style session. Those wishing to pen their own crime novel can take part in a Crime Writing Day, which includes sessions with agents and editors, optional manuscript assessments and a workshop with bestselling crime writers M.R. Hall and William Ryan.

This year’s panels include “Crime Pays in Audio” with
Doctor Who companion Freema Agyeman representing narrators of audio books; explorations of sex in crime fiction and the Euro Noir phenomenon with Barry Forshaw; and, in association with the International Thriller Writers, Lee Child battles it out with Chris Ewan, Tom Harper, Zoë Sharp and Yrsa Sigurdardóttir to discover “Brains Or Brawn, Who Kicks Best Ass?”
Sigh. I can’t help envying folks able to attend CrimeFest …

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