Crime Fest, 2008
The past two days I have been in Bristol for the first annual Crime Fest, a festival that grew out of the visit of Left Coast Crime two years ago to the left coast of Britain.Â This is a small conference compared to BoucherCon (and you all have your registrations in for Baltimore this October, donâ€™t you?) but what that means is that you actually see people instead of glimpsing them scurrying the opposite direction in a crowded hallway.Â There have been three tracks of panels and conversations all day on Friday and Saturday, half days on Thursday and Sunday, which has made for plenty to do.Â Thereâ€™s a good book room, local people selling art and that gorgeous Bristol Blue Glass one can watch made (not here, unfortunately, fire regulations being as they are) and the hotel itself is comfortable and has a personality, which is rare in these things.
As always, I manage to meet a few new (new to me) writers at these events, one of whom I have â€œknownâ€ online for some time, exchanging comments on each othersâ€™ blogs.Â Meg Gardiner is a Californian living in London who has been published in the UK for years but has her first US book coming out next weekâ€”sheâ€™ll do a US tour for The Dirty Secrets Club, in Houston, Corte Madera, and I canâ€™t remember where because she doesnâ€™t have an events page on her site (although with luck sheâ€™ll see this and post her schedule in the commentsâ€”Meg?Â You there?)
But now I have to go and fiddle with the questions for the final panel, moderated by yrs truly, in which Ian Rankin, Natasha Cooper, Jeff Lindsay, and Simon Brett hold forth on â€œWhen the Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll end: Closing Lines.â€Â Adrian Muller and Myles Allfrey have done a superb job in creating a new conference, and you should think about it for your May 2009 calendar.Â I mean, surely the dollar to pound ratio will be more friendly by then.
Â So, the conferences you should think about during the next year are BoucherCon, this October in Baltimore (http://www.charmedtodeath.com/), Left Coast Crime in Hawaii next February (http://www.leftcoastcrime.org/2009/ ), and Crime Fest in Bristol next May.Â I canâ€™t promise to be at them all, but even without me to cheer your day, youâ€™ll have a great time.