Monday, 22 May 2017

My Crimefest 2017 experience plus giveaway

This morning I am officially wrecked after an amazing weekend in Bristol for Crimefest 2017 馃槾 Last year I went to Crimefest for the first time just for the Saturday which was amazing but also very full on as felt like I needed to attend every single session.  But it also whetted my appetite for me wanting to experience the whole convention so as soon as the tickets went on sale I booked to return again this year but for the whole weekend, Thursday to Sunday.  And what a weekend it was 馃槈


Day 1 lulled us into a false sense of security as didn't start until after lunch giving us delegates time to arrive and prepare for the weekend ahead.  I had already decided which panels I wanted to go to in advance and wasn't disappointed as each of the ones I chose was informative and entertaining.

  • Debut Authors: An infusion of fresh blood with Steph Broadribb, David Coubrough, Mary Torjussen & Lucy V. Hay - moderated by Karen Robinson
  • SHHHHHHH! Keeping Secrets and Telling Lies with Andrea Carter, Julia Crouch, Lucy Dawson, Rod Reynolds - moderated by Valentina 'VM' Giambanco
  • What are you hiding? The Dark Side of Human Nature with Johana Gustawsson, J酶rn Lier Horst, Doug Johnstone, Luke McCallin - moderated by Michael Stanley


After a reasonably early night and the memory of last year's experience I knew that it was virtually impossible to attend every panel of the day as physically, and mentally, you need a break if you're going to survive the day!

  • Partners in Crime: Male/Female Police Duos with Sarah Hilary, Anne Randall, Stav Sherez, Luca Veste - moderated by Sarah Ward
  • Behind Closed Doors: When Domestic becomes Noir with Jane Corry, Lisa Hall, Michael J. Malone, Mary Torjussen - moderated by Julia Crouch
As it was a gorgeous sunny day I decided to pop out for lunch and enjoyed a sandwich outside before coming back for the afternoon sessions 馃槉

  • Happy Endings: Do we need them? with Kjell Ola Dahl, Kati Hiekkapelto, Steve Mosby, Kevin Wignall - moderated by Caro Ramsay
  • You are not alone: Giving your protagonist family and friends with Louise Beech, Thomas Enger, Gunnar Saalesen, C.L. Taylor - moderated by Lucy V. Hay
  • Proving Yourself: When your protagonist goes that extra mile with Johana Gustawsson, Kate London, Caro Ramsay, David Young - moderated by Jane Casey
  • Parenting 101: When your protagonist has commitments with Steph Broadribb, J.M. Gulvin, Sanjida Kay, Mary-Jane Riley - moderated by Quentin Bates 


Late nights and early starts are not a great combination but I still managed to attend most of the panels that I had highlighted in advance that I wanted to go to! 

  • Mavericks, Misfits and Miscreants with Stefan Ahnhem, Hugh Fraser, Ragnar J贸nasson, Melanie Raabe - moderated by Mason Cross
  • The modern Police Procedural - Are we really the Good Guys and Girls? with Sharon Bolton, Valentina 'V.M' Giambanco, Elizabeth Haynes, Fergus McNeill - moderated by Alison Bruce
  • Featured Guest Author: Anthony Horowitz - interviewed by Barry Forshaw
  • 2017 Diamond Dagger Winner: Ann Cleeves - interviewed by Jake Kerridge
  • Risking it all: How far would your characters go? with Kjell Ola Dahl, Torkil Damhaug, J酶rn Lier Horst, Kate Medina - moderated by Sharon Bolton

    I had originally planned to attend 2 panels on the final day but last minute cramming/packing delayed me and I didn't want to be one of those annoying latecomers so I decided to skip the first one.  So I only made it to
    • The Ice Queens Cometh - Icelands Queens of Crime with J贸n铆na Le贸sd贸ttir, Solveig P谩lsd贸ttir, Lilja Sigur冒ard贸ttir, Yrsa Sigur冒ard贸ttir - moderated by Barry Forshaw

    This panel was slightly different to the rest as we never really heard from the authors about their books or characters as such, the discussion was more about their country, culture and the fact that Icelandic Noir is blossoming despite there being very little crime itself.  Although as Lilja Sigur冒ard贸ttir said with growing tourism, there is more opportunity.... 

    Am I glad I went for the whole weekend experience?  Absolutely!  I had an amazing time going to the panels, meeting up with fellow bloggers and authors who I'd met previously and meeting others for the first time,  I'm always nervous going to these types of events on my own but what I've found in the book community over the last 5.5 years is that everyone, well nearly everyone, is happy for you to tag along and join in the conversations. It can't have been too bad an experience for me as I'm already planning to book again for next year's 10th anniversary celebrations 馃槈

    My bank manager might not be so happy that I stayed for the whole weekend as I spent a fortune socialising, and bought a few more books (paperbacks below and eBooks) to add to my ever increasing TBR piles, but as my mum used to say 'you can't take it with you'. 

    And now for a giveaway...  I received a duplicate copy of  In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings in my Crimefest goody bag so as I already have a copy I have decided to give it away to one of you. 

    As with all giveaways on the blog, this one is open to existing followers of the blog as a thank you for your support.  The winner will be selected at random when the giveaway ends and contacted for their postal address to enable me to post the book to them. NB. Please do not add details of this giveaway to other sites without my permission.  

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    1. Fantastic blog and competition 馃槉馃憤馃槉

    2. It sounds as if you had a fascinating weekend. I'd love to get an insight into the mind of a crime writer!

    3. I already have a signed copy of this wonderful book but I just want to say what a wonderful time it looks as if you had. How lovely x

    4. Glad you enjoyed yourself. We can't never have too many book. 馃槈

    5. I'm glad you had such a good time, and I'm hoping to go next year. Thanks for the giveaway.

    6. I am hooked on crime and thrillers at the moment and hearing great reviews of In her Wake. Thanks for the chance

    7. Sounds a fantastic event but very busy and tiring! I'm not entering your giveaway as I've read this book, I absolutely loved it and gave it 5* on Goodreads!

    8. Love your post! It seems great event and thank you for the chance!!!!

    9. Thank you for the giveaway I'd love to get stuck into that book.