In May, I went to Crime Fest with a lot of other fellow bloggers, crime authors, aspiring writers and avid readers. This was my second time attending Crime Fest and it didn’t disappoint. I spent a fabulous four whole days in Bristol and even went down a little earlier on the Wednesday evening and goes what? I found myself walking into Waterstones and purchasing a new book before the main event.
Over the weekend I didn’t sleep very much as I was too busy talking to lots of new and old friends at the bar as well as attending quite a few of the panels and live tweeted along with my fellow bloggers Joy Kluver, Victoria Goldman, Jen Lucas and Sharon Wilden.
So I’m going to give you all a snapshot of what went on over the four days I was there.
I attended the Forensic Crime Scene Excursion which I had been looking forward to for weeks. This was held at The University of the West of England in a special crime scene house which is used to train Forensic science students and police officers.
When we arrived the scene was set – all we had to do was solve the murder which had been committed upstairs.
A Forensic technician was on hand to answer any questions we had and helped us to work how the murder was committed – I learnt a lot about blood splatter and how different substances are tested at a crime scene which was just brilliant.
After spending a lot of time in the two ‘crime rooms’ upstairs we then spent some time in the ‘lab’ and was shown how to test for blood, saliva and finger marks among other things.
After the crime scene we travelled back to the hotel in time for the first panels of the day to kick off, I attended the first Debut Panel
As well as a session on Keeping Secrets and Telling Lies with Andrea Carter, Rod Reynolds, Lucy Dawson and Julia Crouch.
I spent the remainder of the evening catching up with people in the bar and crashed out at about midnight.
This was a day filled with so many great panels, I managed five in total which were all brilliant!
This panel discussed how obsessed and fascinated as readers we have become with serial killers as we are fascinated with the darker side of ourselves. Of course I had to buy some of these books!
I really enjoyed this panel and learnt a lot about series characters and the modern police duo.
I then went to a spotlight session with Sam Carrington who discussed how working in a prison with a mixture of different offenders inspired her writing.
After lunch I went to panel which debating whether we need happy endings in crime fiction.
At the CWA awards ceremony I was super pleased as two of my fellow colleagues, from the City University course I’m studying, was long listed for the CWA Debut Daggers competition so it was celebrations all round!
This was a tough day for me and a few of my fellow bloggers – exhaustion was starting to set in and I only managed three panels this day as well as a nap. I think all the late nights was catching up with me.
My first panel of this day was hilarious, the moderator Alison Bruce asked ‘ice-breaker’ questions to the rest of the panel like have you ever committed a crime? Or if they’ve ever been in any fights.
There were laughs a plenty at this panel, if you’ve ever heard Kevin Wignall moderate a panel you know he will ask random children questions to the other panel members along the way. I think my favourite was ‘if you could only time travel once would you go backwards or forwards?’ Food for thought…
I then listened to Barry Forshaw interview Anthony Horowitz which was just fascinating!
I then went for some birthday celebrations for Fran Dorricott with my lovely friends before chatting in the bar until the early evening and trying out some of Vicki Goldman’s Toffee Vodka.
I was even part of the bar selfie in the evening although I have no idea why I’m leaning?!
I went home quite early but still managed to squeeze in a great panel in the morning before setting off home for London laden with lots of new books!!
I loved Crime Fest and next year they celebrate their 10th Anniversary – I will definitely be heading back for this.
And my Crime Fest blog post wouldn’t be complete without adding in this hilarious picture of Rod Reynolds trying to make myself, Amanda Jennings and Karen Sullivan look serious!
Big thanks to everyone I chatted to and hung out with at Crime Fest – you made it one of the best yet! If you ever get a chance to go to Crime Fest I would really recommend it.