Yes, it’s that time of year again, I really can’t believe it has come around so quickly, but tomorrow I shall be heading up north for what is now the ninth time to attend the 2015 Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival.
I have some amazing activities lined up, a few dinners and party invites to take up, and I’m looking forward to catching up with the many friends I have there that I only get to see when the festival comes around.
I’m looking forward to going even more than usual this year however. Wearing my Crimesquad.com hat I will be interviewing Hakan Nesser & Arnaldur Indridason for articles to be posted over there so I’m ridiculously squeeing, and at the same time I’m terribly nervous. When the interviews go up I’ll add some links, or alternatively if you haven’t already, make sure you add CrimeSquad.com to your favourites. It’s a fantastic site I love being a part of, and since it’s recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, there is an absolute wealth of reviews to be discovered in its archives.
Now I’m off for some last minute packing and prep. Do stop me and and say hello if you are up at the festival this year, you’ll more than likely find me in the bar…..
So I’ve been away for a little while. I’ve been reading a lot, but I’ve also been celebrating a lot too. I recently turned 40 and have spent three weeks, catching up with friends, attending festivals, going on holiday, and attending parties. It’s been fabulous.
It started with CrimeFest where I had an absolutely amazing time as always. There were some interesting panels, some strange and wild conversations, author meet and greets, awards announcements, gala dinners, publisher drinks parties, oh and free books…. but most of that paled into insignificance as over the course of the weekend, I got to go out for lunch with Lee Child. I think I forgot most of everything that happened after that, including getting an author to write a guest feature for me! (oh the horror….)
There’s even more fantastic author news lined up, but I’ll save that for closer to the time it’s due to happen as I really don’t want to jinx it.
After CrimeFest, I flew to Las Vegas, I *almost* touched David Copperfield (my huge teenage crush), and I walked. A lot. When they say the hotels are big, you really just cannot comprehend. They are beyond huge. It took 20 minutes to walk from our hotel room through the MGM Grand and Casino to The Strip, but every blister, and night falling into bed with tired and sore feet was worth it.
I’ve been out and about in ‘that London’ with friends to celebrate the actual day, drunk an awful lot of champagne, and avoided writing the reviews and publishing the articles I usually do, because I’ve simply not found the time.
But now the hiatus is over, watch this space, as I catch up with events, competitions, reviews, awards and more.
Well that’s 2014 over, and what an amazing year that was!
Of course the highlight for me will always be my now fiancé proposing to me at the end of a panel during this years Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate. He couldn’t have chosen a more fitting venue and I will be eternally grateful to the 2014 festival chair Steve Mosby, and the rest of the festival planning committee for helping to make this happen.
Not only that but, I’ve also got the good fortune of being able to re-live the moment whenever I want, as the download of the panel itself (In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream) is available to buy from the festival website and the recording has his proposal (although not my squeaked out answer) on the end of it. That £3 purchase was definitely one of my best of the year!
That was closely followed by appearing with friend and crimesquad.com editor Chris Simmons on this year’s ITV3 Specsavers Crime Thriller Club TV show. Not only did we have two fabulous days out in ‘that London’, meeting new and interesting people, catching up with author friends and laughing with Bradley Walsh, we also WON.
Closer to home it’s been great for me to see this blog really start to increase its traffic (I’m still hoping to break that magic 1,000 followers before the end of the year – sitting at 976 as I write) and getting the opportunity to participate in the blog tours of some brilliant crime reads…
Then of course there were also these fabulous books
Land Of Shadows – Rachel Howzell Hall
I have read several highly accomplished debut novels this year, but this is one that sticks in my mind. Homicide Detective Elouise Norton is someone I’m keen to hear more about. Tough and driven, yet at times insecure. With a fascinating setting on the ever changing border of a gentrifying Los Angeles, it’s a great debut.
The Girl On The Train – Paula Hawkins
“To everyone else in this carriage I must look normal; I’m doing exactly what they do: commuting to work, making appointments, ticking things off lists.
Just goes to show”
Not published until Jan 15th 2015, I am jealous that so many of you have such a fabulous book yet to read and experience. I urge you all to grab it as soon as it comes out, as I guarantee it’s going to cause quite a stir.
Vendetta – Dreda Say Mitchell
In a distinct change of direction to the race against time thriller, Mitchell has produced a gripping read, with cracking characters, storylines and a great deal of style this series could really see her giving Simon Kernick a run for his money.
Dead Men’s Bones – James Oswald
The fourth and latest of Oswald’s books featuring Detective Inspector Tony McLean. With its supernatural twists on the standard police procedural, this is one series that just gets better and better with Dead Men’s Bones proving to be the best yet.
The Killer Next Door – Alex Marwood
Dark, chilling and impeccably plotted, it’s an interesting insight into the secrets that lurk behind closed doors, how little notice we all take of the world around us and asks the question just how well do we ever really know our friends and neighbours?
These few aside there a are plenty more delightful, intriguing and thrilling books out there, and many of those that are currently featuring on an awful lot of top 10 lists this year are staring at me mournfully from my on the verge of collapse to be read pile. I’m looking forward to being able to sit down and catch up with just a few of them over the coming months.
My end of year tally for books read came to a grand total of 123 missing out by more that I would have liked, on beating last years total of 130, so I’ll be going all out to exceed both of these numbers next year.
Here’s looking forward to and wishing you all a fabulous, book filled 2015.