It’s been a busy couple of weeks and I am looking forward to this long weekend. Saturday led to a catch-up on sleep so the planned posts are not coming as fast as originally intended.
I should manage to finalise my post on CrimeFest before Monday. Last weekend I made it to Bristol for the Saturday at CrimeFest. ‘Needs must’ can cause disappointment – paid work in my case – so I had been horrified to miss the Friday and the John Lawton appearance. Luckily, he was still around on Saturday and we managed a catch up then. And I have some news to impart as a result…
I made it to the panel of debut authors on Saturday morning which was a great pleasure as I was familiar with most of them from my two years of judging for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger. This year’s round is coming to a close soon – will I need to take a poison-tipped umbrella to this year’s judging lunch? – and I am looking forward to a couple of things.
One, I can start posting up some book reviews. It was entirely my own decision to deliberately not post reviews of books read for judging purposes as and when read. I have a guest reviewer, ScotKris, but the book posts are essentially my own and often perceived to be all my own. Thus I felt it better to avoid such postings and the potential for conflict of interest. I may have posted up a debut or two that was subsequently entered, but in the main, I have not posted on entries to date. Here’s the plan. The longlist will be announced at the Harrogate Theakstons Crime Writing Festival in July – a mere eight weeks away now – and after that I will post up reviews of a range of goodies that didn’t make it. The shortlist (or finalists) announcement comes about two weeks ahead of the awards ceremony in early October (7th), so I will then post up on the longlisters that did not make the shortlist. Shortlisters and the winner will follow after the ceremony.
Two, I can soon get back to reading from choice and hit the assorted piles that decorate the floors in my house. Much as the judging reading satisfies on the level of discovering wonderfully talented new authors who deserve an audience, there is also great contentment in picking up a book simply because I fancy it. Re-acquaintance with authors whose work I love is also a treat. Reading the book twos and/or threes from last year’s New Blood debuts is something to look forward to as well.
I also have news of some crime fiction and crime-related events to pass on.
This weekend I am so grateful for the long weekend as it provides the opportunity to replenish the blog.
Finally, as some of you know already, I will not be bribed into giving anything away when it comes to New Blood judging results. So the best thing is to mark the key dates in your diary and be confident that I will remind you.
I shall finish this on an upbeat note or two. I was so pleased for Len (L.C.) Tyler who won the Last Laugh Award at last weekend’s CrimeFest in Bristol for The Herring in the Library. Many congratulations to Len! Also at CrimeFest, a number of CWA Dagger shortlists were announced and John Lawton was on the one for the short story with East of Suez, West of Charing Cross Road from Agents of Treachery (Corvus Books). He’s also just joined the Mystery Women group as an honorary member. I think he deserves many congratulations on both achievements and I hope he actually wins the Dagger.