by Craig Robertson


I’m off to Bristol this week for Crimefest, the four-day um… festival of crime in the city’s Marriott Hotel. They’ve got a great line-up as usual and I’m sharing a panel with some excellent crime writers, namely Ruth Dudley Edwards. Sheila Quigley, Jasper Fforde and Simon Brett. How can it not be good?
Whenever I’ve appeared at festivals as a panellist or speaker, I think I’ve been guilty of just enjoying them and not realising the hard work that’s gone into putting them on so that people like me can talk about books and drink alcohol. (Those two things aren’t necessarily in order of festival importance).

However for the past three years I’ve been on the organising committee of Bloody Scotland, the crime writing festival held in my home city of Stirling. Now I KNOW how much work these other festivals put in in order to make it look easy.

Preparation for the next year’s event starts almost the moment that the previous one ends and it’s a constant process of ideas, invites, acceptances and refusals, cancellations, tantrums, alcohol abuse and occasional diplomacy. Committee meetings increasingly become a bonfire of the profanities. It’s sort of fun.

I can’t say who’s in our line-up for this September as the programme isn’t launched until June 4 but it’s looking very good. As well as a bunch of bestselling crime writers from across the globe (from ten different countries as things stand) we are also planning a few very different events that will be taking place away from our usual venues. In fact, they are in three particularly unusual and historic locations. More later.

Anyway, suffice to say I’ll fully appreciate the work done by the organising committee of Crimefest this week. It should be a good one.
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