|Glorious blue sky|
Queen Square had sprouted what appeared to be a small forest of tee pees - apparently it was a food/music festival. Once I got to the Marriott hotel it was all go. I had a fabulous day.
|Tents - and giant tulips?|
Edited highlights and high spots? Sitting with Chris Longmuir in the first session and discovering that the panel I did last year had introduced her to my genre of romantic suspense and inspired her to included it in the guide to crime genres she examines in her non-fiction book Crime Fiction and the Indie Contribution. I'm not sure I've ever been an inspiration before.
On a quick visit to the on-site bookshop - so many books, so little time (and unfortunately, money!) - I found my books on show, as an attending author, even though I wasn't participating in a panel this year. Much appreciated, Foyles.
Lunch - apart from the fish and chips, also included a visit to a frozen yogurt shop half way up the hill from College Green. I sat at the next table to one of the convention guests of honour, Mark Billingham. I have to admit that my pot of yogurt was twice the size of his. But I had a long train journey home at the end of the day - and didn't know when I'd next eat. (Well, that's my story.)
The after lunch sessions went in a flash. All the panels were fabulous but the one that really chimed with me was Secrets and Spies. I don't read much spy fiction as such, but I do love to write about secrets - and secret agents. And when one of the participants, Edward Wilson, declared his favourite spy writer to be William Shakespeare - or better still, Jacobean playwright John Webster - that was the icing on the cake. Or maybe the strawberries and chocolate drops on the frozen yogurt? I met friends, saw others only to wave across a crowded room, missed some completely. It was a spectacular day. Next year I hope to be able to make the whole weekend. I know already it will be fun.
NB The observant amongst you will notice there are no photos of any of the panel line ups. I did take them, but I have a genius for picking that exact moment when someone yawns, looks away, drops their pen and bends down to search for it ... I was determined to get a shot of Mark Billingham in his wonderful Country and Western inspired shirt, complete with skulls, and the matching ensemble also worn by his interviewer Martyn Waites. I had them lined up beautifully - and someone walked in front of the camera.
I did manage to take an excellent picture of the hotel carpet and one of my favourite pairs of shoes ...
|The carpet is orange and the shoes are red, by the way ...|