Newcastle is a long way from Wales, but that's where I went the weekend before last.
Crime Story 2016, a New Writing North event at Northumbria University.
I wasn't the only one making the journey for one day spent in the company of a variety of crime experts. Writers and readers seem to have travelled from all over the country, if the ones I spoke to were anything to go by. And, of course, an event from 9am to 5pm meant a two night stay for me. And it was very well worth it.
Panels, workshops, professionals in forensics, serving police officers, lawyers and judges, academic experts - we got the lot, all chaired by crime writer Peter Guttridge. It was an inspiring day with access to information that was worth gold. (Or at least the early bird fee of £79.)
The whole thing was brought together around a short story written by Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train, who apparently had attended as a participant the first time it was held, a couple of years ago. The story was revealed in instalments during the day, and acted as a focal point to discussions and questions with the panelists.
What did the broken glass tell you?
Would the wife have automatically been viewed as a suspect?
What about the mysterious visitor and the unanswered phone calls?
Who actually did it?
If you'd like a taster, this is Paula reading the first instalment HERE
I learned a lot - some of which has already gone into the Work in Progress. I hope they hold more in the future and that I can be there. I just wish that this sort of thing happened a bit closer to home.