It’s so lovely to be back at book events! I couldn’t make the whole weekend due to other commitments (that were then cancelled – typical!) but I was determined to get to the Saturday events, despite the train strike. After a pretty tough September, I decided that I just wanted to sit and listen to the panels rather than write illegible notes. So, I have a few photos (not particularly good ones) and some anecdotes that hopefully I’ve remembered correctly!
As there was a train strike, I had to come by bus which took more than double the time by train. So, I was quite late to see Lady Hale which was a shame. The little bit I caught at the end suggested it was an excellent talk.
The next panel I saw was with T.M. Logan, Heidi Perks and Claire Douglas chatting to Ayo Onatade. They were talking about writing novels with contemporary settings but the thing that struck me most was that their books are often about toxic relationships within families or friendship groups. And having children made them more aware of dangers in society.
The next panel was Titans of the Terrifying, looking at thrillers with David Fennell, Nadine Matheson, Lars Kepler, and standing in last minute to moderate, Rod Reynolds. I think this was my favourite panel (no disrespect to anyone else). I didn’t know that Lars Kepler is a husband and wife writing team. Discovering that they act out the fight scenes from their WIP was probably the best thing I heard all day. I think we could all picture Alexandra picking up a very blunt knife to attempt to stab Alexander. Alexandra’s only complaint is that she is always the villain which means Alexander always wins the fight! We learned that despite the gruesome scenes she writes, Nadine Matheson is actually very squeamish and can’t cope with watching Casualty (I’m with you on that one, Nadine!).
After this, I sat in the bar area for a while and chatted. It was so lovely to catch up with people I hadn’t seen for ages and this really was the best part of the day for me. Watching panels is great but at the end of the day, the crime writing community is what it’s all about.
But I did go to two more sessions. Louise Candlish, Sarah Vaughan and Paula Hawkins chatted to Sarah Shaffi about various things, including what it was like to have their books adapted for TV or film. I particularly liked what Sarah said about the TV reviews for Anatomy of a Scandal not being particularly good but then the viewing figures came in. I thought it was fabulous and I think a lot of viewers would agree.
The final event for Capital Crime was Richard Osman in conversation with Bella Mackie. Having heard Richard talk at Harrogate last year, I knew it would be entertaining but it was also lovely to hear Bella speak too. There was some discussion about the legalities of the phrase, ‘Queen of Crime’ and Bella suggested Richard could be ‘King of Crime’. He declined saying it was more appropriate for Mark Billingham or Ian Rankin. The answer was obvious to me. ‘Stephen King,’ I called out. It was agreed. It’s there in his name after all. There was also some teasing about casting for the film of The Thursday Murder Club. I won’t repeat any names here but I think we were all a bit surprised about one possible name. My lips are sealed!
Capital Crime will be back next year at Battersea Park 28th-30th September 2023.