I’m really pleased to hand over the blog to Anne Coates today. Anne attended Dark & Stormy, the first ever crime festival in Brighton, a little over a week ago and offered to write a post on her attendance for the blog. How could I refuse?! Short of going myself – which I would have loved to have done! – such an offer was wonderful. So without further ramblings from myself, I shall hand you over to Anne.
Brighton hosted a brand new crime festival from 23 to 25 May. A first for Brighton and a first for me as I’ve never had the courage to attend a festival before. However the talented Mr Emlyn Rees made me an offer I couldn’t refuse – an invitation to the Dark & Stormy launch party – and the chance to meet up again with some of my Twitter friends.
Dark & Stormy seemed to have something for everyone from the procedural, to the domestic noir, from historical to spies and thrillers. Plus there were film screenings – with cake. I could only be there for the Friday evening but what a fabulous introduction to the festival.
The first panel was at 6pm probably not a good time for anyone who had to travel to Brighton but a few Londoners made it along with those more local crime fans.
A Myriad of Crime Writers featured three “local” authors: Elizabeth Haynes, Lesley Thomson and Lisa Cutts in conversation with Candida Lacey MD of prize-winning indie publisher Myriad Editions and hosted by local author Laura Lockington.
Laura opened the proceedings with an introduction to the authors and their work. I had already met Elizabeth Haynes and Lisa Cutts and have read Human Remains and Never Forget. Lesley Thomson was a new author to me but I knew instantly I’d enjoy her books when she advised aspiring authors to write the book they’d want to read. All three authors were engaging and wittily self-deprecating but having read two of their books I know some of the dark talent they possess.
They are all published by Myriad Editions and Candida was perfect publicity for her company and I’m sure a few in the audience will be sending her their manuscripts. There was a feeling of relaxed harmony on the stage no doubt helped by the insightful questions posed by Laura who co-hosts the The Bookish Supper Society in Brighton.
All too soon it was over and after a quick drink together we went on to The Dark & Stormy Festival launch party passing, en route, the long queue waiting to go into the Peter James event that was sold out by the time I tried to book.
The party was fabulous thanks to the festival founders: Emlyn Rees, Julia Crouch and Ray Leek and their sponsors. As someone commented on Twitter “The best launch party ever!!!!” It was great to meet up with so many Twitter friends.
Dark & Stormy promises to be an even bigger event in 2015 so to make sure you don’t miss out and sign up for the newsletter.