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Posts Tagged ‘Crime Writing Festival’

Morecambe and Vice is a crime writing festival that first broke onto the festival scene in 2017, and has since attracted crime authors and fans in their droves to listen to the panels and masterclasses that range from LGBT themes in crime fiction to paths to publication, and many topics in between! The attendees list is a veritable who’s who of the crime fiction world, this year’s line up includes Professor Dame Sue Black, Graham Smith, Lesley Kelly and Robert Daws to name but a few.
Tickets to the panels and events can be purchased via this link.

And if this wasn’t exciting enough, there is another fantastic event happening!

London’s award-winning LGBT+ literary salon comes to Morecambe & Vice as part of the Polari Prize Tour, funded by Arts Council England. Founded in 2007, Polari is curated and hosted by crime writer Paul Burston and features guest authors, poets and spoken performers showcasing their work. Think literary cabaret and you won’t go far wrong. Based at London’s Southbank Centre, Polari also tours regularly – though this is the salon’s first visit to Morecambe. This special crime-themed event will feature the best in established and emerging LGBT+ literary talent, including writers associated with The Polari First Book, founded in 2011 to celebrate debut books which explore the LGBT+ experience.  Tickets for the Polari Salon starring Paul Burston, Derek Farrell, Lesley Thomson and Lilja Sigurðardóttir can be purchased via this link.

And I am delighted to welcome Derek Farrell back to The Quiet Knitter blog today to share his thoughts about festivals and the reasons you should attend them (when you can). Derek is one of those writers who can make you feel like he’s right there in the room with you as you read his books, you can almost feel his infectious excitement as you race through the pages and can hear his laughter as you sit stunned at what you’ve read. I’ve long been a fan of his books, and hopefully I’ll manage to bump into him at a festival soon with my copies of his books for autographing!
If you need any persuasion, my reviews of his books are available here and I would highly recommend the Danny Bird mysteries! Links to the reviews of Death of a Diva, Death of a Nobody, Death of a Devil and Death of an Angel are all here for reading.

Being the lovely soul that he is, Derek is offering a signed copy of Death of an Angel (the latest Danny Book) and 5 sets of pin badges featuring the words “Diva” “Nobody” Devil” and “Angel,” to some lucky subscribers to his mailing list. And there’s a FREE short story to download after you’ve subscribed! Isn’t he just a gem!? Pop over to www.derekfarrell.co.uk for more information and to sign up!

If you haven’t been to a Crime Festival before, then you should really be getting yourself off to Morecambe at some point between the 27th – 29th of September.

The Morecambe & Vice festival itself is on the Saturday and Sunday but the Thursday night has the Polari Salon at which I will be reading alongside Lilja Sigurdardottir, Paul Burston and Lesley Thompson.

If you’ve been to a festival before, you’ll know all the reasons why they’re so brilliant, but if you haven’t, allow me below to suggest a few reasons why popping in – for a couple of sessions, a day, a whole weekend – could be the best thing you do all year.

Firstly, there are four types of people who go to Festivals: Readers, Writers, Publishing Professionals and Authors. And no matter which of those groups you fit in (or if, like many people, you fit in more than one) there’s something for you at a festival like Morecambe & Vice.

Reason #1 Books: There’s a bookshop. It has lots of books. Some of these books are not officially in the shops yet, meaning you get to buy and read them before anyone else. And book-lovers, as everyone knows, love bragging-rights almost as much as they love books. Plus there are often goodie-bags which sometimes feature – even more excitingly – free books. Let me say that again: FREE. BOOKS. I know, right? Again, many of these free books aren’t due in the shops for months, so you get advance copies of books everyone’s going to be talking about next summer, at which point you can airily say “Oh yes, I read that last year. Got it at Morecambe & Vice.” Plus, you’ll almost definitely find books you’d never heard of before (see ‘Networking’ below for more on that).

Reason #2 Panels: I have to admit, when someone first suggested that I might enjoy sitting in a room listening to a bunch of writers talking to each other about their books and the craft of writing, or reading excerpts from their work, I was somewhat sceptical. I mean, no-one’s ever suggested I might enjoy listening to a group of plumbers discussing their oeuvres. But then not all plumbers* are born story tellers. The thing about the various events at Morecambe & Vice (which cover everything from Mental Health to Young Adult crime fiction via LGBT+ readings and on through apocalyptic crime, a discussion of dyslexia and a whole panel of prize-winners) is that even if the topic doesn’t immediately whet your appetite, the presence of people who are born story-tellers – and passionate story-tellers at that – means you’re almost guaranteed interesting, thought-provoking and entertaining conversation.

Reason #3 Networking: First of all, I hate the phrase Networking. It always sounds like something corporate that a robot would do. So let’s rebrand it: Making new friends who have more in common with you than you could imagine. Reading, by it’s nature, is a pretty solitary experience, but if you think that’s solitary, you should try writing: Living for months with only the voices in your head for company. So coming along to a festival like Morecambe & Vice is a brilliant way to meet readers, to meet writers who have books you haven’t read yet (I started reading one of my favourite crime series because I met the author at a festival and picked up the first book ‘on spec’), and to meet bloggers who often have news and gossip about your favourite genre, novelists or series before anyone else has. I attended my first crime festival as a book-lover who wanted to be a published novelist. This was back in the Cretaceous period when dinosaurs walked the earth and I knew absolutely nobody, but a couple of drinks at the bar**; a coffee at lunchtime with a bunch of people; and I have friends now that I would never have made if I hadn’t come along to that festival, spoken to people, asked them who they were and what had brought them to the festival.

Reason #4 Making contacts: Not quite the same as Networking, but if you’re an as-yet unpublished writer, an author looking to expand their professional network (there’s that word again, but slightly more relevant in a professional environment) or a Publishing Professional (editor, agent, publisher, designer, etc) then festivals are a brilliant way to make contact with others in your world. My top tip here: Don’t go in trying to find people who can ‘help you.’ That makes you look like a user (cos you are, quite frankly). Instead, go in looking for that personal connection. Almost everything good that has happened to me in this business has happened because there was a personal connection before we realised that each of us had something the other had been looking for. Also – and on that note – never go in thinking you have nothing to offer anyone. You have skills, knowledge, a viewpoint. If all else fails, you have that party trick where you can fit your whole fist in your mouth.

Reason #5 Partying: Here’s a list of things I have done at Crime Festivals: Had coffee with esteemed writers; been sworn at by Val McDermid (on a panel. Reykjavik 2016) crashed publishers parties I hadn’t been invited to (but ssssh; cos I don’t wanna get a reputation). Hung out at the bar with friends who made me laugh so hard I couldn’t breathe (I wonder if anyone has killed a character in a book that way?); spent way too much in the book shop and fretted about how I was going to carry all the books home; had a delicious meal with a roomful of other crime fiction lovers at a murder mystery dinner (no, I didn’t figure out whodunnit); sung David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’ in a Karaoke room with a selection of Sunday Times Bestselling crime writers; met and chatted to first ministers and TV personalities; absolutely fanboyed my heroes, and been barged out of the way by James Patterson’s security detail (I’m not sure what I’d said, but they seemed uber keen to get him into a fast car and away from me as quickly as possible); pitched to agents; and introduced my dad to writers he’d been enjoying for years. The point is: There is literally something for everyone at a crime fiction festival like Morecambe & Vice, and the added feature of the festival taking place in an atmospheric town, and in a gorgeous art deco hotel makes the whole thing even more exciting.

So hopefully I’ll see you there!

(*with apologies to any wonderful story-telling plumbers out there)

(**okay; maybe more than a couple. I seem to recall waking up in a ditch somewhere in Nantwich without my shoes but wearing a chinchilla cape I had never seen before in my life. Happy days.)

Derek Farrell is the author of The Danny Bird Mysteries which are Death of a Diva/Nobody/Devil/Angel, and the forthcoming Death of a SINner. He splits his time between London and West Sussex and is really excited to be reading from his books at The Polari Salon at M&V on Friday 27th September at The Midland Hotel.

Derek loves hearing from readers on Twitter @derekifarrell, or via the contact page on his website derekfarrell.co.uk, where you can get a free exclusive Danny Bird Mystery just for signing up to his newsletter.

To celebrate his appearance at Polari Salon at Morecambe & Vice he’ll be giving away a free signed copy of his latest Danny Bird Mystery “Death of an Angel” to a random subscriber to his website derekfarrell.co.uk. The winner will be selected on 18th October 2019.

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