Well here we are again.
Though, to be fair, I’m a day late (and probably several dollars short) on this one.
Last week was a full-on one at the day job and also a crazy busy week on the writing front, and I’m on vacation this week so – of course – things are quieter and more settled.
One of the things I’ve been most struck by during this lockdown is the way the Crime Writing Community has come together, and how much Love there has been shared across Facebook Lives and Zoom Chats and Twitter and YouTube.
This time last year I was just back from Newcastle where I was on a panel withPaul Burston & Jónína Leósdóttir, and I’d already booked to return this year. I wasn’t going to have the anxiety of a panel; I was just going to watch other writers talking about their craft and their methods, hang out with mates, get drunk, and have the kind of amazing time that can only happen when you’re with your tribe.
Two days before my panel last year I took part in a Noir At The Bar. It was one of the most enjoyable events I’d ever taken part in. For those of you who don’t know, Noir at the Bar (Or NATB,as it’s known by those in the know) is an evening where readers, writers, bloggers, journalists, anyone who has a love for Crime Fiction gather together. A group of writers are invited to read a short excerpt, and there are thrills, laughs and a room full of CriFi love.
Last year, I read from Death of an Angel (the bit on the building site, in case you’r einterested; I might video and share that one day) and then – when the event was over – went drinking with Ashley Erwin, Neil Broadfoot and Louise Fairbairn, and, well, to say a ‘Legendary night was had would – I think – be a fair statement.
This year, I was invited back, though of course – as there are no Bars – it was a Virtual Noir At The Bar (VNATB, though they could also have called it a Noir at the Virtual Bar, but that would have messed with the acronym too much).
The bill this year had Alan Jones, Kirsten McKenzie, me, Roz Watkins, Zoe Sharp, Karen Murdarasi, Lesley Kelly, Rob Scragg, Lucy Atkins & Ashley Erwin and you can watch the event here: https://videopress.com/v/TInkGv12
(I start at about 27 minutes in).
These events are pure love. Pure joy. I read from “Chapter one of Death of a Sinner” (Warning: Contains profanity and falafel) and it went down really well. And then we hung out and chatted afterwards about writing, about pandemics, about shapeshifter erotica and about Bigfoot. Like you do.
Friday also saw the latest set of FahreNoirAtTheBar (FNATB, do you see what we did there) which had a short film based on a work by Nick Quantrill (Like Ross MacDonald in Northern England) a Trailer for a Balkan Noir book by Cal Smyth and a reading of some Classic Humid Texan Crime Fiction from B.R. Statham. Seriously: The quality here just keeps growing and the love from everyone involved keeps me going.
This week I also read Eight detectives by Alex Parvesi and enjoyed it’s mix of Classic Crime Tropes and Literary game playing, No Direction Home by the aforementioned Nick Quantrill (a smart, snappy short which was published as issue one of Fahrenzine. I think that’s now sold out so if you didn’t get it, you aint gonna be able to read that story now. But episode 2 is out). And I’ve just started Red Desert which is an Audible original from Paddy Magrane and it’s a gripping thriller set in the Iraqi desert.
TV-wise, I’m currently hooked on Gangs of London which reminds me of the sort of stuff Euston Films used to make in the eighties but with oodles of ultra-violence ladelled on top.
And I’m writing a short story, but more about that soon.
Have a great week all, and remember: The festivals may be on haitus; the bars may be closed, but the books are still there, and mine are always available on physical or eBook from Fahrenheit Press or Amazon.
Stay safe. Stay well. Keep reading.