Crimefest

Today, I’m taking a brief pause from #IndyBookTourCymru2019 to share a Crime Cymru triumph and some publishing news (read on to the end for this…)

As regular readers of this blog will know the Welsh crime writers’ collective, Crime Cymru, of which I am currently chair, has been appearing in festivals here and there for the last eighteen months or so, including a big two-day festival which we ran in conjunction with Cardiff Central library last summer. But, until now, we hadn’t cracked the big one: Crimefest in Bristol. Crimefest is a truly international festival with authors from all over Europe and America appearing and readers regularly making the trip from the US to attend.

However, that all changed yesterday when Crime Cymru made its inaugural Crimefest appearance with Rosie Claverton, Cathy Ace, John Lincoln and myself being interviewed by Gail B Williams. (‘Moderated’ is the word the Crimefest organisers use, as if we just need to be toned down a bit. Which, come to think of it….)

panel 2

Our audience was an almost packed house which was gratifying (and included my other publisher, Amy Durant of Sapere Books, who kindly took the photos of the panel, below. Exciting news about Sapere and my medieval novels, here, soon) and we had a wonderful time. The five of us had met up for lunch and, in a way, our performance on the panel was a continuation of that long conversation about writing, Wales and our books. (Details of all our work are on the Crime Cymru website.)

Given the feedback we’ve had since our appearance, the audience seem to have loved our passion and enthusiasm, as well as our different take on the Wales we create and we had a pleasing number of people queueing up to have books signed after our panel. Rosie’s husband, Huw, snapped this one of us just before the queue began to form!

Me and Rosie at signing table

In previous years, I’ve spent several days at Crimefest as it’s a 4 day festival but, this year, with the constraints of #IndyBookTourCymru2019 and the need to conserve energy, I decided to keep it to the day on which I was appearing. Fortunately for me, I was lucky enough to catch up with most (though not quite all) of the friends and colleagues I had anticipated and it was especially good to be able to touch base with both my publishers.

David Headley, executive director of The Dome Press gave me the fantastic news that, less than ten days after the official publication date, In Two Minds has already gone to a second printing as demand has been higher than anticipated. None So Blind has also sold surprisingly well, given that it had already been on sale for almost two years in the Freight imprint which is still available on Amazon.

I also had the pleasure of meeting (and signing a copy of In Two Minds for) Karen Cole of the Hair Past a Freckle book blog who wrote a wonderful review of None So Blind when it was reissued by The Dome Press last November.

I’m taking a couple of days, now, to just chill out in the garden and enjoy the suddenly spectacular weather before work on Monday (I’m working two days a week, as usual, for the next fortnight and fitting #IndyBookTourCymru2019 visits in from home. I’ll then go and stay in west Wales with my family to do the last, very busy, leg of the tour.)

Watch this space for photos of all the bookshops I’m visiting just to say hi this week and to introduce myself, in person, to the booksellers. As you’ll see if you pop over to the Events page on my website, the next scheduled event is a signing at Chepstow Books on the 18th.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend

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