A lot of the participants were loyal fans who come every year. One couple even comes over from the States! What's common amongst us all: a love of crime fiction. (Who knows where these things come from!)
On Friday I heard panels on Deadly Duos and Dangerous Destinations. On Saturday I heard presentations on British Noir, spies, obsession, and humor.
A special treat was to hear Ian Rankin, who read from his latest book and who explained that his breakout novel came from writing about sad events in his life that he needed to get past. Those events resonated with readers, who could appreciate the problems.
Another real treat was the talk by Peter James. He clearly enjoyed sharing stories about his own writing trajectory. After he was robbed on his honeymoon (how's that for a way to start a marriage?), he became friends with the detective assigned to his case.That gave him grat access to--and respect for-- police officers on any number of levels.
What I appreciated the most about James though was his explanation of his biggest goal: to keep raising the bar with his writing--to keep striving for new levels. To track such progress, I'll have to start reading at the beginning of his Roy Grace series and move all the way through. When I "grow up," I want to be just like him--fully energized on the way to my next writing challenge.