Capital Crime Fest
The beginning of a new era for fans…
I have always wanted to go to a “proper” Crime writing festival, just like all the big ones I have seen advertise over the years. Back before it was even an option for me.
When I saw an ad for Capital Crime I jumped at the chance. I booked my ticket for the whole weekend, found somewhere in London to stay, and planned the whole trip. It wasn’t until I got there on Thursday night when I found out this was the first ever Capital Crime.
In fact, the first ever London-based Crime writing festival. Yep. The first. And yes, I was just as shocked. I wasn’t just shocked that somehow this was the first, but that I had assumed from its marketing, the names on the programme, what was on offer…I couldn’t quite believe this was a “debut.”
A Killer Launch
Adam Hamdy and David Headley only started discussing the idea of Capital Crime in 2018. In just over a year they were hosting at a superb venue, with loads of the top Crime writers, with delegates from across the world.
Perhaps one of the best things about the weekend was how laid-back and casual the affair felt. We were told from the outset that this was our festival and it will become what we make it. I admit for a moment I did wonder if there was a risk collecting so many people whose daily life includes planning weird and wonderful murders…
…but to the best of my knowledge…all murders were confined to the cognitive.
Of course the weekend was delivered with the utmost professionalism, but there was a refreshing lack of “snooty” elitism that can easily slip into these kinds of events. This was basically a place when people came to buzz together over a shared love for writing, reading and producing the best possible genres.
I am biased. But I’m write. Disagree with me and you might find yourself in the opening chapter of one of my stories.
The quality of talks and panels was very high, and widely ranging. There was a great amount of choice — sometimes very difficult to choose between two clashing panels — that meant it would be hard not to have a brain-frying weekend. I could go through all of them but you’d get bored — best to send you a hand link to see for yourself! (Link…Link…Link…)
There’s something quite inspiring about meeting a writer of a book that was adapted into a film you’ve seen, and listening to one of your favourite writers chatter away like a “normal” person.
As far as that word “normal” can be stretched, of course.
Finding out their crazy mind is just as mental as your own is a kind reassurance that “you’re not the only one” who thinks…like that. All. The. Time.
It’s reassuring to know that you aren’t the only one to walk around in your daily life, going about your “normal” business, buying biscuits, when suddenly an idea for an excellent murder scene, or a spicy new MO springs into your mind.
I mention this specifically because I attended the talk between Adam Hamdy and Anthony Horowitz on the Genesis of an Idea — it was great to hear from other writers who have a keen interest in the mind. The “nerdy” stuff.
What Could it all Become?
It’s really hard to give constructive criticism on such an event because I have no comparison I can make. There’s no doubt the Festival will grow, and we will all need to be purchasing our tickets a lot faster for 2020. But it was a pleasure to have been there at the first one and I look forward to seeing it grow. Who knows, perhaps next year I can enter the competitions for new writing and see if my work can punch up to the standards of all the other authors.
Besides what the festival can become, it has made me wonder what is next for me. I really need to finish my second novel, which is long overdue. Writers block and life events knocked it dead, but the fire has been stoked again. I also want to redesign the cover of my debut novel and refresh that.
And I have a collection of books on their way to me thanks to the free shipping offer from Goldsboro Books — genius!
I’ll be there next year and urge anyone who loves Crime, Thriller and Mystery to be there, too. This could be the beginning of a whole new era of Crime in London.
I wonder if they’ll create a spin-off festival called “Capital Punishment”? …
Inspired by meeting you all, I’ve set my Short Story “Stench of Death” as FREE on Amazon from Weds to Fri this week, and it is free on Kindle Unlimited.
You can also get a FREE ebook copy of my Crime Thriller To Die For if you email me a picture of your Capital Crime Festival pass.