Capital Crime: for the Belgian jury… 12 points! @CapitalCrime1 @MidasPR

Capital_Crime

I’m back from Capital Crime, the first thriller festival in London with over one hundred authors! I arrived on Friday and went back home on Saturday and it doesn’t seem long but it feels like it wasn’t two days but two weeks that I went away.

Even though it was exhausting and overwhelming, it was still totally worth it (and don’t you want to feel like you’ve been away much longer than you really have ;-)). I only need a bit of time to process all that’s happened to me, but now that it’s fresh I’ll share with you some of my highlights.

But first of all I want to give a special thanks to the lovely Anne Cater, Amber Choudhary at Midas PR and to my blogfriend Meggy because without these three I wouldn’t have been there!

My arrival

I had a bit of stress (ok I didn’t sleep well the night before) but as soon as I arrived I saw the lovely Meggy of Chocon’Waffles waiting for me outside of the gate of the Eurostar terminal. She’s been my rock throughout the festival, seriously. She’s just as lovely and kind as I hoped, she’s a true friend and I’m eternally grateful for sticking by me. It meant so much to me that she didn’t leave me alone there, even walked me to the trainstation again the following day!

BAM

The venue itself was gorgeous, with big halls and chandeliers… a really nice location, I was impressed. There were 2 big rooms (and the bar which was also frequented at a regular basis)

So, then, literally 2 seconds after stepping inside of the Grand Vere Connaught Rooms, I saw my first author! Mark Edwards was coming down the steps. Meggy asked me if I wanted to talk to him but of course no, no, too soon, much too soon :-).

Friends

I then met the rest of the bloggers I would hang out with these two days: Ronnie of Ronnie Turner, Penny of What Do I Read Now, Danielle of The Reading Closet, Zoé of  Zooloo’s Book Diary and on day 2 I also met blogger Jen of Jen Med’s Book Reviews. They are all wonderful and kind people, they made me feel very welcome and actually pleased to meet me. I love them all!

If you want to have the bestest of blogfriends, add them on Twitter here:
@Choconwaffles, @W2readnow, @Ronnie__Turner, @book_obsessed1, @zooloo2008, @JenMedBkReviews.

I was afraid of walking into a group that already knew each other and I’m certainly not a kisser or hugger (I spent my birthday at home alone to avoid the kissing at work (and also because I’m making my own special day and don’t want to work then)) but I felt really at ease among them. I still won’t initiate a hug but I was very happy with the hugs they insisted on giving me. Zoé is an amazing hugger, not too long or too short, not vice-like or half-hearted, just perfect. I knew in advance that there would be a question for a photo with me in it and I’m happy they didn’t insist but respected my wishes. It was a pleasure to have met the crimesquad!

Panel

I had my first panel of the day then with Claire McGowan asking questions to Lisa Jewell and Mark Edwards (it’s karma I tell ya) about The Psychology of Tension. I knew I was in trouble soon because I wanted to read both authors after their talk (I only read one novel by Mark Edwards years ago). I finally chose one author and bought the book. Two guesses which one :-).

The psychology of tension.JPG

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Mark Edwards is a very friendly author, I’m quite happy he’s the first author I ever saw in real life. I can’t wait to read his book Here to Stay now, his mind is fascinating… and he doesn’t kill off the cat in his books, he pays attention to giving the readers what they want and what do we want? That’s right, to SAVE THE ANIMALS!

This panel and all the other panel discussions I attended were great, it was really interesting to hear the authors talk on so many topics and answer questions about their favorite murder weapon or if they like to kill more men or women in their books, or how they react when people ring the doorbell when they’re writing… I should have taken notes really.

Here are some of the other panels I chose to attend. I wish I had a time-turner so I could have gone to the other panels that were happening at the same moment but unfortunately I had to make some tough choices.

When Women Make Murderers

Fiona Cummins and CJ Tudor really stood out for me in this panel, but maybe it’s because I only read their novels so far…

Chilled to the Bone

Of course I couldn’t miss the authors from Orenda Books. I was a bit horrified when the conversation went towards killing puffins… but there were a lot of funny quips, it was a great panel too!

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And then there was this one of course. I only read MW Craven so it was mostly for him that I wanted to attend, but the others were really interesting too and Amer Anwar even took a picture of the audience (the other way around!).

Britain's Toughest Streets

There was also a quiz between two teams of authors and it was just brilliant. There were questions about the other author’s books, genre what type of car was used in this or that book, but they also had to reenact a scene and the other team had to guess. It was such fun to just see them all going for it (well especially one person) and the quiz host, Paul Clayton, was superb.

Here’s the winning team although they only won with a difference of half a point, so both teams are winners for me 😉

Whosecrimeisitanyway

Approachable

In general, all the authors were all very approachable and I had no idea they would be so open. They’re people I often look up to and they have the same status as a rockstar to me, I’m in full admiration of what they can do with their pen and mind, so it took me by surprise you could easily talk to them outside of the signing sessions too.

If you followed me on Twitter you’ll also know that I called an author by the wrong name. Well I was forgiven right away because the lovely Deborah O’Donoghue (author of Sea of Bones) invited me to drink tea (I’m not English so coffee) with me. I also met Heidi Perks, Rachel Kennedy of Cornerstone publishers and the sweet Merilyn Davies (author of When I Lost You) with whom I had a good talk. It’s not evident for me to talk to people I don’t know but she was so friendly that I was comfortable talking to her. I sometimes wonder how people so sweet can write such crime but then I’m sweet too (if I’m allowed to say that of myself) and I love the hard, gritty thrillers too.

mde

dav

I also received a keyring from Carol Bridgestock who writes novels together with her husband Robert under the name RC Bridgestock. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t know them but it appears the couple has nearly half a century in combined police experience and they take this experience turning real cases into fictional stories. Carol was also suuupernice to me. Another author whose books I really want to try now.

So today I have Carol and Robert’s as well as my own fingerprint on a keyring!

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Perfect ending of the day

I finished the day with a lovely dinner with Meggy where we – guess what – talked even more about books. It was perfect for destressing and I very much enjoyed our time together… if only she lived closer and not in another country.

I picked a hotel only a 5 minute walk from the venue and I’m quite happy I did that, although I did have a few problems in the room.

Meeting Mike Craven

I had a sleepless night so day two wasn’t my best day. I was already overwhelmed by so much that happened on day 1 so I was too emotional and a bit in lockdown, much quieter than the day before. I’ll tell you more about it in another blogpost. I did have one good streak though and I HAVE to share this with you: my encounter with MW Craven.

I was standing in line with Meggy for Zoé to get a book signed and I saw Danielle and Ronnie talking to him! I brought my book (from Belgium) to get it signed so I was excited to spot him (he’s hard to miss with the metal t-shirt and he’s not so small either). Meggy was urging me to go to him and then she was shouting at Danielle who was still talking and didn’t hear her at all 😉 and she was saying go, go, go to me… I went on automatism really, obeying that voice… so I came there and I seriously don’t remember but it’s possible that I just butted into the conversation (so sorry Danielle) and asked for a picture of him with me. He was reallyyy nice and I was already packing the book away again when he said, do you want me to sign it? I was of course too shy to ask but YES! He then asked my name and even wrote it on his hand to get it right (it seems my name is a difficult one for English people so in case you’re wondering INGE is pronounced as in sing-ING and then followed in one swoop with a dull E that sounds like UH). So that’s the story how M.W. Craven got to sign my book. Not everyone has a story like that eh?

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Photos

I also have photos of me with authors C.J. Tudor (I won a copy Those Other People!), Merilyn Davies (When I Lost You), Deborah O’Donoghue (Sea of Bones), Lizzie Barber (My Name is Anna), Will Dean (there was a lot of fangirling beforehand and I seriously didn’t know why but yes, I must admit he is in fact really good-looking in close-up too) and Mark Edwards. These photos are for my private collection only though, I don’t particularly feel the need to share.. you must know what the authors look like by now :-).

Conclusion

I’m not going to lie, the 24h I was there was long enough for me. Maybe I would feel a little differently if I had slept better but I’m not sure it would make all the difference either. It was just really full-on with authors everywhere, I didn’t know where to look first. The panel talks also gave a lot of information, I was quite happy there were signing sessions in between and a break for lunch. London is a strange city too so with every step I was looking around at everything new and it was a lot to take in.

I highly recommend this book festival though. I know it’s the first and only one I attended but it was very well organised, it had big author names on their programme, the panels were great and of outstanding quality (you won’t get bored, promise), there was a good vibe and atmosphere and the location is easy enough to reach. Don’t miss out on attending next year is all I can say !

My sweet friend Meggy made it so much better for me of course, I didn’t feel lost and I didn’t get lost (ok I did, twice even, but I’ll tell you about that in another blogpost). On day 2 she came with me to the trainstation again where I took the Eurostar home. In Brussels I took another local train then and after 4 hours (3 in reality but with the time difference 4) I was home again. The adventure might have ended in the present day but I’m still reliving it in my mind…

mde

It was an amazing experience and I’m grateful for meeting so many authors, new and old but all very friendly, for everyone I met there and the friends I made. I’m happy I did it!

Ah before I forget…. I came to London with one small rucksack and I went home with 10 books (and two I had brought from home) so that’s 12 books (and one of them is so thick it can even count for two). It’s a wonder I haven’t dislocated my shoulder or hurt my back.

Here’re the books I bought (I bought 3 in a secondhand bookstore too at lunchtime) and 2 were in the Capital Crime goodie bag.

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So what do you think? Who wants to attend Capital Crime next year? I hope I could convince you it’s really worth it!

38 thoughts on “Capital Crime: for the Belgian jury… 12 points! @CapitalCrime1 @MidasPR

  1. Wow, what an action-packed 24 hours that was. So many exciting things crammed into a couple of days. I’m so happy you had a great time and a good experience overall, despite a couple of problems. I hope they didn’t spoil the weekend for you. And if I could, I would love to join you for next year’s event, Inge! Happy reading. 👍😎

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel like I really lived 😄 although I’m happy to go back to the quiet and routine again now ☺️ I didn’t want to spoil this post with the things that I have second thoughts of or caused problems for me… I’ve prepared another post for that but now I’m not sure I should post it since everyone thinks it was only amazing and all the time. I’ll have to sleep on it. Ohh too bad you can’t be there, I’d have loved to meet you. Happy reading to you too Alexandra 😘💕

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lucky you! And thanks so much for sharing the experience on your blog, it sounded amazing. I actually considered going, but couldn’t due to other commitments. Seeing, that it took place pretty much on my door step, it was really a shame, but hopefully there will be other opportunities.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so happy you got to go, Inge, and that you had fun despite having to function on little sleep and feeling a little overwhelmed 😘 If I go next year and Mark is there you can introduce me 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a fantastic post! I still haven’t managed to process everything or gather my thoughts, haha! I am glad I tweeted live some stuff so I can go back and use them in my post to come, but when it comes to panel, I really like to be in the moment and enjoy it, instead of writing and not allowing my brain to just absorb it all.
    You’ve made the best of those 24 hours and I am so happy you had a great time. It was all I was hoping for. It was such a pleasure to spend time with you ❤ To many more adventures xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you’re feeling a little better 😘 So much interesting things were said in the panels, I just want to remember them all 😊 I know I feel like I raced through those days. Oww thanks for your time, your friendship and your kindness. I really do hope we will meet again now ☺️ To more adventures with you! 😘

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  5. I have loved just reading your post and as I have said before so pleased you got there, you did great. I hope that at sometime I will be able to gather my courage and attend, slightly jealous you managed to get Mike Cravens signature in The Puppet Show have you read the second book Black summer yet if not you really have to read it it’s even better than book one and I am itching for number three that is out next June which seems like a lifetime away. (Slight thing you have called him Wes Craven) which I guess is fine but I think he’s a horror film director or something it may have been auto correct or something I know how these things change words you type, also jealous you got to see Will Dean (I have to say that hair) just not fair, a very striking man saw lots of fangirling over him, not a surprise lol. I had to ask him the other week if he used any product in his hair as a friend said he obviously did, but he says no and I believe that, even if my friend still doesn’t. Great reading about your trip and the amazing people you met. Not sure I would recognise some writers even if I have read lots of their books. But getting to know some faces now, just in case I make it to one of these events sometime.

    Great reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I read and loved Black Summer too but only had the ecopy… you can’t sign those. I could have bought it there too but I already had 12 books to transport… Haha I can’t believe I called him by that name, it’s with the W in his initals. Thanks so much for telling me, I changed it already. I know I even googled to see how old he was, I didn’t find it (though I’m sure he’s around my age) but I did find he’s with his wife for 20 years. Loyal too, definitely not one of those men who’ll go bald and an animal lover, all bonus points 😉 Ah spotting authors and telling the others with loud whispers who they were was an activity on itself 😄 I was happy when someone pointed some of them out to me. If they’re in the panels they’re introduced of course so they’re easy to recognize afterwards. Just in case, thinking positive already… I like it 😘

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      • Glad you managed to change the name lol 😆 I wasn’t sure whether to say anything or not, it’s an easy mistake and I get the M.W and Wes Craven is famous so easy to put the names together. Lol I only know his name as I got to hear about him on a Facebook group called crime fiction addicts and everyone was raving about the puppet show, I hadn’t even known about blogging or netgalley then, so thought I must read that book and by chance I had it in my bookcase, I have no recollection of when I bought it or anything but picked it up and was engrossed and loved it, then saw he had the new book due soon, I joined netgalley and it was one of the books on there so I thought I would ask for it, not expecting to be given it as I was literally trying to set up a blog I was on blogger and started on WordPress trying to work out how to set up a site in there. Then I got Black Summer and was over the moon. So have raved about his books since, in January he has two books coming out that he wrote before Poe and Tilly they are being re released apparently they got great reviews but don’t think the took off as well as Poe and Tilly, release date is 9th January, so I have those preordered. I will buy Black Summer as a paperback as mine was an scoot as well. I still like physical books. Had my first physical review book today which I find exciting, the paper and feel of the book is lovely lol.
        That’s good that people say who the authors are if you aren’t certain, obviously some I would recognise like Mike Craven and especially Will Dean, a few of the others, not sure how hold Mike is I know he joined the army at a young age and worked quite a while for the probation service I think if I remember right. Glad you managed to change the name, I thought you would be able to go on and edit it. Thanks 🥰

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      • Oh interesting to hear Craven’s previous novels will be relaunched. I have to check that out! Thanks for the info 😘 Congrats with your first paperback review novel. I still have mine too, it’ll always be special, although I didn’t really like it all that much 😂

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      • I just wish I had more paperbacks to review., sometimes sotting in front of iPad kindle app or on the kindle it can still give you a headache. I just love the feel of a real book, haven’t a clue whether I will enjoy or not will have to see. Just excited to get first actual book lol 😂 the things we get excited about I mean I have around 30 books at the side of my bed waiting to be read but I want to clear October’s ARC’s first have 7 or 8 to go as well a book blog tour on the 28th which is an anthology I’ve read some and made notes but not sure I can remember the stories so may have to skim again. The books by Mike Craven are called Body Breaker and Born in a burial ground and the main character is called DI Avison Fluke out on 9th January so a late Christmas present lol xx

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      • Same, I love paperbacks, but as an international reader I’m skipped by lots of publishers who have such interesting novels. You’re lucky to live in the UK though, books are sooo much cheaper there (so often only 4 or 5£), easier to find in stores, secondhand and in the library. Xxx

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      • That is true the supermarkets do tend to sell them at reasonable prices if they have them in stock, if there is always any book you would like I would happily get it and send it on to you. I’m not sure how to get publishers to send books to you but I see quite a few people that get them, someone said to me last week to just message them. I’m not good at things like that though. So will see what happens in the future. Xxc

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s very sweet of you, I might take you up to it one day if I’m desperate to get my hands on one ☺️ thank you already love. Well it grows naturally, publishers find you if your blog gets bigger. The reviews on Netgalley will help to get you noticed too, invite you to book tours or ask if you want a review copy. There are bloggers who go catalogue shopping and ask for every book but I’m not one of them. The few mails I tried were unanswered too so not the way for me. If you’re patient it will come. X

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      • If you do want one just let me know and I will get it and send to you know problem. 😊. I do have a couple of book tours coming up, I did my first this week, but the guy had changed the day so I posted a day early but he was ok and just pleased I had posted etc. I think it was originally arranged for the 8th then got changed and I altered it in my book, but it’s not very clear. But at least that’s my first ever one done. Next one end of month. I don’t want to tie myself down too much. As I am stressing now about the books I need to read, definitely going to cut the requests a bit on netgalley and stick to just a couple a month or something then I can focus on books purchased. I would only ask for something if it was something I would enjoy. Although the book I have I didn’t even see what it was about, there were 10 available and I am normally too late for everything but I got in at number 10 and the book sounds quite good so I will see. I have patience do if it happens it happens. If it doesn’t no problem always new books and authors to discover. Xx

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  6. Pingback: Links I’ve Enjoyed This Week – 13/10/19 #WeeklyRoundUpPost 🔗📆 🔗 #SecretLibraryBookBlog – Secret Library Book Blog

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