What a great success the first Killer Books Festival was in Derry at the weekend. I had a fabulous time and it was an honour for me to meet so many authors and hear all about them. There is a support in the crime writing community for colleagues and friends that I rarely see in other walks of life. Also the encouragement of successful and established authors to novices like me is so much appreciated.
The success of the weekend is down to the brilliant work of the staff at the Verbal Arts Centre and of course Brian McGilloway. The launch of 'Hurt' by Brian was one of the highlights of the weekend for me. I cannot thank Brian enough for all his work over the weekend.
These events just don't happen. It was clear to me the Verbal Arts Centre and Brian put a massive amount of work into making all the pieces fit together and getting everyone in the right place at the right time. Well done.
One of those pieces was having over an hour of private time with Lee Child at Easons and buying him a filtered grande coffee with no milk. And at his request being asked to pose with his new Jack Reacher novel for a photo. Then to top it all he wanted a photo with my Valberg novel. I couldn't believe it. Then a photo of us both together when the press arrived. We talked about so many things and he gave me encouragement and advice. He really went out of his way to ask me about my novel and with a shaking hand I signed my novel for him. As I hear often in court -'I have no recollection of that'- I have no recollection of signing the book for him and I dread to think of the state of it as I was in a surreal Valberg moment. Bloody Hell.
The weekend continued into Monday night at Colin Bateman's Teenage Kicks. What a show. What brilliant songs and performances from people so young they would not even have been born when the songs were written. Middle Age Kicks are really hard to beat and Colin's musical was the perfect grand finale to a brilliant weekend. Everyone with an ounce of punk in them should get to this show. Even if you don't have an ounce of punk in you get to the show and see what you are missing. Get away from horrific reality television spectacles and support Teenage Kicks. The young actors and the young punk band will invigorate you and take you back to a time, atmosphere and attitude that perhaps we can only dream about, and write about now. The kids are united in this show and we should be united in supporting them.’