RHYS: I've been in England for the past week, and am pausing a moment for reflection (maybe because it's bloody-well raining!)
The first days were at Crime Fest in Bristol. The setting was ideal--on College Green with the Cathedral next door and the river down below. The one thing that struck me right away was that I know almost nobody. Then that British crime writing is so different from American. I read the bios: her debut thriller is about a serial killer abducting children. ... in her debut novel a child is taken from a primary scheool and... in her brilliant first novel a series of young women are found mutilated and...
You get the picture. Not a cat or a yarn shop or even a cupcake in sight. In Britain Molly Murphy is considered uber-cozy. And Skandanavian crime is the gold standard. Hank, Hallie, Roberta, there were so many good Skandanavian names here. We would have been so impressive at our game show at Malice when we had to name Skandanavian crime writers and you challenged my Ingemar Sigermarsdottil!
So it makes me wonder whether Mrs. Average Briton really doesn't enjoy a good cozy. Whether she laments the vanishing of Miss Marple. I hope so. My books are now being published in UK, so we'll see. But it was a strange feeling being at a convention and not once being stopped in the hall to have someone tell me that she loves my books. Humbling and good for me, I expect!
The featured writer was Lee Child and I was so glad to see someone who came across the room to give me a hug! He is always so gracious at these things. So low key. The event finished with a gala dinner at which they gave awards. The toastmaster was James Runcie, of Granchester fame and he gave a brilliant speech, contrasting the literary novel with the crime novel. So funny and so true.
But it was good to escape and to come down to Cornwall to my sister-in-law's lovely manor house where the spring flowers are blooming on the hedgerows and life is peacefully going on as it has for centuries. We also visited my home town, Bath, and every time I am struck by the incredible beauty of the city and the abbey.
So now I only have to do some copy edits, which naturally arrived the day I left home, and I can realx and enjoy ceam teas and Cornish pasties for a few days. Oh, and get ideas for some more horribly cozy mysteries!
And I've been trying desperately to add pictures to this post and Blogger won't let me. So Im sorry. Bath and Corwall will have to remain in your imagination.