In my last post for 2010, I want not only to send my very warmest wishes to my readers for the year ahead, but also to express my thanks for the way in which your kindness and encouragement, manifested in a variety of forms, has helped to carry me through twelve months that have sometimes been more than usually challenging. I am truly grateful.
I also wanted to reflect on some of the good things that have happened this past year. On the writing front, I was thrilled by the response to and reviews of The Serpent Pool, and to have two launches in Hawarden and London, the latter a joint event with Ann Cleeves, was very gratifying. I enjoyed putting together the anthology Original Sins and an excellent press lunch organised by the publishers at a posh restaurant in London. And I’m really pleased about The Hanging Wood – I like to think it is the best Lake District Mystery so far. My trip to the Lakes on my birthday was a real highlight of 2010 - the wonderful weather of July seems a very distant memory now!
Crimefest in Bristol was great fun, including a pub quiz in a team of delightful people and the ordeal that calls itself Criminal Mastermind! I now have two lovely inscribed commemorative pieces of Bristol glassware to remember the last two years’ quizzes by; in 2011, I shall be very glad to be in the audience, instead of in the black chair. I met a good many pleasant writers and readers (including readers of this blog) for the first time in 2010, not least at Crimefest, and hope to see at least some of them again next year.
The CWA conference in Abergavenny was great - one of the photos shows my Saturday dinner companion Janet Laurence, and another shows a gathering of crime writers at Abergavenny Castle. For various reasons, I couldn’t manage a trip to a US convention this year. However, I paid a fleeting – but very pleasurable – visit to the Harrogate Crime Festival, and missed out on the St Hilda’s Conference in Oxford last August for the best of reasons: a cruise in the sun around the magnificent Baltic capitals. But I shall be one of the speakers at St Hilda’s next August. I’m looking forward to it already. And next October may – exam results permitting – see both junior Edwardses studying at Oxford, which would be lovely if it happens.
I’ve given a number of talks, and put on my Victorian murder mystery event a couple of times. And I’ve read a lot of good books, some old, some new, and most of them (as well as most of the films I’ve watched) have featured on this blog. Although I've cut down on the number of posts, I'm very glad that the blog continues to be visited very regularly. Above all, I’ve had the good fortune of much support from friends and family, and many reasons to reflect that the crime writing community really does contain some truly delightful people.
So, all in all, a year with plenty of ups as well as a few downs. But I’m certainly looking forward to 2011 with relish....