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Blogging before Bloggers

I was in the loft the other day and found some goodies which I will blog about. One thing I found was a publication put out in 1995 for 'A Shot in the Dark' priced at £2.95. (A whole 4 pence cheaper than an entire novel on Amazon, and this was 24 years ago!)




I noticed there were some interviews with some crime writing genre luminaries such as Colin Dexter and Frank Palmer.

What surprised me about this was that when I flicked through the pages I saw that the person who interviewed Frank Palmer was me! I had totally forgotten about it!




It occurred to me that this was essentially blogging before bloggers. Today's versions seem cheaper.


This conference was The Crime Writers Association annual conference and conveniently enough for me was held in Nottingham. I spoke at the event on stage at The Theatre Royal, I recall and I had dinner with my literary hero Ed McBain who had flown over from the States to talk about writing the screenplay for 'The Birds' directed by Alfred Hitchcock. (Never meet your heroes).


The first time I ever attended one of these conferences, a couple of years previously, I was shepherded into a large room with a lot of people in it all with a glass of bubbly (one per person). I didn't know anyone. I swallowed hard and fighting against my better judgement, started talking to random people. Small talk. Yuch! After a little while I saw a fire door was open and I headed for it through the shoulder rubbing guests. I needed fresh air and a cig. (I know they are contrasting aims).

Standing outside were half a dozen or so writers who were unknown to me, but who had a similar aim. We started chatting and they said they were going for dinner and would I like to join them? I said yes, (I'm an easy date) having no clue who they were. I was a double whammy; someone who knew Nottingham and a serving Detective with answers to procedural questions. Looking back it made sense.

Incredibly it turned out that these people were very well known writers; Colin Dexter, Peter Robinson, Ian Rankin, Robert Richardson etc. This chance meeting started a fantastic friendship with many of these powerhouses and I was pleased to help them with various questions over the years. Peter Robinson's first book 'Gallow's View' has a generous acknowledgement in it to me.

It was a very different time for writers and was a point of contact for those like myself who could not attend the Groucho club in London every month for the Crime Writers Association meetings.

I don't know what response I would have got if I had asked my Detective Inspector if I could leave early from an investigation to go to the Groucho Club, to meet some literary chums. I can guess, though!

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