To be/recognise a crime fiction addict …

Some may say this is the season of literary festivals but those ‘in the know’ realise it’s fast turning into the crime fiction season.  Next weekend we have CrimeFest; running from 25 May to 5 July is the CWA’s Crime Writing Month; July 5 will see the CWA award many of its Daggers at a Gala Dinner; and 19-22 July is the weekend of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate.  So, how do you spot a real, 24 carat crime fiction addict at one of these UK events?

  1. They know both what and who Bouchercon is/was, and they can pronounce it properly.
  2. They will have a pet or pets and they will be named after a crime fiction author or character.  (If this is a serial killer, make early apologies and hide in the loo.)
  3. They don’t have a pet, but long for one just so they can name it after a crime fiction author or character.
  4. If they have kids their middle names will be those of crime fiction authors or characters.
  5. They can easily run off the trends of the last five years, current trends and tell you what’ll be hot in 2013.
  6. They can tell you what percentage of crime fiction book buyers are female and how – if at all – this has changed over the last 20 or so years.
  7. They will know what 4MA is.
  8. They are generous and will offer you a drink before you can focus on them with your eyes.
  9. If male and under 35, they will wear a heavy metal style T-shirt or a floral shirt.  They will definitely be involved in a male-bonding shirt competition during the weekend and this part applies to any age.
  10. If the hair in the audience is essentially all white, they can tell you with 100% accuracy who the special guest is.
  11. They know the difference between a festival and a convention.
  12. If female and 45+, they can tell you about the time they made a ‘Miss Marple’ tweed skirt.
  13. Their quiz team will have been organised aeons ago and has been ‘full up since yesterday’.
  14. They will know who won the CWA’s 2008 Diamond Dagger.
  15. They will have a ‘theory’ on Kevin Wignall.
  16. They can tell you which crime fiction critic is with which newspaper for the UK.
  17. After just one more alcoholic drink they will do their Jane Gregory impersonation.
  18. They can tell you which literary critic ruffled some feathers criticising the trend in serial killer tomes.
  19. They will know what SMA is and its importance to crime fiction.
  20. Naturally, they will have an online presence.
  21. They can tell you which Andrew Taylor novel was a Richard & Judy pick.
  22. In the rain with no umbrella, they will be the one with soggy hair.  (The two plastic carrier bags they just purchased will be double-wrapped around the books they are clutching to their chest under their coat or cardi.)
  23. They can tell you the details of their book buying budget in 5 minutes.
  24. They will have an Amazon account older than their email address.
  25. They will have strong opinions on whether the hard copy print book is actually dying out due to digital.
  26. They can be found in the bar during a weekend gig but never in the hotel gym or pounding the pavement with some jogging.  (They know there is no time for such matters.)
  27. They can tell you with no hesitation the latest time they were still up in the bar at Harrogate and what year it was.
  28. They will know why Barry Forshaw gained the ‘Prof’ before his name.
  29. They will know who the real Mr Ripley is.
  30. With no hesitation, they will be able to identify the completely ridiculous suggestion hidden in the others above.

That was part one…

7 thoughts on “To be/recognise a crime fiction addict …

  1. tontowilliams

    Oh dear, quite worried how many apply to me, especially when you remove those that can’t apply due to age, sex, personal circumstance. Guess that makes me guilty as charged😉

  2. Pingback: The Aurelio Column CrimeFest as seen from the sidelines « It's a crime! (Or a mystery…)

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