The Girl With All The Crime Books Is Two Today!
I talked for aaaaaages about starting a book blog – and now it’s celebrating its second birthday! (I think it has now been around a little longer than I spent talking about it…)
Since this time last year, I’ve visited all sorts of places at home and abroad via the magic portal of books – and even managed to go to a few events in person, which was amazing. Huge thanks to Bloody Scotland for hosting a hybrid festival so the pressure to see every panel was off; I enjoyed some in person and also enjoyed relaxing and catching up with people (and gossiping about books :-D) safe in the knowledge I could watch the panels I did see online. (Thanks also for the invite to chair a panel, that was seriously terrifying, if also a mighty privilege.) Thanks also to Newcastle Noir for changes to the festival that made us all feel that bit safer and thus relaxed. There was also a Bay Tales live event, which was low-key and lovely, so do get along to the 2023 version if you can. There was the return of my local book festival in Portobello, Edinburgh, where we overcame some last-minute glitches so I could interview the mighty Val McDermid (thanks to Joanne and the team for the opportunity, I hope I didn’t let you down!). I still love an online event (a doff of the cap to the Blood Brothers for staying online and giving us a fab weekend of fun), but apocalypses permitting, I’ll be at events in Harrogate, Bute, Edinburgh, Stirling and Newcastle between now and the end of the year, so do say hi.
There have also been more blog tours, which is an opportunity to read books I may not have otherwise known about and is always informative – thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours, Sean Coleman at Red Dog Press and Ewa Sherman at Corylus Books for the invites, I hope I’ve done your books justice. And I’m grateful to the teams at Orenda Books, Polygon Books, No Exit Press, Canongate Books and Muswell Press for sending me #BookPost that makes me feel like a kid in a sweet shop when looking at my TBR stack (and also makes me guilty because I can’t keep up – but I do get there in the end!).
I started an interview strand last summer, called Five By Five, which the lovely and fabulously talented Derek Farrell kicked off for me – do check out the archive, everyone has been really generous with their answers. I have talked several times about books for the Bloody Scotland Book Club, with another instalment coming at the end of July (thanks to Bob McDevitt and the team for inviting me – I hope I don’t ramble on too much, I do get very excited when talking about books I love). I am also currently reading debut crime novels after being invited by Craig Sisterson for a second year to be a judge for New Zealand’s prestigious Ngaio Marsh Awards – it’s a real honour, and allows me to confirm that there’s no shortage of great ideas in the #SouthernCrossCrime #YeahNoir world.
So many people have shared my reviews over this past year, and I really appreciate it – THANK YOU and I’m sorry if I didn’t always share your reviews in return. I do have to single out a few bloggers who have been hugely supportive of my blog, and myself more generally in some tougher times this past year: Mary (Live & Deadly, @bethsy), Gordon (Grab This Book, @grabthisbook), Mairead (Swirl & Thread, @swirlandthread), Sharon (Chapter In My Life, @sbairden), Suze (Suze Reviews, @SuzeCM), Noelle (Crime Book Junkie, @nholten40), Joanne (Portobello Book Blog, @portybelle), Sonja (West Words @westwordsreview). Y’all are super awesome and I hug you madly. Dear readers, follow them all!
I joined the #BeatTheBacklog campaign at the start of the year, in an effort to tackle the TBR mountain. How’s it going? Well, if I said there is a counterpart #BallsToTheBacklog hashtag that I have had to use a couple of times, does that answer your question? 😀 On that note, I’m going to stop writing – those books won’t read themselves, after all…
PS look out for a couple of birthday book giveaways!