At a hilarious and fascinating panel chaired by Jake Kerridge we heard Natalie Haines talking about the cross over between crime and comedy. She quoted Aristotle who said crime and comedy are "both cathartic" and made us all laugh with her accounts of how she is longer funny.
Talking about his 3,000 interviews, Mark Lawson told us "it's not true that I haven't been interviewed by me... the technology is there...you sometimes tell yourself more than you'd tell other people." He thought Dizzy Rascal was the most enjoyable interviewee, and the wonderful PDJames whom he interviewed for her 70th, 80th and 90th birthdays.
The prolific Sarah Pinborough told us how she wrote her first Torchwood novel, and moved on to write for New Tricks. She also talked about her sci-fi following. Asked about the difference between crime fans and sci- fi fans, she was diplomatic: "They're both lovely groups of people... there are less costumes at crime conventions". She turned to writing crime because she has always been "a crime nerd". She wanted to write a book that was "properly sad. It's about grief and love."
Tony Parsons talked about his experience and how things have changed. "You don't anticipate there will come a point in your life when Bruce Springsteen is not cuddling you in a vest... and then it slips away..." He talked about the impact of technology. "There were probably blacksmiths who thought people are always going to need horse shoes." Now "the culture is starting to catch up with the technology." But, he added, "Newspapers will never die." He started writing crime because he has always been a fan of the genre, and "I like the idea of bumping off rich and powerful people."
Mark Lawson put the case that there is really no such thing as crime fiction, because crime is at the core of most fiction.