This is the second post in a series where authors are invited to share their experience of book festivals around the world. In this one Thomas Enger from Norway describes his Bloody Scotland experience.
I was so excited when I heard that I was going to Bloody Scotland. I had heard so many great things about the festival, and because I would get the chance to go to Stirling as well – a city filled with history – I knew I was in for a treat.
And boy, what a treat it was.
I arrived on the Friday afternoon and went straight into the Golden Lion to get my passes and to have a drink with my publisher and some familiar faces. Then straight to the Stirling Castle where Denise Mina picked up the McIlvanney Award for best Scottish crime novel of the year. Then there was the HUGE torch procession from the castle to downtown Stirling. Simply stunning and very atmospheric. I don’t know how many thousand pictures I took.
I knew the Saturday would be a hectic one, as I had agreed to play for Scotland in the Scotland vs England football match, a game that ended (with a fabulous 6-3 win for Scotland) only 40 minutes prior to my panel with Lin Anderson and Ragnar Jonasson. I had to run like a crazy man (after having run like a crazy man for 2×30 mins) to my hotel room for a shower, then head over to the venue. All warm and sweaty still I sat down at the panel and performed a piano piece I wrote for my Henning Juul books. I was a bit nervous beforehand, because it wasn’t my piano, and it was a bit tight for space up there on stage, but it went fine. The crowd responded exactly the way I had hoped for, with a nice round of applause.
Thomas cooling down after the football match in the green room! Photo by Bloody Scotland
I’m used to people showing up for panels, but in this case it was just phenomenal. Our event was sold out, I think it was 300 seats, and we all signed a lot of books afterwards. A very fun event, I think. People seemed to get a few laughs at least. Hope we made some sense up there on stage (even though Ragnar and I were still high from our legendary 6-3 win).
The festival was far from over after that. I had heard about Crime at the Coo, so I thought that might be a cool thing to participate in. For the first time in my life I actually SANG as well as played the piano in front of a live audience. So glad no one filmed that. But it was good fun. I performed a freshly composed song for the event, a song I named Bloody Beautiful Scotland. You can listen to it here if you want.
Sadly I had to leave early the next morning because of a tour back home in Norway, but I left Scotland with so many fond memories and new friendships. Everything went smoothly, and I cannot thank the organisers enough for making this one of the truly best crime festivals there is. Please invite me back.
You can listen to some of Thomas’s Music here
If you would like to read more author book festival experiences you can check out this