Look I love Australia with all of my cold dead heart, but it’s unfair that sometimes fun things happen in cities that are not my own. And so it goes with the Brisbane Writers Festival, as long as I forget that the Melbourne Festival only just finished (as I write this on Sunday night, everyone involved is probably getting fervently hammered and then will be plagued with regrets as they get on planes to Brisbane tomorrow.)
Brisbane is next on the Festival calendar, and the program just looks ace. Here are the events I am going to go to via astral projection, which I better start believing in within the next 24 hours. For tickets and further info, click here and then go clicky on the crime topic.
Friday, September 6
10am: Stuart MacBride, Kenmore Library (free)
Scottish crime writer MacBride, who most recently penned Close to the Bone, will be chatting and signing books.
2pm: Matthew Condon, Queensland Terrace, State Library of Queensland (tickets $12-$16)
I’ve reviewed Condon’s wonderful and fun Toe Tag Quintet before, but here he discusses a more non-fiction side of crime: his book on corruption, Three Crooked Kings.
6:30pm: The Genre Ghetto, The Edge, State Library of Queensland (tickets $20-$25)
A celebration of genre, which should be celebrated because it’s great, from diverse authors like Matt Fraction, Sarah Wendell, Justine Larbalestier, Ben McKenzie, and crime author Stuart MacBride.
Saturday, September 7
10am: The Writer as Detective, Loris Williams Meeting Room, Kuril Dhagun, State Library of Queensland (Sold out, but it was $80-$90 so your bank account thanks you.)
A crime masterclass by Australian author Adrian McKinty. I would love to be all over this, as I really enjoyed I Hear the Sirens in the Street and I (like every other person who works in a bookshop) am currently writing the Great Australian (Crime) Novel. No tickets left, but hopefully some wisdom will be shared through the hive mind (i.e. Twitter.)
4pm: The Scene of the Crime, Queensland Terrace, State Library of Queensland (tickets $12-$16)
You can’t set every crime in the library with a candlestick, so where do you set it? Branch out with authors Angela Savage, author of The Dying Beach, along with Adrian McKinty and Stuart MacBride.
5:30pm: The Ned Kelly Awards, Maiwar Green, State Library of Queensland (free)
Squeak! Only the most exciting night for Australian crime, and this year in a sunny Brisbane location (current weather forecast for Saturday in stupid Melbourne is stupid rain.) The Awards include the Great Crime Debate, with Katherine Howell, Stuart MacBride, Matthew Condon, Jacqui Payne, Terry Hayes, Karina Cavalho and MCd by Jane Clifton. This should be a blast.
Sunday, September 8
11am: Adrian McKinty, Indooroopilly Library (free)
A signing and a chat with Adrian McKinty, author of the wonderful I Hear the Sirens on the Street, which I gushed over a bit here.
1pm: Stuart MacBride, Maiwar Green, State Library of Queensland (tickets $12-$16)
Stuart, who is apparently getting no sleep during this festival, will be discussing why it is that Scotland has so many great crime authors. I’ve never been, so I’m just going to assume the cold keeps people indoors where it’s easier to plot misdeeds.
2pm: Research for Crime Fiction, Bank of Queensland Heritage Collections Learning Room, State Library of Queensland (tickets $80-$90, but it goes for three hours)
Augh, research! So completely necessary, but how do you go about it? MacBride discloses his best techniques for researching your story: I especially like this part from the program guide: “He’ll tell you how to best locate crime experts for advice, and what to ask them when you do.” So, I guess, don’t walk up to police on the street and say, “If I want to shoot someone, what would kill them the slowest?”
3pm: Spoken, Red Box, State Library of Queensland (free)
Sisters in Crime: Queensland are holding a micro-fiction competition; here, with Katherine Howell, you’ll find out who won. I wonder if they’ll win a micro-wave, haha I kill me.
Monday, September 9
6pm: Adrian McKinty, Ipswich Library (I think) (free)
Another man who will probably need to spend the entire post-festival week sleeping, Adrian McKinty will talk and sign books and probably drink fifteen coffees.
If you go to any of these—I’d love to know how they went! Drop a line in the comments below. Feel free to comment if you just want to sigh about not going too.