Iceland Noir, early morning status update...

24 November 2013

 It’s the unholy hour of nine on a Sunday morning, it’s still night outside as far as I can see and I’m wondering why the hell I’m awake this early. Iceland Noir went with a bang yesterday and most of us up and about well past our usual bedtimes.

It was bloody good yesterday. Not perfect, mind you. Let’s say it wasn’t as good as I would have liked it to have been, but it was so much better than it could have been if my worst fears had been realised.

Saying that, I have nothing whatever to complain about. People showed up. All the authors turned up on time and the panels went smoothly, although there was admittedly some frantic paddling under the surface. Did it show? Who cares? It all worked.

Our big man, Arnaldur Indriðason, was there for his panel and he was great – not that he was alone in that. He was self-deprecatingly funny, interesting and gave us tidbits of insight into his writing style and characters that were fascinating. In fact, none of our speakers were boring. A few were there for their first time at a crime convention of this kind and were clearly nervous (they weren’t the only ones) but they all did magnificently.

The last panel was the one that will probably stay in people’s minds as the selected panel of experts were suitably scurrilous and disreputable under Jake Kerridge’s careful coaxing. It was the plan to let everyone leave with a laugh behind them, and a panel of crime writers behaving badly didn’t disappoint.

It all went well enough for us to be able to announce that there will be an Iceland Noir next year. I’ll have to admit that we had held off saying anything, but as Iceland Noir 2013 wasn’t a dog’s breakfast, we can say that Iceland Noir 2014 will be held around the weekend of the 22nd of November 2014.

We still have to thrash out the details, and it won’t be quite the same format – based on this year’s experience. If anything, it’ll be a longer event over a couple of days of panels and whatnot, but the plan is to keep it small, informal and friendly. Details will be made available as we have them, so watch the www.icelandnoir.com website or the facebook page for details.
On behalf of my partners in crime, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir and Ragnar Jónasson, I’d like to thank everyone who took part, from the management of the Nordic House to the bookshop and restaurant staff, and everyone in between, including the lovely ladies at the All Iceland travel agency.

But most of all, I’d like to thank the really important people - the readers who soak up and revel in crime fiction. There’s a whole apparatus of writers, editors, publishers, translators, marketing types, designers and all the rest of us who produce books, but without the wonderful people who come to listen to us waffle, who buy our books in hardback (thank you...!) and tell their friends to buy them as well, then none of this would happen and some of us would be looking for proper jobs.

So thanks are due all round to everyone for making sure Iceland Noir could happen, but it’s our readers who made all this happen. Thanks, everyone. Hope to see you next year.

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