Sunday, 31 December 2017

2017 - People

In this last blog post of 2017, I'd like to thank everyone who reads this blog for stopping by during the year. And special thanks to those whose comments and emails have so often made my day. Over the past 48 hours, I've talked about publications and places that made this a great year for me, but it's right to end the year with reflections on the most important subject of all - people. I can only mention a handful of those who have played a welcome part in my year, but here are a few recollections before I wish you all the best for the next twelve months.

I had the pleasure of presenting a well-deserved Red Herring award to Barry Forshaw, a tireless champion of crime fiction and of the CWA. On the same evening, I also presented the CWA Diamond Dagger to Ann Cleeves: for both of us, it was a slightly surreal moment, given that we've been friends for so long, and many of those years weren't exactly crammed with glittering prizes. Great fun, though. On the subject of the CWA, I'd like to make special mention of my colleagues on the CWA Board, whose support makes a rather time-consuming role pleasurable to undertake. They are a great set of people. And the same is true of my colleagues in the Detection Club: special mention here for Simon Brett and Michael Jecks, whose help is invaluable. Nobody can lead anything effectively without backing from others, and I'm very lucky in this regard. The same goes for authors, their agents and publishers, of course, and my thanks go to James Wills for his work on my behalf, and the various lovely publishers I work with - special mention to Rob Davies and his colleagues at the British Library; it was great spending time with Rob in the UAE back in March.

Inevitably, there were sad moments when friends or acquaintances died. Among fellow crime writers, the death of Peter Walker was quite a blow. We met for the last time in Februrary, at the very same place we first met 30 years earlier, the Crown Hotel in Boroughbridge. Peter introduced me to CWA meetings and was a great guy, much missed. Marion Babson and Colin Dexter were also people I'd known a long time, though less well. I have fond memories of Colin ringing me up and offering to contribute a story to Mysterious Pleasures, and also of our last meeting, in Oxford, when he presented me with an inscribed copy of one of the scripts for Lewis. Sue Grafton, whose death has just been announced, is someone I met very briefly a couple of times. I have a vivid memory of sitting next to her at my first overseas Bouchercon, and comparing her colossal line of fans with books to be signed with mine, which was....short. Nothing like that sort of thing for reminding you of your place in the food chain! She was a charming woman and a good writer.

Finally, thanks again to all those who have made this year a really special one for me. Not least my long-suffering family, Helena, Jonathan, and Catherine. Here's hoping that 2018 will bring you what you wish for.



Margot Kinberg said...

Happy New Year, Martin. All the best to you and yours, now and always.

Fiona said...

Wishing you and yours a prosperous, peaceful, happy and healthy new year.....and here's to the speedy appearance of your next Lakeland book!