Well for us, 2007 MWF finished about lunchtime today, after our final session with Michael Robotham, Adrian Hyland and Alexander McCall-Smith.
I need to apologise - I fully intended to write daily reports but welllllllll ....... Helen and Sunnie are fun to have around and somehow, getting to a computer to do anything meaningful (that you had to think about without laughing all the time) sort of got difficult. And then Helen infected me with her brutal cold - so I'm thinking through a haze of cotton wool at the moment. So I'll do some full reports from our night at the Neds through to each panel session when I can over the next few weeks.
In short, the highlights of this festival have been:
First and foremost the company - it's fabulous to spend time with people who not only share your reading DNA but your sense of fun and the utterly ridiculous. As has become the standard at these 4MA gatherings we ate, drank, giggled, laughed, crossworded, read, deep and meaningfully discussed everything from books through to life, and back again for more. We shopped (books and chocolate of course) and we spent some quiet times - mostly while Helen and Adam were trying to solve the Sudoku and Sunnie was trying to work out the name of the Mountain range that Flinders sits on - but most we spent time in good company and we enjoyed ourselves.
Secondly - to see Adrian Hyland win the Ned for best First Crime Novel was a thrill for all of us - WE TOLD YOU it was a good book - and we'll keep saying it. The joy of having all aspects of this country told with our voice never ceases to thrill me to my core - and to have THE BROKEN SHORE, CHAIN OF EVIDENCE by Garry Disher and then DIAMOND DOVE by Adrian Hyland continue to tell our story just makes my toes curl with happiness.
Thirdly - to finally get to tell the author of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN - John Ajvide Lindqvist just how much I loved that book - and not have him leap from his chair and run screaming into the day - made my day absolutely. To be given just a few glimpses into the background to that book, the story he was telling was a great privilege. All of that, and he's hilarious into the bargain - we ended up with 3 sessions that I'll remember for many years to come.
Adam got very excited about the sessions he saw on Copyright and Cyberspace - and all I can say is Cory Doctorow must be one hell of an author - because he made copyright fun and he got Adam to read 2 books in a week!
We also got down and into some fascinating political sessions, as well as media analysis and I ended up with lots of books on the subject of the Australian Media - one I couldn't help buying because Philip Adams sat two or three tables away from us in the festival club one afternoon and tut tutted and muttered agreement over it page by page. I have never been so desperate to get hold of a non-fiction book before in my life.
This was the last year for the festival at the Malthouse Theatre - we've been to many festival events at the Malthouse over the years and the secluded location has given such a family feeling to the event we await 2008 with some trepidation as well as anticipation (after all we'll just be around the corner from our fabulous festival opening dinner location!) but believe me we'll be back again.
Just a small, minor plea if the festival organisers happen to be watching. Please could we have some more local crime authors. Whilst it was very pleasing to see Garry Disher at the Neds, and Kerry Greenwood in the audience with the rest of us, and we're certainly very very grateful for the increasing numbers of crime writers - both international and local - we'd love to hear a little more from the homegrown bunch.
Greedy bunch that we are - somehow 16 sessions by 6 or sometimes 4 of us - just didn't seem enough this year.
(Don't forget to click on the MWF link above to see all the odds and ends of blogs, photos and general ramblings associated with this year's MWF).