Going to Iceland Noir was nothing like what I had expected. When I first arrived there I felt very small among the literary giants and was sure they would look down on me as a beginner and my comments would be considered ill-advised and naive. Boy, was I wrong.
The crime writing community is lovely. It is full of wonderful people that support each other and every voice is heard no matter where it’s coming from. I was among family and I was among friends, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and it will forever linger in my memory.
At the convention I spoke at two panels. The first panel was the New Blood panel where I was one of the Icelandic debut novelists this year, the others were: Ingvi Thór Kormáksson, Kistján Atli Ragnarsson and Óskar Guðmundsson. Quentin Bates was our moderator and he asked us questions about the books. I was lucky to be among such wonderful newcomers and I am sure we will all meet again someday.
My next panel was about Crime Fiction as Social Commentary where David Swatling was the moderator. There I was speaking with Barbara Nadel, Helen Cadbury and Valentina Giambanco. The panel was very interesting and touched upon many different but equally important social stigmas that we as authors are writing about or around. I was truly honored to be a part of this discussion and it opened my mind to how important the author’s voice is in driving the changes we want to see in society.
I didn’t only speak at panels but I also made great friends. Crime novelists are surprisingly friendly, in spite of their chosen profession, and there is more support within the group for each member than in any other group I’ve been a part of in my life. We all want each other to succeed, which is a refreshing point-of-view in comparison to the cutthroat academic environment I have been forced to grow accustomed to, as even a great author such as Sara Blædel took the time to praise me. This is the way it should be and I look forward to keeping in touch with the wonderful people I met.
A picture with two of the amazing authors I met, on the left I’m in the company of Yrsa Sigurðardóttir and on the right I’m doing a selfie with Helen Cadbury!