I’ll be appearing at the Irish Crime Fiction festival on 22-23 November at Trinity College Dublin. OK, appearing isn’t quite the right word, is it? I’ll be attending, as an ordinary punter, with a free ticket.

Irish Crime Fiction Festival  poster (click for larger version)

Irish Crime Fiction Festival poster (click for larger version)

TCD’s School of English is running the event in the Long Room Hub in conjunction with Glucksman Ireland House and New York University. Here are some of the highlights I’m looking forward to…

Friday 22 November

7-8.30pm: “A Short Introduction to Crime Fiction: Why We Write It, How We Write It, and Why We Read It”.
Panelists: Jane Casey, John Connolly, Alan Glynn, Declan Hughes and Eoin McNamee.

Saturday 23 November

10-11.15am: “Historical Crime Fiction”
Panelists: Conor Brady, Kevin McCarthy, Eoin McNamee (chair), Stuart Neville, and Michael Russell.

McNamee hails from County Down and now lives in Sligo. His novels include Resurrection Man, which was later made into a film, and The Blue Tango which was longlisted for the Booker.

I’m really looking forward to seeing Michael Russell for the first time. The Wicklow-based writer has an extensive background in TV crime drama in Britain, including The Bill, Between the Lines, The Chief and A Touch of Frost. Oh, and Midsomer Murders (sorry, I’m not a fan, even when it’s dubbed on French TV and called Inspector Barnaby) and Heartbeat*.

He is the author of the “Stefan Gillespie” historical detective novels, The City of Shadows and The City of Strangers, set in Ireland in the 1930s and 1940s, and in many of the major cities that played an important part in the lead up to the Second World War.

Check out his website, which currently has a free short story, An Act of Contrition, set in West Wicklow in 1925.

11.30am-12.45pm: ‘Irish Crime Fiction Abroad’.
Panelists: Declan Burke (chair), Jane Casey, John Connolly, Conor Fitzgerald, Alan Glynn, Arlene Hunt.

I’ve seen Declan Burke chairing roundtables and interviews before, and he’s the perfect erudite, witty host. Nothing seems to faze him – even when the sound broke down during the recent public event at Trinity when he interviewed PD James. Besides his novels, he’s a prolific crime fiction reviewer and runs the Crime Always Pays blog.

12.45pm: lunch

1.30-3.30pm: Surprise Film Screening

3.45-5pm: ‘Crime Fiction and Contemporary Ireland’.
Panelists: Paul Charles, Declan Hughes, Gene Kerrigan, Brian McGilloway (chair), Niamh O’Connor, Louise Phillips.

6pm: Closing Event – ‘An Evening With Michael Connelly’.
For the Irish launch of his newest novel, The Gods of Guilt (Orion Books), Michael Connelly will be interviewed by John Connolly in the Exam Hall.

Declan Burke writes on his blog that “I believe Michael slips in under FIFA’s ‘grandparent rule’; his Irish roots are to be found in north Cork, I think.”

Read more

Find out more about the event on the Irish Crime Fiction website.

* How come a cop drama is supposed to be set in the 10 years of the Sixties, and was on our screens for 18 years? It’s one of life’s mysteries, a bit like how The Sullivans was set in the five years of the Second World War, and ran for seven years from 1976 to 1983.