Debut crime novelist Diana Bretherick gives us a crime-fan’s-eye view of the ITV Crime Thriller Awards. Prepare to get jealous.
Back in August, my novel City of Devils was selected for the ITV3 Crime Thriller Book Club. On Thursday evening I went to the award ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, London. Just writing that seems surreal, but then the whole evening had something of a dreamlike quality.
Nothing quite prepares you for suddenly being ushered on to the red carpet and facing a bank of photographers all shouting your name and asking you to look this way and that, as if you were some kind of film star. I felt as if I had accidentally stepped into another world.
This feeling didn’t go away once I went into the ballroom where the dinner and awards ceremony was held. It was packed with TV detectives and crime writers as well as publishers, agents and journalists.
Everywhere I looked there was a familiar face. Rupert Penry Jones from Silks and Whitechapel, the cast of Arne Dahl, Idris Elba from Luther, Jason Isaacs from Case Histories, Peter James, Mark Billingham, Martina Cole – it was a crime fiction fan’s dream come true.
After some chatting and champagne-drinking (oh, the suffering I do for my art!) we all took our seats (complete with complimentary reading glasses supplied by our hosts).
On my left was thriller writer Robert Wilson and on my right, Ian Rankin – two of my favourite crime novelists. They were both extremely good company, and so very generous with their advice for a new writer. I couldn’t have had better dinner companions.
The awards ceremony took a while, with retakes and a few jokes that I doubt made it onto the TV screen. At the very end it was my turn as a nominee. I sat and watched my clip played on a big screen with everyone looking on. Cameramen surrounded our table to record my reaction. I just kept smiling and laughing. It just didn’t seem real.
Then the winner’s name was read out, and unfortunately it wasn’t me – though I have to say, in all honesty, it really didn’t matter. Just being there, meeting all those interesting people and experiencing the whole thing was something I shall never forget.
Congratulations to all the winners (and my fellow nominees).
Diana Bretherick’s first novel City of Devils is out now in paperback. To find out the winners of the awards, head to our winners post.