With all the excitement over the proof copies, I didn’t even have time to write about my trip to Harrogate for the Theakston’s Old Peculier crime writing festival.
At first I was a bit suspicious. As a baby author, I wasn’t on any of the panels. I also didn’t know a lot of authors – my first book, The Long, Long Afternoon, was launched in lockdown, so I never had much opportunity to schmooze with other authors. And there’s a financial aspect too, the tickets, the travel, the accommodation…
But I am so glad I went. Harrogate is one of the mainstays of the crime writing calendar and an absolute icon on the festival circuit. For good reason. This is one of the few festivals where authors, bloggers, editors, agents and readers get to mix freely. It is an incredibly friendly event where everyone is happy to chat.
My highlight was a talk with Lucy Foley and CL Taylor, two absolute legends of the crime writing world. I learned so much from their approach to writing and creativity, and I was delighted that CL Taylor switches in between pantsing and planning her books just like I do. Both authors were so open and chatty that you got a real insight into their creative process, rather than just standard phrases about inspiration and perseverance.
I also got to meet a bunch of stars in publishing. Book bloggers Dan from the Cribbs Causeway Waterstones in Bristol and Jules Swain, the tweeting paramedic, were so incredibly kind and supportive during my lockdown launch that I couldn’t wait to say Hi and a big Thank You. And I got my book signed by Denise Mina, an absolute faint-moment for this fangirl 😀
More impressions below, with Mick Herron, Stu Cummins, Charlotte Vas, Denise Mina, Jules Swain and TM Logan.