This year the annual Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate took place from 21 – 24 July. I always look forward to it because not only is it a fabulous festival packed with crime writing panel and events, but it’s also a chance to catch up with my writer mates. This year was no exception, in fact I think it was the best yet!
I arrived a day early, on the Wednesday, as my panel was scheduled for 9.30am the next day. I’d been intending to travel by train, but 10 minutes before I was due to leave for the station I got an alert on my phone telling me that my train was cancelled (the rails were a casualty of the immensely hot weather the previous two days). So, instead, I jumped in the car and drove the four plus hours to Harrogate.
On Thursday I attended the opening of Creative Thursday, by festival chair and wonderful author, Denise Mina, and then it was time to get to work and onto the Creative Thursday Alumni panel with Mari Hannah, Lesley Thomson, and David Bishop. It was a lot of fun to be on a panel with these brilliant authors and the time flew past! It was lovely to meet the participants of Creative Thursday, and chat to them about their writing journeys during the coffee break, before they continued on to workshops with the fantastic Vaseem Khan, and Greg and Kate Mosse.
Over the next few days I caught up with writer friends old and new, met fabulous editors Leodora Darlington and Victoria Haslam for the first time in person (having joined my publisher in Covid times our meetings have been virtual until now), and met up with my brilliant agent, Oli Munson. I also attended Luca Veste’s book launch for his latest (wonderful) novel You Never Said Goodbye, and the hugely fun Thomas & Mercer party. Other top highlights were seeing the legends that are Michael Connelly and Mark Billingham on stage, and meeting Michael Connelly.
There really is no place like Harrogate Festival.
I’m already counting the days until next year!