The CWA Dagger in the Library Longlist was announced earlier today and, as you will see when you click on the link, I'm on it. This is all the more satisfying because it is down to YOU - the readers and librarians who have followed my career since I was first published - I simply can't thank you enough. Congratulations to my fellow nominees - some of whom are friends - it's an honour to be named alongside you. I'm only sad that my dad isn't around to share this news. He died in May but I know he'd have been enormously proud. This one is for him.
The Harrogate Crime Writing Festival takes place every July. The highlight of the year for those who love crime fiction, it brings together readers, bloggers, writers and publishing professionals from across the globe to discuss how best to commit the ultimate crime or just chill out at the Old Swan.
This year was especially exciting for me. I was involved in the first panel of the festival - The Good Old Days - exploring different routes to publishing with Mark Edwards, James Oswald, Mel Sherratt and Martyn Waites. We all had a brilliant time, so thanks to all who came to cheer us on.
For me, it was like coming of age at a festival that has held my hand and become such a big part of my journey to publication since I attended Creative Thursday many years ago. This is what a happy author looks like.
The panels I caught this year were wonderfully diverse, covering such a lot of ground. They were fun and informative and I heard much praise for the programming chair this year. I remember what a popular choice Steve Mosby was when his appointment was announced. There were no dissenting voices then and none as the weekend drew to a close.
Congratulations to him and all committee members: Jane Gregory, David Shelley, NJ Cooper, Val McDermid and festival reader in residence, David Mark. Thanks to Sharon Canavar and all festival staff who worked so hard to make it happen. Like any good party, it looked like it had taken no effort at all.
Congratulation must also go to a terrific bunch of readers who joined me at the Murder Mystery Dinner on Saturday night, an evening hosted by the very talented Ann Cleeves. I was delighted when Hannah’s 8 were proclaimed the winners, each winning a signed copy of one of Ann’s books, two of whom won a signed copy of a first edition hardback.
I’ll just finish with ten things people may or may not have said at Harrogate, some you might understand, some not. If not, make sure you join us next year.
1. I'm rubbish at taking a selfie.
2. Have you seen so and so.
3. We follow each other on Twitter.
4. I’m feeling rather shabby.
5. The only place you can have breakfast sitting next to your heroes.
6. Steve Mosby has done a fantastic job!
7. They’ve sold out of your books.
8. Stav was only asleep for an hour and a half before his panel.
9. Where are they serving this Mosby cake?
10. They ran out of beer . . . again!
If you love crime fiction, put Harrogate 2015 in your diary. It takes place between 16th and the 19th July. See you there!
Apologies to US readers. I should have mentioned this a while ago but it went out of my head following my father's sudden death. I'm delighted to announce that Harper Collins/Witness Impulse have offered for two more in the Kate Daniels series so, to all of you who've asked, there are more on their way! As soon as I know publication dates, I'll post them here. Thanks for your continued support.
Wow! If anyone had taken a punt on how far I'd go in the two years following publication and come up with the list below, I'd have looked around for the men in white coats. Yes, today is only the second anniversary of my debut THE MURDER WALL hitting the book shelves and it has far outweighed my expectations.
Two years. Four books in print. A further contract with UK publisher Pan Macmillan. The Polari Prize 2013. An ebook deal with Harper Collins/Witness Impulse in the US which morphed into a physical deal and the publication of three books in three consecutive months late last year. Appearances at Crimefest, Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival and Iceland Noir to look forward to, among others . . .
I'd like to acknowledge all who have helped along the way: publishing staff who have worked tirelessly on my behalf on both sides of the Atlantic, my fabulous agent Oli Munson at A.M. Heath and Blake Friedmann Literary, Film & TV Agency before that, every festival and library who have invited me to spread the word about Kate Daniels. None of this would have happened without the hardworking booksellers and librarians who have recommended the series to the public. I must also mention every single person who has taken the trouble to write to me, tweeted with/for me or reviewed my books and, most importantly, the readers. You are all amazing. Thank you.
As a Northern Writers' Award winner, I was delightled to be one of the first authors to make a video, a chance to showcase the region I write about, my favourite part of the world.
The site has launched today. It's free to join and there is a chance to win a complete set of the Kate Daniels crime fiction series. Click on the BVBC logo above and take a look for yourself.