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!