Beer, Books and Banter: It Must Be the Annual Harrogate Launch Party!

Category: News

Beth Lewis, Charles Cumming, Sarah Hodgson

Fuelled by a delicious new IPA from Yorkshire’s famous Theakston’s Brewery, mini pies and plenty of gossip and chat, a good night was had by all at the programme launch for the 2016 Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Festival, or ‘Harrogate’ as most regular festival-goers refer to it. Speeches were given by Sharon Canavar, CEO of Harrogate Festivals, who confirmed that Harrogate is now the largest dedicated crime festival in the world, Simon Theakston, Executive Director of Theakston’s, who broke the welcome news that the company had just inked a new sponsorship deal with the festival, and finally programming chair Peter James, who both entertained and made the serious point that at the end of the day, it’s all about the books. The Killer Reads team were joined by authors Beth Lewis, who will feature on this year’s New Blood panel for debut authors, and festival favourite Charles Cumming.  This year’s festival, which takes place from 21 – 24 July looks set to be the biggest yet. We hope to see some of you there.

Beth Lewis and her editor Sarah Hodgson 2

Combined - Peter James Beth Lewis Charles Cumming

https://harrogateinternationalfestivals.com/crime/

Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

Category: News

We’re off to Harrogate this week for a festival of criminal goodness. It’s the eleventh annual Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, and we are super excited to have several of our talented authors taking part…

Friday 18th July:

2pm: In Space, No-one Can Hear You Scream…
When is a crime novel not a crime novel? While the genre is closely associated with the drawing room and the dark alley, a new generation of writers are finding crime stories in more unusual places and producing work that laughs in the face of easy shelving. 2014 programming chair Steve Mosby discusses cross-genre crime fiction with Lauren Beukes, James Smythe, Sharon Bolton, and Lavie Tidhar.

10pm: Let’s Twist Again…
Plot twists are a staple of the crime genre, but how essential are they and what makes for a really memorable one? Alex Barclay, S. J. Parris, Simon Kernick, and Nick Stone discuss how important and effective a last-minute (or midway) reversal can be, how they go about developing the rug-pulls in their own fiction, and some of their favourite famous twists and turns.

Saturday 19th July:

2pm: The New Wave of Forensics
Modern methods of detection have transformed the crime genre, and readers are a savvy bunch – so how vital is research for today’s crime writers, and how do they go about it? David Hewson talks to Paul Finch, Dave Barclay, Elizabeth Haynes and Tony Thompson about their experiences with forensics, gangsters and police procedure.

3.30pm: How Safe Is Your Smartphone?
From Wikileaks to Edward Snowden, the public has been given glimpses into a world of international espionage that increasingly resembles the most hi-tech of thrillers, raising issues of privacy, security and trust. Chair Hilary Bonner asks Charles Cumming, Terry Hayes, Alan Judd and Tom Wood, four writers of globe-trotting, spy-filled thrillers, to discuss their work, their research, and how they maintain their fictional footing on such ever-advancing technological terrain.

We’d love to see you there, but if you can’t make it, fear not – we’ll be live-tweeting from the festival, and taking lots of pics! Hope you enjoy the show…

Crime Fest ad FINAL

Guest post from Anya Lipska: Notes from a Harrogate panel novice

Category: News

where the devil cant goEarlier this week we shared Kate’s trip to Harrogate last weekend, but what is the festival like from an author perspective? Anya Lipska shares her experience…

Theakstons Crime Festival in Harrogate is Europe’s biggest crime fiction event and an annual highlight for writers and hardcore fans of the genre, so when Val McDermid chose me to appear on her ‘New Blood’ panel showcasing debut authors, to say I was chuffed would be a howling understatement.

When I climbed down off the ceiling, it dawned on me that the biggest audience I’d ever faced was six members of a book club in the back room of my local pub, an informal affair involving much pinot grigio. Clearly, I would need a bit of pre-match training if I wasn’t going to freeze, faint or gibber in front of what I was told would be a big crowd of crime aficianados. Luckily, I had a date in the diary to speak to a reading group at Barking Library, which was an enjoyable and useful dry run in finding out what people were – and weren’t – interested in hearing from an author.

On the big day, I was asked to turn up half an hour early to get miked up by a sound engineer in the ‘Green Room’, where I met lovely fellow panellists Malcolm Mackay, Colette McBeth and Derek B Miller. And then, in came the ‘Queen of Crime’ herself. I’ve been a fan of Val McDermid’s work ever since I was gripped by the atmospheric A Place of Execution, so meeting her in person was a treat in itself. Val’s something of a legend as a panel moderator and had clearly developed the knack of putting us at our ease. The key thing to remember, she told us, was that the audience were passionate crime fans and that they “wanted to love us.” She told us she’d be asking four main questions: what our books were about; what had drawn us to crime; our journey to publication; and a sneak preview of the book we were currently working on.
And then we were entering a vast room, a good 40 metres long, bubbling with chatter, and mounting the stairs to the stage. The event was sold out, with some 300 people in the audience. Barking Library this wasn’t.

I was pretty nervous at first, but as it went on I began to enjoy myself and by the end, I was disappointed to find it was over! People said they enjoyed my contribution and I signed a lot of books so hopefully I didn’t made a complete ass of myself… And now that I know what to expect, and how warmly supportive an audience of enthusiastic readers can be, I’m itching to do the next one.

Find out more about Anya on her website: www.anyalipska.com
You can also follow Anya on Twitter @anyalipska

Anya’s book, Where The Devil Can’t Go, is out now – read a fantastic review of it here.