I got back home this afternoon after a truly exhilarating time at the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival at Harrogate. It was great to catch up with old friends and also to meet some nice people for the very first time.
This was the very first time I've been asked to be on a panel at Harrogate. The title was 'Legal Eagles' and it proved to be a real treat. This was due in no small measure to the fact that it was very well moderated by an eminent Yorkshire lawyer, Peter McCormick. I've known of him for many years, but we'd never met before.
My fellow panel members were a delightfully diverse group. The brilliant Frances Fyfield is someone I've been lucky enough to know for a long time, but M.R. Hall is a barrister turned novelist I've met more recently, having twice shared a platform with him at Crimefest. Helen Black, a solicitor whose work has been compared to Martina Cole's, is a friend of a friend whom I'd only met very fleetingly in the past.
It was a really enjoyable session, and the hour flew by. The feedback from audience members was great, and I felt thrilled to be speaking at the hotel most famous as the place where Agatha Christie hid during her disappearance in 1926. Quite a place, quite a weekend.