Monday, 25 July 2016
It's a sign of just how good a time I had at the Harrogate Crime Festival this past week-end that on Friday I completely forgot to post the Forgotten Book piece that I'd written in advance of my trip. Ooops. It will now appear this coming Friday instead! But I really did have a good time at Harrogate, which was looking at its best in the sun. It's a lovely setting for a festival.
I very much enjoyed catching up at length with James, my agent, and discussing with him a wide variety of projects that are in the pipeline for the next twelve months. We also had the chance to reflect on all that has happened in my writing career over the past year - it's been the most exciting time of my writing life. I was also able to give him an update on my latest novel-in-progress. My fiction writing has inevitably taken a back seat lately, but I'm totally committed to it, and although the new novel won't be ready for publication in 2017, it is at least moving forward. Next year will, though, see the publication of The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books and several anthologies that I've edited.
I had the pleasure of meeting Karen Robinson of the Sunday Times Crime Club for the first time, and of attending parties held by Harper Collins and Bonnier. For the annual quiz masterminded by Val McDermid and Mark Billingham, I was invited to join the Little, Brown team, which also included Stav Sherez, and we came second - not quite top of the pile, but still a good result and a very enjoyable evening.
There was also the chance to have dinner with the likes of Barry Forshaw and David Stuart Davies, as well as catching up with a whole host of old friends, such as Ali Karim Alison Joseph and Leigh Russell, all of whom are pictured above outside the Old Swan Hotel, Ricki Thomas, Felix Francis, and many more. The fact the hotel was the place to which Agatha Christie retreated during her notorious disappearance does give the festival an added piquancy. Harrogate's a different sort of event from those wonderful week-ends Crimefest and St Hilda's (I'm very much looking forward to the latter, in mid-August) but has a distinctive atmosphere. And the fantastic weather was a bonus..