Sunday 16 December 2007

Crime Festivals

The programming committee for the 2008 Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival at Harrogate next July has just announced the list of those who will be appearing. The big names include Peter Robinson, Robert Crais, Anne Perry, and Tess Gerritsen. And I’m pleased to say that my name appears on the roster too - for the very first time.

It won’t, though, be the first time that I’ve had some involvement with the Harrogate Festival, though. Last year I hosted a group of visiting American crime fans, and the year before, The Coffin Trail reached the final short-list of six for the Theakston’s prize for best crime novel of 2006. That was a memorable evening – up on the stage with the likes of Ian Rankin. Val McDermid was the eventual winner and I met for the first time another short-listed writer, Lindsay Ashford, who writes an enjoyable series set in mid-Wales. I have plenty of fond memories of the Festival and I’m much looking forward to July.

I think it’s possible for any writer to learn a lot from some of the discussions at a crime festival. It’s good to catch up with friends, and there’s a chance to meet readers whose knowledge of the genre is as impressive as their enthusiasm for it. In 2008, there’s a bonus for British-based crime fans, in that Bristol will host CrimeFest in June. This is a new bi-annual event, established by the people who organised the very successful Left Coast Crime last year.

I’m also hoping to attend Bouchercon in Baltimore next October, together with – possibly – Malice Domestic in Washington in the spring. Both events combine the opportunity to meet people with a common interest with scope for sight-seeing in a fascinating city.

The only snag at the moment, therefore, is figuring out when I will find time to write the next Lake District Mystery…..


Juliet said...

Hmmm, too busy going to writers' conferences to write . . . Can see how that could become a bit of a problem. Maybe it will have to be a cyclical thing. You attend conferences until your last novel was published so long ago you don't qualify as a delegate. And then write some more novels until you're the next big thing all over again!

It's that day-job thing - it's getting in the way of your life of crime . . .

Karen (Euro Crime) said...

I think you should be grounded until the next Lakes book is finished. I don't like this waiting around for a new book :-). When's Hannah going to give Mark the elbow ...

Glad to hear Crime-Fest is bi-annual. I enjoyed their LCC very much.