Thursday, April 29, 2010

A touch of Kiwi at this year's Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate

Although its history doesn't trace back as far as some literary festivals, the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival quickly established itself as a shining light on the European books scene, after the inaugural version back in 2003.

The upcoming 2010 version of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate is touted as featuring "one of its strongest line-ups yet", and from a look at the authors in attendance, it would be hard to argue. It's a crime fiction lovers paradise, with numerous 'big names' and legends mixed with exciting newcomers and authors on the rise. Events range from panel discussions to murder mystery dinners to quizes to the presentation of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. All presided over by 'bearded write-ist' Stuart MacBride, the clown prince of sinister Scottish crime.

I am gutted, absolutely gutted, that I won't be going (originally I had planned on attending Harrogate this year, but circumstances have conspired against me). However, there is a pleasant 'touch of Kiwi' at the festival, with both Christchurch's Paul Cleave and Dunedin-based Liam McIlvanney (pictured right) appearing. It's great to see some high quality New Zealand-based crime writers getting some great recognition and exposure in this way.

This year's festival takes place on July 22 to 25 at The Crown Hotel, Harrogate. Highlights includes a celebration of 120 years of Agatha Christie, special guest appearances from Jeffrey Deaver, Christopher Brookmyre and Jeff Lindsay and the much anticipated introduction to the "new blood" writers – a showcase of the most exciting emerging talent on the scene.

Both Cleave and McIlvanney are appearing at events on the Saturday. From the programme:

Saturday 24th July 2010

New BloodInternational best-seller and Festival favourite Val McDermid introduces four bright new talents in crime fiction, Attica Locke, Liam McIlvanney, Belinda Bauer and Stuart Neville. An essential insight into names to watch for the coming years.

“No, I’m Ian Rankin.”
Pretty much every new writer of crime fiction is held up as “the next Ian Rankin” at some point – journalistic shorthand, or is it just laziness? The man himself talks fiction and friction with four of the biggest pretenders to his throne, Allan Guthrie, Alex Gray, Chris Simms and Paul Cleave (pictured left).

You can see the full programme of events here.
It should be a wonderful few days, packed with lots of interesting events. I'm crossing my fingers that I can make it next year - and/or that we can get several of those international authors down here for some events alongside our authors down here in New Zealand (wouldn't that be great?).
So, are you heading to Harrogate? Do you like attending author events, whether small individual ones or larger festivals? What is the favourite festival or event you've ever been to? Thoughts and comments welcome.

1 comment:

  1. (I was unable to find your contact information, hence the comment.)

    Book Review Request: Revenge Served Cold

    At this time, we are sending out a copy of a new contemporary women's fiction/suspense novel, Revenge Served Cold, to bloggers for review. This light murder mystery by author Jackie Fullerton is an easy read with a very likeable protagonist.

    Kathy Spence awakens in the middle of the night and finds herself in a living nightmare. Her husband has been run down and she is the primary suspect. Terrified for her future, Kathy turns to amateur sleuth Anne Marshall for help. Anne, with the help of her dearly departed father's ghost, uncovers proof of a conspiracy that reaches from Kathy's past and threatens her own life.

    The link for Revenge Served Cold on Amazon is:

    I'd love to send you a copy of the book for you to review on your blog. The author is also available for an author interview.

    Thank you for considering the idea.
    I look forward to hearing from you.