Harrogate . . . and beyond?

Okay, I qualify as ‘old’! I can be ‘peculier’! (That’s how Theakstons spell it!) I love ‘crime’ and ‘writing’ and ‘festivals’ so . . . the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is probably my perfect event. What am I talking about – probably? Tch!

IMG_0270We have just got back from this year’s event at the Old Swan in Harrogate. We met up with old friends – the dynamic duo of Kerry Richardson and Eileen Wharton, the calm and demure Jo Evans and Scott, the ebullient and ever present Kurt from Liechtenstein, and the always smiling David Penny. We made new friends – newbie Robert from Dumbarton, dour Frank from Glasgow, Keith and Karen Langham from Northumberland and mid-Atlantic PR lady, Lauren.

We consorted with, photo bombed and stalked after celebs from the dark, literary world of crime drama. Alcohol was invariably a feature!

IMG_0271The highlights for me were the Eddie Izzard/Mark Billingham and Lee Child/Rory Bremner panels and listening to the enigmatic powerhouse that is Paul Abbott.

IMG_0275Creative Thursday was an eye opener – tremendously informative and helpful. We learned a lot from those who know, those who have made a career out of writing for TV and radio, those who want US to know what THEY know! Big shout-out for Isabelle Grey, Gaby Chiappe, Kirsteen Cameron, Shelly Silas and Simon Brett. Many thanks! We’ve already booked for 2016 and hope to do Crime Fest in Bristol in May.

A successful pitch in Dragons’ Pen (thumbs up from all three Dragons – two agents and a BBC R4 drama producer) is making me feel as if I have almost arrived and, although that may seem a tad presumptive, ‘hutzpah’ is everything in this world! Unbelievable gall, you may think, but when Mark Billingham (yes, THE Mark Billingham!) tells you it was a great pitch and ‘you had them in 15 seconds’, then there is, I think, room to be quietly confident. (Quietly? Who am I kidding?) Bottom rung on the ladder but, hey, one small step for man etc!!

Quote of the weekend from new friend Keith Langham after being advised that it pays to put what you have written in a drawer for two weeks and then take it out again to restart .. . .

‘You will either think . . . ‘Did I write that shit?’ or ‘Did I write that? SHIT!!’

To rub shoulders with such literary illuminati as Val McDermid, Ann Cleeves, Mark Billingham, Lee Child, Belinda Bauer and many, many others was a joy!

We are back home now. Sad that the whole jamboree is behind us but fired up to get back onto the laptop and just . . . do it!! And our haul this year was:- 20 books, four pens, two bottles of wine, one bottle of Old Peculier, one box of chocolates and a partridge in a pear tree!

Tara for now!


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