Shauna Bickley

This Time Last Year… Harrogate

Posted on Sunday 19th July 2020 by Shauna Bickley

Coming back from a wonderful trip around Italy you’d think it would be almost impossible to find something else quite as exciting, but hang on just a minute, after Italy I was on my way to Harrogate and the Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival.

From the time we first began planning our Europe trip I had this visit in the calendar and bought my tickets as soon as they went on sale. I’ve been to a few festivals before but nothing on this scale, and I hadn’t visited Harrogate before either. It is a lovely city and I enjoyed the time I had wandering around and getting to know it. Holding the festival at Agatha Christie’s old haunt, The Old Swan Hotel only adds to the atmosphere and anticipation. It’s a fabulous venue. As if that wasn’t enough excitement I was meeting up with some Kiwi writer friends there as well.

The size of the festival and the number of people in each session was astounding, but oh, those writers. I was able to listen to some of my crime writing heroes and to meet a few of them as well. In addition, it was wonderful to mix with so many other avid readers.

There were so many amazing sessions it’s hard to limit myself and pick out one or two favourites but the Antipodean Noir session didn’t disappoint, Ian Rankin interviewing Harlan Coban was a laugh a minute (obviously they’re good friends), and Nicola Sturgeon interviewing The Queen of Crime, Val McDermid was a definite must-see.

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