So I'm off to Harrogate on Thursday. It feels odd saying that because, as most of you will know, I lived there from 1982 to 2007 and still feel very much a Harrogatian. (If there is such a word.)
I am not a crime writer nor do I read a huge amount of crime fiction but I have attended the Festival over several years and seen it grow from a small event to what it is today, attracting this year luminaries such as Ruth Rendell and Lee Child. I went initially because it was on my doorstep but it also introduced me to writers new to me. For instance, I'd heard of Ian Rankin but never read any of his Rebus novels. Hearing him being interviewed started me off on reading the whole series from start to where he'd got to at the time and then have bought every susequent novel as soon as it was published. It was fascinating to see how, over the years, Rankin developed as a writer and how Rebus grew as a character. I learned a lot.
I also enjoyed a talk by the couple who, collectively, are Nicci French. I already adored Kate Atkinson and seeing her speak and chatting to her afterwards was a huge thrill. And it will again be so this weekend. Don't we all love Jackson Brodie, especially through his TV portrayal by the delectable Jason Isaacs? He is perfect in the role - not to mention every mature woman's fantasy - although the TV adaptations can only skim to surface of Atkinson's complex and quirky novels.
My very good friend, Jo Derrick, has often stayed with me but this year, as I now live an hour or so away, we are both going to do the full weekend experience. Although we weren't quick enough to secure accommodation at the Old Swan Hotel itself (the festival's venue) we have rooms at the Cairn hotel which is only a stone's throw away. We have also both bought weekend Rover tickets. Yep, we're going the whole hog.
|The Old Swan Hotel|