Harrogate Happenings

Yesterday afternoon, I returned from my annual trip to Harrogate for the Theakstons Crime Writing Festival, the event where 100s of crime writers, bloggers, authors, industry professionals and many, many readers converge at The Old Swan hotel (of Agatha Christie disappearance fame…) for a weekend of talks, parties, drinks, books, scandals and hangovers. As usual, the festival was excellent fun – and even the rain didn’t stop play 🙂

Great things…

  • The Pimms-in-A-Tin tent… genius
  • Promoting my new book The Deaths of December at the Hodder drinks party, which included pulling crackers and saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to a lot of bemused faces (and keeping my reindeer antlers on all night afterwards)
  • Reading my short story ‘The Chair’ while my fellow Slice Girls A.K. Benedict and Steph Broadribb duct taped author Neil White to a chair at The Blues Bar (thanks to Zoe Sharp for the torch!)
  • The Slice Girls performance afterwards (as part of fringe event Noir At The Bar)
  • The Dark Side panel on Friday, featuring Clare Donoghue, Elly Griffiths (this year’s fab festival chair), Simon Toyne, Lesley Thomson & James Oswald – chatting about supernatural elements in crime and why we should all read it
  • Chocolate cake and Prosecco at the Bonnier drinks party
  • Hanging out with lots of really cool people and laughing very much at lots of unrepeatable and ridiculous thing (…laughing at Katerina Diamond telling me to stop laughing so much)
  • Ed’s highanus
  • Danny not being dead

Annoying things…

  • Not getting a burger because it started to piss down with rain and they had to close it down before everything blew away
  • Not spending enough time with some people (and not seeing others at all…)
  • My agent not being there
  • Rain
  • Forgetting to buy Farrah’s fudge
  • Rod Reynolds*

Sad things…

  • Thinking about the beautiful Helen Cadbury, who had planned to be there and will always be missed 💔

Some pics below, mostly stolen from others. Thanks to the organisers for a fantastic event, my publishers for spoiling me with a lovely meal and showering me with praise, the cleaner at The Cairn for giving me extra biscuits, and all the lovely people who kept me entertained. Roll on 2018!!

*Not really 🙂

Short Story Collection: Face Off #Review

To celebrate the 4th July – here’s a short story collection from The ITW featuring a whole host of thriller writers from the US (and more…)

From the blurb:

In this unprecedented collaboration, twenty-three of the world’s favourite crime writers bring you original, co-written short stories featuring their much-loved series characters.

Edited by international bestseller David Baldacci, this exclusive page-turning collection is one of a kind. You’ll find stories featuring:

  • Lee Child’s Jack Reacher + Joseph Finder’s Nick Heller
  • Ian Rankin’s John Rebus + Peter James’ Roy Grace
  • Michael Connelly’s Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch + Dennis Lehane’s Patrick Kenzie
  • Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme + John Sanford’s Lucas Davenport
  • Linwood Barclay’s Glen Garber Raymond Khoury’s Sean Reilly
  • Linda Fairstein’s Alexandra Cooper + Steve Martini’s Paul Madriani
  • Steve Berry’s Cotton Malone + James Rollins’ Gray Pierce
  • Lisa Gardner’s D.D. Warren + MJ Rose’s Malachai Samuels
  • T. Jefferson Parker’s Joe Trona and John Lescroart’s Wyatt Hunt
  • Heather Graham’s Michael Quinn + F. Paul Wilson’s Repairman Jack
  • Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child’s Aloysius Pendergast + R.L. Stine’s Slappy the Ventriloquist Dummy

A couple of my favourites…

Rebus vs Grace

When a dying man confesses murder to Edinburgh’s Detective Inspector Rebus he has no choice but to enlist the help of Brighton’s finest, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, to investigate the murder of a rocker killed by a mod during the 1964 riots. Rankin and James’ lead detectives work well together, with a bit of friendly sparring and a combined investigative knowledge that leads to the unexpected revelation that the murdered man is not actually dead… with cameos from Rebus’s and Grace’s familiar sidekicks, this is a neatly plotted little tale penned by two of the UKs finest crime writers.

Barclay vs Khoury

In typical Barclay style, what starts off as an innocent trip for chicken nuggets ends up in a taut car chase, featuring a ten year old girl with attitude and one of the FBIs most wanted – a man with the means to destroy the world. Khoury’s FBI agent, Sean Reilly and Barclay’s most unlucky property developer, Glen Garber, are an unlikely yet perfectly matched pair in pursuit of the most important things in their own worlds. This short story moves at breakneck speed, seemingly covering an entire thriller novel in just enough pages to read with your bedtime cocoa.

*

Thanks to Stephanie Melrose at Little, Brown for the advance copy and Amanda at  Simon & Schuster PR for the blog tour info.

About ITW:

The International Thriller Writers is an honorary society of authors, both fiction and nonfiction, who write books broadly classified as “thrillers.” This would include (but isn’t limited to) such subjects as murder mystery, detective, suspense, horror, supernatural, action, espionage, true crime, war, adventure, and myriad similar subject areas. One of the main purposes of the organization is to provide a way for successful, bestselling authors to help debut and midlist authors advance their careers. In addition, ITW promotes literacy, gives money to worthy organizations, supports libraries, and advances the genre. For more information, visit: www.thrillerwriters.org.

The Jawbreakers Anthology is Here!

Can we have a little drum roll please?

I am very excited to have one of my flash fictions included in the National Flash Fiction Day Anthology: Jawbreakers 🙂

This is the cover…

There are so many brilliant writers in here, I still can’t quite believe I’ve made it. All the story titles are one word long and mine is called “Shed”.  That’s all I’m giving away for now 😉

The book will be out very soon, and when it is I will post details of where you can get it from 🙂 Meanwhile, there are still lots of other things you can get involved in for this years National Flash Fiction Day on 16th May – keep checking  the website for updates!

***UPDATE 26th April***

You can pre-order the book  now, via this link 🙂