Harrogate 2019 @theakstonscrime @harrogatefest #theakstonscrime #mytribe #bookpeoplearethebest

So the weekend is over, back to normality with a bump. The come down from another Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival has well and truly set in. As with the previous four years, it was a fab weekend of author stalking, people watching and gossiping….not to mention the drinking and the books….

Thursday lunch I logged off at work and with a hop, skip and a delayed bus journey, (🤬🤬 protesters 🤬🤬) I joined #mamapossum Noelle Holten at Leeds station and we headed to the beautiful town of Harrogate. The rest of the day was spent catching up over drinks and meeting up with the early arrivers to the festival. I met the force that is Tracy Mearns, Mrs Steve Cavanagh – she is much the personality in real life as she is online, she’s brilliant!  I also learnt from last year and made it back to Leeds without falling asleep on the train.

Friday was the day it rained. We spent the day dodging the heavy showers, collecting books and having the odd free drink or two! More people arrived; I got to meet the lovely Emma Kennedy (aka Emma Clapperton, aka Alex Kane), heard all about Casey Kelleher’s haunted room 🙈🙈 and generally didn’t stop smiling and laughing all day!

I went to a panel chaired by Tracy Fenton (whoooooo?!?) discussing the Journey to Publication with Orion authors Alison Belsham, Louisa De Lange, AJ Park, Amy McLellan and my personal favourite, Rob Sinclair… you might notice Mrs F doesn’t take too kindly to having her photo taken, not that she didn’t take a multitude of selfies over the weekend… 🤣🤣

Saturday was so much better. The sun came out, the lawns were filled with people and the Harrogate buzz reappeared. So many little moments throughout the day that were great and make me smile! Meeting the enigma that is Gordon McGhie (Grab This Book blog). Emer Dunne tapping Harlan Coben on the shoulder to come and have photos with us instead of us trying to get pictures at a distance. Kim Nash and Sue Watson *elegantly* getting onto the green chairs. Me spotting a giveaway of 5 signed books on Twitter and pegging it across the lawn to get one (I don’t and shouldn’t run)…I even congratulated Steph McGovern as I passed her in the bar. But then the horror of the HQ proof party… imagine Black Friday stateside and put it into a darkened tent and books…absolute chaos!

But that’s one wee blip of what was a pretty darn good weekend with the friendliest group of people I’ve met. The crime fiction community is amazing, particularly those who go to Harrogate year on year. It’s like one mass reunion!

I think I’ve got shoulder and neck damage from the amount of books I ended up carrying throughout the weekend. But it was worth it for the fabulous reads I’ve got! And this year, I’m going to read some of these proofs in time for publication…

But this year I learnt myself some lessons:

  • Take a selfie with people when you first see them, don’t leave it til later….I’m looking at you Susie Lynes….we will do it in 2020….
  • A burger at 6.30 even if tea will be ready when I get home is not a bad idea…
  • Take jeans in the bag (it was sooooo cold on Friday)
  • Accept Thursday night is drinking night and don’t pretend it’s not!
  • Don’t forget that pints are cheaper than gin at the Swan….
  • The green chairs are not the easiest to climb onto and there is no elegant way of doing it…
  • The Slingsby shop shuts on the Saturday for a staff day…
  • There are no trains from Leeds to Harrogate  during the day between half past and the hour…
  • Leave 15 minutes before the train – anything less (especially on Thursday night) leads to walking too fast up hill and possibly leads to calf cramp in the night…
  • Carry a sharpie (other pens are available) and keep it to hand…
  • I NEED A CLONE… Saturday afternoon there were so many places I wanted to be at the same time…

Thank you Harrogate for another cracking weekend. I had a fantastic time catching up with my bookish family. Until next year!

9 thoughts on “Harrogate 2019 @theakstonscrime @harrogatefest #theakstonscrime #mytribe #bookpeoplearethebest

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