003I’m not sure I can put into words how fantastic this year’s Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival was this year – or #TOPCrime2013 as some clever soul thought up. So, I thought I’d do it in pictures.

From my arrival on Thursday lunch, to leaving on Sunday morning and my dog, Dexter, stealing the limelight, it was fun from start to finish.

Harrogate Highlight – being introduced by Peter James to WHSmith team as a self-publishing star and one to watch out for… can you believe that?

This is the third festival in a row I’ve attended but this year was even more special. There were so many highlights.

Okay - I look a little bit excited! Me and Ian Rankin!
Okay – I look a little bit too excited! Me and Ian Rankin!

You recall the advert with Bruce Willis when the woman walks off with him and opens her mouth wide for a silent scream? Yep, that would be me.

Harrogate Highlight – having lunch with my original Harrogate gang and a few others and laughing so much!

I felt as though I was on cloud nine for the whole time. The best part was spending most of Friday with my agent, Madeleine Milburn and my publishers, Thomas & Mercer, Amazon Publishing. Having self-published, and now finally got the deal I longed for, talking over future plans about covers, launches, copyediting, etc was overwhelming. Everyone was congratulating me too – it was amazing!

Harrogate Highlight – having my photo taken with Ian Rankin. I gave him a T-shirt and a bottle of Captain Smith’s from a brewery based in my home town, Titanic Brewery.  Trust me when I say I was shaking – I was so nervous. The man is a legend! He’s also been very kind to me.

The weather was hot, hot, hot and quite frankly, I spent most of it under a tree! It was such a cool spot and one where people knew where we were, so came back to again and again. We had birthday cake too – thanks, Jim!

A chatter of crime writers
A chatter of crime writers

Harrogate Highlight – Author P. D. Viner coming over to me because he didn’t want to leave without saying hello – to me!  A few minutes before, I’d bravely done the same thing to Lee Child. It made the end of the festival a very special moment – I’ve been doing that to other authors for three years!  

I’m not sure when TOP Crime became my place to meet and greet but honestly, I liken it to a school reunion where you like EVERYONE!

Harrogate Highlight – seeing Luca Veste and him signing me a copy of his debut novel, DEAD GONE, that has a quote from me inside it! I am still stroking the cover – the proof I was given has my quote on the front cover!

Perfect weather, good venue, great panels and wonderful company.

Next year’s event, THE RETURN, is chaired by Steve Mosby and is taking place on 17th – 20th July 2014.

I’m there in spirit already.

2014 - Be there or be dead!
2014 – Be there or be dead!



TOP CRIME 2013 – Harrogate Highlights

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