I felt the need to put this together from my notebook scraps for two reasons.
Firstly, to serve as an aid of sorts to remind me where the hell I was for four days so that I can get some grip on just how they flew by so quickly and to hopefully enable me to start to construct something worthwhile from my notes over the forthcoming days.
Secondly, by way of an apology for the fact that conversations with friends both old and new were often brief (to say the least) and for me constantly referring to my watch and diary in a fashion which must, at times, had the appearance of some crackpot trainspotter rushing away at the sudden news of a rare carriage pulling in at another platform.
All that said, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, loved the ‘full-on’ crime festival experience and can only praise Erica Morris, Sharon Canavar and their team, the Riot Communications team and this year’s Chair, Mark Billingham, for such a fantastic tenth year of the festival.
I’m all set to book accommodation for the 2013 festival and to buy a bigger suitcase for that one, it was a squeeze with those books for the return trip! So, here’s a copy of my schedule – I hope to fill in any blanks and more detail as soon as poss in future blogs:
Thurs 19th July
9.00am – Leave home and walk to the station.
9.28am – Train to London Victoria.
10.17am – Tube to Kings Cross.
11.00am – Train to York.
1.11pm – Train from York to Harrogate
1.43 – Arrive at Harrogate
2-ish – Check into Bed & Breakfast, unpack, shower, get set for the launch day.
4pm – Meet @milorambles at his Hotel reception and head into town for a sit down at Betty’s tea rooms
5pm – Meet lots of twitter friends old and new (far too many to mention) in Wetherspoons pub for drinks.
6pm – Head to The Old Swan Hotel, collect passes/tickets and chat to the Riot Communications team and the Festival team.
7pm – Drinks in the bar with the Vintage/Harvill Secker/Random House team and their authors.
8pm – The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award and Opening night party.
Remain in the bar and around the festival hotel until around 1.30am.
Slow walk back to the B&B, get things ready for the next day and type a very brief blog.
Friday 20th July
7am – up and getting ready
8am -Breakfast, blog a press release for Transworld’s latest author, walk back to The Old Swan.
9am – John Connolly on stage interviewed by Mark Billingham
10am – I interview Arne Dahl in the Library and then get a photo shoot with him courtesy of his good lady wife.
10.45am – Creep in late to the 10.30 panel, Crime in Another Dimension.
11.30am – I interview Jason Webster in the Library (worth noting that ‘The Library’ is the only room in the hotel that didn’t have a single book).
Had to miss the Drawing the Line Panel due to overlapping things.
12.30 – Lunch with Orion new crime fiction authors A.J. Cross, Harry Bingham and Mark Peterson (manage to spill lovely orange sauce on my white shirt whilst there).
2pm – Wanted for Murder – The eBook panel. (I’m sure you’ve all already read lots on that one….)
3pm – Took a break to return to B&B, shower and change and write another brief blog post.
5pm – America’s Got Talent panel chaired by John Connolly.
6pm – Drinks reception with Hodder authors and team in the ‘Red Room’ (which was green and white, but not red at all….)
8.00pm – Drinks reception with Little Brown authors and team (plus a host of others) in the Spiegeltent on the green.
Overlapping events meant I missed the Kate Mosse event.
10pm – Ian Rankin and Peter Robinson on stage together (with pints pulled and crisps supplied by Mark Billingham).
11pm – To the bar area until around 2.30am.
8am -Breakfast and walk to the Old Swan.
9am- Peter James interviewed by Paul Blezard.
10am – coffee break !
10.30am-The Golden Age panel.
11.30am – I interview Ryan David Jahn in three locations in a 25 minute period.
12noon – New Blood panel chaired by Val McDermid.
1pm – I interview Stuart Neville in the Media Suite.
1.45pm – Visited Mr Beaumont at another part of the main festival which Sharon Canavar directed me to, to discuss a favourite music track. (missing the Deadlier than the Male panel) then took the opportunity to have a few relaxed chats in the bar area and to intake a sandwich and yet more coffee.
3.30pm – A Donkey in the Grand National panel.
4.30pm – Coffee !
5pm – Luther panel chaired by Miranda Sawyer
6pm – I interview Oliver Harris in the Media Suite
6.45pm – Bat out of hell run back to B&B, shower, change for the evening, meet @milorambles at his hotel reception by 7.15pm.
7.30pm-Drinks at the Henley Vineyards Room at Hotel Du Vin with Transworld authors and their team ahead of dinner at 8pm, meaning missing Harlan Coben in discussion with Laura Lippman.
9.45pm – Head back to The Old Swan.
10pm- The Late Night Quiz and the fantastic news that Suzi Holliday on our team won a major prize in the raffle – she will be a character in the next Peter James novel! Almost made up for the fact that we didn’t win the quiz
11pm – The hotel bar until around 2am then walked back to B&B.
3am – fell asleep
Sunday 22nd July
6am-woke and finished packing.
8am- breakfast with suitcase by my side.
8.30am – Left the B&B – walked back to The Old Swan
9am – I interview Deon Meyer in the Green Room/Penthouse.
10am – 50 Words for Murder panel chaired by Sir Barry of Forshaw.
11am – coffee !
11.30am – Jo Nesbo interviewed by Mark Lawson.
12.30am – The chance to see a few friends, old and new, on the lawn outside the hotel, oh, and coffee.
1.15pm – I interview Jo Nesbo in the Library (and still not a book in the place…)
1.45pm – A few goodbyes in the bar and then head off to walk to the station.
Train delayed until 15.25 – Go in search of coffee and a sandwich and catch up on twitter activity.
15.25pm – Lots of familiar faces pile on the train to Leeds and I get a chance to finally have a good natter with David Jackson and with David Hewson’s editor en route.
Leeds – change for train to Kings Cross. Unpack laptop and make a start on my crime novel, 1200 words in my eyes are telling me that’ll do for the day.
Kings Cross to Victoria by tube.
Victoria mainline to my local station.
Home at 8pm.
But all such excellent fun – more soon….