Last year my sister and I went to one day of the Harrogate Crime Writers Festival. For an avid reader of crime fiction as I am, this was pretty much on a par with a 12 year old being given back stage passes to the aftershow party at a Harry Potter film premier. A whole day of nothing but books and authors, with a nice early evening tea in Betty’s thrown in.
Not knowing what to expect we had turned up early, but empty handed. We soon realised our rooky mistake as we saw veteran attendees carting around suitcases full of books in order to get them signed and have the chance of a 2 minute conversation with their favourite authors. Luckily there was a Waterstone’s book shop on hand, and we finished the day with much lighter purses, much heavier bags and some fantastic autographs.
Having had such an amazing time we decided that for 2012 we would definitely attend again, and this time go for the whole package. So we have signed up for the 3 full days of crime writing immersion, absolute bliss to us with crime authors around from our scrambled eggs first thing, right through to our whisky nightcaps.
However there is one sticking point. A self imposed challenge to read one book by every author that we would hear talk. Last year this wasn’t too tricky a problem, there were around 22 authors on the day we went and by then I had managed to have read something by most of them (not including Jonathon Aitken, I do have some limits as to what I’ll put myself through!)
So now to this year – The Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival 2012 has so far issued a list of 66 authors who will be attending. A cursory look through and in the past few months I have read books by 9 of them, meaning even my ‘not great at maths’ brain can work out I have 57 authors to go, and only 21 weeks to do it in. Yes that’s a completely unrealistic target but a very enjoyable one to try.
This blog is not only going to chart my progress in the run up to the festival, but is also a chance for my sister to read my reviews and then pretend she’s read the books herself. I can’t guarantee that I’ll stick to the 100 word limit she asked me for though! So I’ve printed off the list, and tomorrow a trip to the library will be in order. Here’s to the joy of reading.