The programme for the Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Writers Festival has been released and as always it’s looking very exciting. Steve Mosby is the programme chair and he’s ‘played a blinder’ as they say up North. There look to be some really exciting sessions and the programme covers everything crime related from family based novels or ‘domestic noir’ as it is labelled, to writing plot twists, through to science and forensics. There are of course some usual staples including the TV session which this year is Broadchurch (sadly David Tennant isn’t attending) and the New Blood panel which is always one of my favourites.
The release of the new programme of course means the start of a new challenge. I’ve printed off a copy and the highlighter has been out. It looks like I’ve a lot of reading to do if I’m going to be anywhere near completing the TOPCWFC 2014 (for any new readers that stands for Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Writers Festival Challenge, more details can be found here)
There are 17 sessions not including the opening ceremony, the dinner or the quiz (all three of which we shall of course be attending despite not being able to recreate our beginners luck with our quiz team last year!) Within those sessions if my highlighting and counting is correct there are currently 52 authors.
This being the third year of the challenge however things are getting a little more complicated. For example can I only count authors where I’ve read their latest book, or can I count any I’ve ever read? Do audiobooks count or only those actually read? Can I count those I started but didn’t finish? Can I count an author if I’ve only read something they wrote under a different name?
Well as it’s my challenge, it’s my rules. Therefore in answer to the above, I can count authors if I’ve ever read anything by them (although I will try to read the latest one if I get chance) I can count audiobooks (although obviously they are tricky to get signed) I can’t count authors if I didn’t finish the book and I can count those where I’ve read something they wrote under a different name. For those of you who are wondering, I am not referring to JK Rowling in this particular question as I’m afraid The Cuckoo Calling actually falls into the previous category and I don’t think I’ve read any Harry Potter. However Martyn Waites will be appearing who also writes as one half of Tania Carver whose books I have read.
Therefore taking into account the new rules I’ve just made up, my current author count as of today is 18. Not a bad start really, however it looks much more promising if I count sessions. Of those 17 sessions I’ve read at least one author in 14 of them. I think that’s an excellent start, with 12 weeks to go I am pretty confident that I’ll complete the TOPCWFC 2014 lite. Therefore the big challenge this year will be to try and complete the full thing for the first time. This may be a stretch as I’d have to read 2.83 books a week which could be tricky especially as I return to work full time next week but what’s life without a few challenges and as they say third time lucky.