It’s been a while.
How are you?
Has the cream worked?
So, I’ve had a bit of a blogging hiatus whilst I’ve been up to my hiatus in the first draft of book two in the Eddie Flynn series.
It’s good. I think it could be my best yet. No-one has seen it but me. No-one will see it until it’s ready. It’s a bit like Grolsch, really. Remember Grolsch? “we only let you drink it when it’s ready.”
It was a difficult birth, though, that first draft. Took a little longer than expected (7 months) but it’s done and I have loads of time to redraft until my heart’s content.
Whilst we’re on the subject of beer, since my last post I’ve been to the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. Met loads of really friendly, funny people who were incredibly warm and welcoming. I had a ball, and I even went to some panels. On the Thursday I had dinner with the good people of Orion Books, met some great authors I hadn’t met before, met some other really cool folk, and enjoyed lots of beer, wine, food and craic. The good people I met at that dinner really made the night special. Graeme Williams, Helen Giltrow and I, kept the spirit of the previous evening going through Friday afternoon.
I also met some of my twitter pals, which is fantastic and really gives you a renewed sense of how amazing social media is when its powers are used as intended. Too many good people to name, but I had a great time with you all, and I’ve hopefully already mentioned on twitter, how brilliant it was to meet everyone. And meeting lots of new people, great.
On Friday I had dinner with my agent, Euan, along with Jennifer and Victoria from AM Heath, and we were joined by the lovely and talented Martie Villiers and the fascinating, Parker Bilal. Superb night.
Some of my other highlights from the festival were Mari Hannah’s single digit salute during her panel (it was amazing), SJ Watson in conversation with Sophie Hannah, meeting my Dutch publisher (he’s a very nice and extremely knowledgeable man), the New Blood Panel, meeting up with fellow Northern Ireland authors Stuart Neville (legend) and Anthony Quinn (legend in the making), the Keeping it Real Panel (probably the best panel I saw) and the extremely talented Luca Veste’s story about his part in the worst play ever performed on British soil.
I’ll take that one to my grave, Luca.
What was it like and what have I learned from my first Harrogate experience?
1) There’s a beer tent.
2) It gets hot. Sometimes it rains. None of this matters as I’m safely in the beer tent.
3) Harrogate is a beautiful, old English town. None of this matters as I’m safely in the beer tent.
4) Everyone, and I mean everyone, is really friendly, approachable and passionate about crime novels. Especially in the beer tent.
5) Don’t order Guinness in the bar. It comes from a tin, it’s poured into a glass, placed on some form of unholy vibrating plate, shaken, then left to settle. This is a clear breach of the Geneva Convention. Stick to Theakston’s, they have it on tap in the beer tent.
6) Oli Munson is indestructible. His powers are particularly strong in the beer tent.
7) WH Smith run a brilliant book shop right on the festival lawn. It’s next to the beer tent.
8) The organisers, the programming committee, Steve Mosby in particular, and all the festival staff did an amazing job. The Old Swann staff were great too, and, if I may say so, they performed out of their boots in the beer tent.
9) Did I mention there’s a beer tent?
10) If you log on to crimefictionlover’s web domain right here you might see a picture of me talking to Stav Sherez and Martyn Waites. Guess where I am?
11) I didn’t make it to the Robert Galbraith event. My whereabouts at the time are yet to be established.
12) On a more serious note, it’s the first big writing festival I’ve been to, and it was great to stop being a lawyer, and be somewhere because I’m a reader, a fan, and a writer.
I left the festival with a new sense of purpose, a new vigour, and ever so slightly hung over.
Thanks Steve Mosby, for a brilliant first Harrogate. The first of many, for me. Get more reactions over at Steve Mosby's excellent blog here at theleftroom.
PS – There will be a beer tent next year, right Steve?