The Harrogate Crime Festival is on the horizon once more. Thinking about all the great events this weekend is enough to excite any aficionado of the genre. A couple do deserve special mention. The obvious one is Val McDermid interviewing J.K. Rowling on her writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. It says that Val was a big fan of "Robert Galbraith's writing" before the media revealed who was behind the pseudonym. I'd heard similar at another even from another big author who shall remain nameless. So that definitely put this on my ever-lengthening "to read" list. It intrigues me on a couple of levels because the cynic in me thinks this is just more smoke and mirrors to sell books and make money.... but the lover of a good story is quietly hoping that it's all about the literature for Val, which if I'm honest, I suspect it is. Whatever is really going on, it's a can't-miss event.

As an independent author, the panel on Friday with Mel Sherratt and James Oswald will be a nice treat. While I'm already aware of their journey to market that ended with a traditional publishing deal, you never know what new questions might unearth. There's always something new to learn! Ann Cleeves will also be doing a couple of things there. Besides the interview, she's doing another murder mystery evening. I had the pleasure of attending the one she created for the Lit & Phil in Newcastle. (She's been incredibly supportive of the library there and, as someone who uses it frequently, I think we can't be grateful enough to everybody who helps out and gives up their time for free.) So that's something I'm really looking forward to. No doubt there'll be a Poirot or Miss Marple present who'll beat me to the conclusion.

Finally there's another panel on plot twists which I'm quite excited about. The shooting star that is Nick Stone is on the panel with the enormous (figuratively) Simon Kernick. This is chaired by the man who we have to thank for putting together these interesting panels - the Programming Chair, Steve Mosby. I'm really looking forward to this one in particular because good plot twists have always been something I enjoy the most in any book. So it's a great topic and great choice of people talking.

There will be other phenomenal writers there, including others that I like, but these are just a couple of the events at the festival I'm looking forward to. I'll probably come back and say I enjoyed something else even more.

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