2017 Theakstons Old Peculier
Crime Writing Festival Programme
Box Office: 01423 562303 | www.harrogateinternationalfestivals.com/crime
2017’s Programming Chair Elly Griffiths has put together a world-class programme of events, including titans of the genre Lee Child, Ian Rankin, Kathy Reichs, Stuart MacBride, Peter May and Arne Dahl as well as an exclusive Vera TV event with Ann Cleeves, actors Brenda Blethyn and Kenny Doughty and BBC’s Steph McGovern.
Thursday 20 July 2017
Creative Thursday 9am – 5.30pm | £99 per person
A day-long series of crime fiction creative writing workshops focusing on how to get published.
The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival’s creative writing course for aspiring writers. Creative Thursday gives you the chance to hone your writing skills with industry professionals and real-life crime experts.
2017 programme includes:
Plotting the Murder: How to Create an Engaging Crime Story- 2 hr Intensive Writing Workshop
Lesley Thomson and Greg Mosse will work with you to create an original collaborative plot, including a set of plausible suspects, a logical method of murder and a convincing wider world. In the process, they will illustrate the many ways a writer can create suspense and intrigue through the revelation of character and unexpected events. They will draw on Lesley’s superbly plotted crime novels and Greg’s long experience as editor and script consultant. As Greg says: ‘The reader is more interested in what they do not know than what they do.’
How to Create Pace and Suspense – 2 hr Intensive Writing Workshop
Whether a procedural or a psychological thriller, crime fiction is enthused with craft. All crime novels rely on key components, not least – plot, character, events, setting and prose style. It’s how you mix them together and structure a novel that will determine reader engagement and entertainment. With a close look at timelines and narrative perspective, and just when to turn a corner, the mysteries of generating suspense will be revealed. Henry Sutton is the author of ten novels, most recently Time to Win under the pseudonym Harry Brett and is Senior Lecturer of Creative Writing and Director of the new Crime Fiction MA at UEA. Louise Welsh is the author of eight novels, most recently No Dominion. She is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow.
How To Free Your Creativity and Get Started – 1 hr Writing Workshop
A unique seminar – part nuts-and-bolts talk, part creative workshop with exercises – from Stephen King’s British editor and Neuro-Linguistic Programming Coach Philippa Pride. Philippa is described by Hodder as having ‘a reputation as a talented spotter of new fiction, a creative editor with flair and vision, a nurturer of writers’ careers and a terrific champion of her authors both inside the business and to the outside world’. This inspirational hour will include insights into…
How to free your creativity, access your ideas and get started on your book
The value of reading like a writer
Whether to plan your novel before you start or just fly by the seat of your pants
Drawing on NLP to create compelling characters
The power of the senses – smelling a crime
How to switch off your inner critic and get in flow on cue
Setting goals and a writing schedule to suit your life
The Dragons’ Pen
Four brilliant publishing professionals. Two minutes to convince them your synopsis and first chapter are worth reading. One audience full of your fellow would-be writers. Our literary version of the popular TV show, the Dragons’ Den, is not for the faint-hearted.
Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year & Festival Opening Party
The six authors shortlisted for the prestigious prize battle it out for supremacy. Broadcaster Mark Lawson hosts as the 2017 award is presented to the lucky winner.
The Old Swan Hotel | Harrogate 8.00pm | Tickets: £17
Friday 21 July 2017
The world, more than ever, needs a hero. To win fights, charm women and outsmart the baddies. We’re not talking the debonair, charismatic Lee Child, of course, but his creation, who made the author a ‘billion-dollar brand’. Lee named his hero after his own ability to reach the top shelf in supermarkets for little old ladies: Jack Reacher. At 6 foot 5, the giant dude propelled Lee to the top of bestseller lists worldwide’, with a jaw-dropping 100 million books sold worldwide. The press dubbed Reacher ‘both Schwarzenegger and Socrates’. Throw in Tom Cruise and you have a massive film success though those top shelves are probably safe.
Pack your pocket toothbrush, and get ready to experience the genre’s blockbusting phenomenon, as Lee celebrates his 21st Reacher thriller, The Night School..
9.00am | Tickets: £14
Order!! Why are lawyers, allegedly, so good at murder? (In the pages of fiction of course). Legal eagles turned literary high-flyers are in the dock.
Alafair Burke grew up in the shadow of a neighbourhood serial killer and found justice in the pages of crime books. Her novels were born of her experience as a prosecutor in America’s courts. Guilty as charged, Denise Mina studied at Glasgow University Law School before becoming an award-winning novelist. She has twice been the winner of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. Belfast’s Steve Cavanagh was an investigator for a large law firm, before moving to focus on civil rights law. His debut novel, The Defence, was the subject of an international bidding war.A prolific screenwriter and novelist, Matthew Hall practised as a barrister before becoming a full-time writer, starting with episodes of Kavanagh QC. Order is restored by chair, the solicitor and author, Martin Edwards.
10.30am | Tickets: £11
The Dark Side
How do you write believable crime fiction that also features the unknown? Putting the peculiar into Theakston Old Peculier, crime gets creepy as authors explore how the supernatural pushes boundaries.
12.00pm | Tickets: £11
Readers’ Book Group
The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival will be on tour this Summer with the 9th Big Read. These free reading group events will be led by award-winning author Mari Hannah, delving into the world of Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus novel ‘Black and Blue’. Free copies of the book will be available in advance.
1.00pm | Free
Ashes to Ashes
Why is the past so fashionable again? Historical crime novelists explore timeless questions.
Super sleuth of the past is music journo-turned-crime author, William Shaw, who sets his Breen and Tozer books in the swinging sixties. Antonia Hodgson (who was born the year Hunky Dory was released) won the CWA Historical Dagger for her first novel, The Devil in the Marshalsea. SG MacLean has a PhD in history and a growing New Model Army of fans for her Seeker series set in Oliver Cromwell’s London. Graeme Macrae Burnet is one of Scotland’s brightest literary talents. His Bloody Project was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2016. Master of the past’s dark secrets, Robert Goddard, chairs
2.00pm | Tickets: £11
Being liked is so over-rated. “Give Paul a comb-over, and we could be talking Donald Trump,” says Richard and Judy of Sabine Durrant’s ‘slimy lead’ protagonist in Lie with Me. Stav Sherez says, ‘cruelty, horror and atrocity obsess me’. His latest, The Intrusions, was dubbed by Ian Rankin as ‘A Silence of the Lambs for the internet age.’ Mick Herron’s anti-hero, Jackson Lamb, has been compared to Reginald Hill’s Andy Dalziel, as ‘crime fiction’s Falstaff, a glorious Rabelaisian monster.’ Shari Lapena’s, strapline for her thriller, The Couple Next Door, asks, ‘What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?’ Chair Julia Crouch, keeps the lid on proceedings; Her Husband’s Lover left readers constantly wrong-footed in deciding which of her characters deserved sympathy. When it comes to murderously good crime writing, it’s the monsters we love to hate.
3.30pm | Tickets: £11
TV Panel: Grantchester
James Runcie is a director, documentary film-maker, literary curator, founder member of The Late Show and author of the fifties-set crime drama, The Grantchester Mysteries, inspired by his father, the late Archbishop of Canterbury. Fittingly, Grantchester is a thoughtful, handsome moral meditation on life, subverted by gentle comedy, old fashioned romance and the dark psychology of murder. Sidney Chambers is a man of the cloth, with a taste for whisky, jazz and pretty parishioners, who solves crimes with Detective Inspector Geordie Keating, played by Robson Green. Green, with eyes so blue, is known to a certain generation for the singing-duo Robson and Jerome and to younger ones, for Extreme Fishing. The crime genre has given him his finest acting roles, firstly as Dr Tony Hill in Val McDermid’s Wire in the Blood and now in ITV’s adaptation of Grantchester.
5.00pm | Tickets £14
Dead Good Reader Awards
Join Dead Good for drinks as they present the Reader Awards as voted for by you. Best Police Procedural, Unreliable Narrator and Fearless Female Character are up for grabs with all attendees walking away with a goody bag full of this season’s best crime novels
6.00pm | Tickets: £12
From teaching FBI agents how to detect and recover human remains to separating and identifying commingled body parts in her Montreal lab, as one of only seventy-seven forensic anthropologists ever certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, Dr Kathy Reichs has brought her own dramatic work experience to her mesmerising forensic thrillers. Kathy has travelled to Rwanda to testify at the UN Tribunal on Genocide, and helped exhume a mass grave in Guatemala. She has also worked on the identification of war dead from World War II, Korea and Southeast Asia. Her novel Déjà Dead catapulted her to fame when it became a New York Times bestseller. She is also a producer of the chilling hit TV series Bones. Kathy has written seventeen bestsellers featuring Dr Temperance Brennan, the most recent being Bones Never Lie. She has also written four bestsellers featuring Tory Brennan: Virals, Seizure, Code and Exposure.
Kathy will be discussing her first stand-alone thriller ever, Two Nights, which introduces the world to a brand new character, Private Investigator Sunday Night. A psychological and physical force to be reckoned with, Sunnie is unlike any character Kathy has written before!
8.30pm | Tickets: £14
Where the Bodies are Buried
Let’s get some guests on!!! This late-night event has been described as a Graham Norton style chat, with guests Val McDermid, Mark Billingham and Lee Child. You won’t want to miss the gossip and stories of the good, bad and mad, expect plenty of erm, pointless answers, frivolity and a LOT of fun. (Will there be a Big Red Chair?)
Due to unforeseen circumstances, Richard Osman is unable to attend the Festival next month, we are delighted to announce today that Richard will be replaced by comedienne and writer Sarah Millican, stand-up comedian and writer from North East England. At the 2008 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Millican won the if.comedy award for Best Newcomer. Since then, she has appeared on several television and radio shows including BBC1’s Live At The Apollo and BBC2’s Mock the Week.
10.00pm | Tickets: £11
Saturday 22 July 2017
Arne Dahl with Joseph Finder
Regarded as one of the finest literary crime writers in Scandinavia, celebrated author Jan Arnald is the man behind the bestselling Intercrime series which has been made into a BBC TV series, written under the pen name of Arne Dahl. His books have sold over three million copies and been translated into 32 languages. The crime genre is ‘about the search for the truth that we are all constantly involved in,’ he says. “The question I’m asking is really always the same: What’s life really about? What is this short flash of light between two eternities of darkness? How do we use this all too fleeting time in the most decent and enjoyable way? And why do we have such trouble doing it?” After Joseph Finder completed his master’s degree at the Harvard Russian Research Centre, he was recruited to the Central Intelligence Agency… His plan was to become a spy. Instead he became an award-winning bestselling thriller writer, hailed as ‘the CEO of suspense’. Finder’s Private Spy Nick Heller is the best lie detector you’ll ever meet.
Between these two internationally-acclaimed authors the truth is out there… Mark Lawson goes undercover to prise out the facts.
9.00am | Tickets: £14
2017 marks the thirtieth anniversary of one of crime fiction’s greatest characters, John Rebus, created by one of the world’s leading crime writers, Ian Rankin. Rebus returned from retirement in 2012 to star in Standing in Another Man’s Grave. One of crime fiction’s most enduring heroes is heading for immortality, even though he’s apparently drinking himself into an early grave. Ian’s work is translated into 36 languages as Rebus resonates with readers around the world. The books have twice been dramatised for TV (starring John Hannah and Ken Stott) with rumours of another TV outing on the horizon. “I had no idea when I published Knots and Crosses in 1987 that Rebus would still be sharing his adventures – and misadventures – with me thirty years later,” Rankin says. “It’s a thrill to be spending 2017 celebrating the man, his legacy and his taste in music.”
Currently the UNESCO City of Literature Visiting Professor at the University of East Anglia, Rankin has made a meteoric rise to international bestseller. Rather Be the Devil is Rebus’ 21st adventure.
10.30am | Tickets: £14
It’s the panel dedicated to showcasing the year’s most dazzling debut authors! Always a sell-out, this event sees Queen of Crime Val McDermid in the hot seat to hand-pick four of the brightest new talents ready for a new crime wave. Over the past ten years Val has proved her knack for spotting the Next Big Thing; previous New Bloods include SJ Watson, Stuart MacBride, Dreda Say Mitchell and Clare Mackintosh.
The Class of 2017 are: Fiona Cummins – Rattle; Jane Harper – The Dry; Joseph Knox – Sirens; Kristen Lepionka – The Last Place You Look. It’s a sure-fire list of ‘ones to watch’.
12.00pm | Tickets: £11
Where do Your Crimes come from?
How did they think of THAT…? Unpick the criminal masterminds behind the bestsellers.
Known for being an all-round lovely chap, Festival favourite Mark Billingham chairs a panel who are also rather lovely. So what inspires their murderous meanderings? Unpick the ‘dark mind’ behind the charming façade of Sarah Hilary, whose brutal but deeply moral books have garnered awards and acclaim. Steve Mosby, the tattoo’d crusader, does disturbing brilliantly. He studied philosophy and did a series of admin jobs (Excel spreadsheets can drive you to murder) before writing full time. The Independent said of award-winning Belinda Bauer that she took ‘the psychological thriller into new territory’. That says something in a well-trod ground. Where does she get her ideas? Finally, get ensnared with Melanie Raabe; the unique premise of her in-demand debut The Trap caused a stir amongst Hollywood producers.
2.00pm | Tickets: £11
Carrying The Torch
It isn’t just here at the Old Swan Hotel that the spirit of the woman who gave butlers a bad rep lingers. Agatha Christie’s famous detective Poirot is reincarnated by Sophie Hannah, with critics praising her for doing the ‘grande dame of crime proud’. The New York Times and Sunday Times top ten bestseller, Ruth Ware, was inspired by Christie, watching Poirot and Miss Marple as a child, before devouring Christie’s books.
Switching the focus from Cumberbatch’s Sherlock reboot Michelle Birkby focuses on The Women of Baker Street, with her Mrs Hudson and Mary Watson investigations series. Awarded an OBE for her services to the arts, award-winning novelist, playwright, actress and theatre-maker Stella Duffy, who spent her childhood in New Zealand, is completing an unfinished novel by New Zealand’s Queen of Crime, Ngaio Marsh. Rounding up the suspects and checking their alibis is chair Andrew Wilson who has A Talent for Murder – his compelling series with Agatha Christie at its heart.
3.30pm | Tickets : £11
The Guardian wrote ‘he can barely write a shopping list without Hollywood optioning it.’ From working-class Boston, Lehane has achieved high literary acclaim with his New York Times bestsellers, his New York Times bestsellers include Gone, Baby, Gone, Mystic River, Shutter Island, and The Drop – all made into award-winning movies.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck and Tom Hardy lined up to star in his adaptations. To add to his too-cool-for-school status, he was a staff writer on the acclaimed HBO series, The Wire. His latest, Since We Fell, is considered one of his best, a novel of profound psychological insight. Before becoming a full-time writer, Lehane worked as a counsellor with mentally handicapped and abused children, waited tables, parked cars, drove limos, worked in bookstores and loaded tractor-trailers. Mystic River prompted Elmore Leonard to declare: ‘Boy does he know how to write’ and Michael Connolly dubbed him the ‘heir apparent’.
Don’t miss your chance to get an insight into one of the most electrifying writers of the genre.
5.00pm | Tickets: £14
Digging up the Past
How’s this for an appetiser?! A dead body on the marshes, an ancient curse and a buried secret. Elly Griffiths, author of the award-winning Ruth Galloway books, scripts an archaeological mystery, with a little help from Francis Pryor of Time Team fame.
Switch the wine glasses and double bluff in this delightfully devious dinner, with one of these devious authors seated at your table to help you deduce the mystery over dessert…John Gordon Sinclair, Neil White, Leye Adenle, Rod Reynolds, Sarah Ward, Ruth Ware, Lesley Thomson, Mark Mills, Brian McGilloway, Steph Broadribb, Lin Anderson, Sue Wilkins, Martin Walker, Kaite Welsh, Paula Daly, AA Dhand, and Abir Mukherjee.
6.15pm | Tickets: £32
Stuart MacBride & Peter May
Stuart MacBride has had a bash at studying architecture, working offshore, being a graphic designer, a professional actor, an undertaker, a web designer and finally circling the career drain by becoming a project manager for a huge IT company. MacBride has since gone on to become the bestselling author of the Logan McRae and Ash Henderson novels and has also published a near-future thriller, a short story collection, a couple of novellas, and a slightly twisted picture book for slightly twisted children.
Peter May is the multi award-winning author of the internationally bestselling Lewis Trilogy set in the Outer Hebrides, the China Thrillers, featuring Beijing detective Li Yan, as well as the critically-acclaimed Enzo Files, with Scottish forensic scientist Enzo MacLeod. One of Scotland’s most prolific television dramatists, he garnered more than 1000 credits in 15 years as scriptwriter and script editor on prime-time British television drama, before quitting television to concentrate on his first love, writing novels.
8.30pm | Tickets: £14
Late Night Quiz
Test your criminal knowledge with quiz masters Val McDermid and Mark Billingham and vie to get your hands on the coveted quiz cup!
10.00pm | Tickets: £11
Sunday 23 July 2017
TV Panel: Vera
Now pet, not since Columbo has the trench coat been so in vogue, topped with a floppy fishing hat. ‘When I go shopping for Vera’s costume,’ Brenda Blethyn said, ‘if the shop assistant ever says, ‘That looks lovely on you madam’, I think, ‘Right, well, I’ll have to get something else then’.’ The unglamorous, shambolic but effective DCI Vera Stanhope has attracted a legion of fans with the flagship ITV drama starring the very glamorous, stylish and double Oscar-nominated actress. Ann Cleeves – the visionary behind Vera – has sold over 1.5 million books worldwide.
She celebrates the publication of 30 books in 30 years with her latest, Cold Earth, part of her Shetland series – also a major TV series. Ann and Brenda will be joined on stage by Kenny Doughty, who plays Vera’s right-hand man, DS Aiden Healy. Stomping metaphorically across the moor with cast and author, is BBC Breakfast and Watchdog’s Steph McGovern, who’ll dig deep into the heart of the nation’s much-loved Detective Inspector.
10.00am | Tickets: £14
Stranger than Fiction
Writers have an uncanny knack of predicting the future, exploring our dark fears; Val McDermid based a psycho on Jimmy Savile long before his guilt came to light. Probability analysis or crystal ball-gazing? Sometimes life is stranger than fiction – demonstrated by that episode of The Simpsons that jokingly predicted a Donald Trump presidency.
This panel features crime authors who take the temperature of the body politic, check the patient has a fever, and make a case for the possible outcome. One of Britain’s leading crime novelists, Chris Brookmyre’s Want You Gone centres on online blackmail,and his next novel is a sci-fi/crime crossover, Places in the Dark. Kati Hiekkapelto is the punk singer/crime writer whose master’s thesis was on racist bullying. She explores social and political themes around immigration in her page-turning crime stories. Eva Dolan tackles similar territory in her novels featuring the Peterborough Hate Crimes Unit, which simmer with racial tension- her novels featuring the Peterborough Hate Crimes Unit. Screenwriter and novelist Sarah Lotz taps into the apocalyptic with The Three, in which US Bible Belt hysteria threatens to engulf the world. Her latest, The White Road, focuses on disaster at the summit of Everest.
Ex-publisher turned crime author, NJ Cooper keeps everyone calm as chair.
11.30am | Tickets: £11
DON’T MISS OUR FREE EVENTS!
Friday 22 July
Join the Thin Blue Spine team and experts from Think Forensic for a Forensics Experience.
Visit a crime scene, gather the evidence and examine it using real techniques such as fingerprint lifting, shoeprints and hair and fibre analysis.
Saturday 23 July
Join the Crime Files team and their authors at the Sperry Tent on as they travel around the
world with some of the biggest names in crime and thriller fiction.
Festival Weekend Break Packages:
Make The Perfect Getaway!
Treat yourself to a long weekend at the crime hot spot of the summer by booking a combined ticket and accommodation package. Stay in one of our specially selected Festival hotels and join over 80 of the world’s most celebrated crime authors in conversation, in action and in the bar!
Weekend Break packages include 3 nights’ accommodation and a Weekend Rover ticket
For details: harrogateinternationalfestivals.com/theakston-festival/weekend-break-packages-2
Box Office: 01423 562 303 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Weekend Rover Ticket
Indulge your criminal tendencies and get great value for money with a Festival Rover ticket:
Weekend Rovers include:
- Access to all Festival events* from 8pm on Thursday 21 July to 12.30pm on Sunday 24 July.
- Delicious lunches at the Old Swan Hotel on Friday and Saturday
- A complimentary Festival goody bag
Price: £220 per person
Day Rover Ticket
Day Rovers include:
- Access to all Festival events* throughout the day
- A delicious lunch at the Old Swan Hotel
- A complimentary Festival goody bag
Friday Rover (21 July) - £90 per person
Saturday Rover (22 July) - £90 per person
HOW TO BOOK
Phone: 01423 563 303
In Person: Harrogate International Festivals, 32 Cheltenham parade, Harrogate, HG1 1DB
Opening Times: Monday – Friday, 10am – 5pm
Payment: Please note that all bookings are subject to a £1.75 transaction fee. A £1 fee is charged for postal orders, or we offer free ticket collection.