This weekend was the Theakstons’ Crime Festival, AKA Harrogate, as everyone calls it. The great and the good of publishing (and me) were all (mostly) there in force. I’ve only had one Harrogate that was very business-focused (2019), with another two that had elements of that kind of thing. Publisher meetings, publisher dinners, that kind of thing. At the first one I attended in 2015, I didn’t know anyone. Now I can walk into the big tent and see about a hundred people I know and will talk to them all. It’s exhausting but enriching. Had some good food, some excellent beer but a lot of dreadful ales, but a lot of late nights, though they were all sober-ish, except maybe Saturday. I was impressed how well my quiz team did, something like 58pts vs the 90-odd Mick Herron’s winning team got. We were called FCCKED and we were. The name came from the initials: Fiona Cummins, Clare Douglas, Cally “CL” Taylor, Katerina Diamond, me, and Derek “Warren” Farrell. I highly recommend going there next year, not least because Harrogate itself is a magical place. Small but perfectly formed. And only two confirmed cases of covid, so far.

Now I’m recovering from it all and trying to feel human again. Bessi was very pleased to see me when I collected her from the kennels. It was nice seeing her with two other greyhounds, not bothering at all, but there had been an army of pugs in there which kept terrifying her. While she’s getting better with other dogs, she’s still got a long way to go.

Anyway. Onwards!

Last week

A short week where I tried to cram everything in to three days, but Fenchurch 9 is in a pretty good place. Fans of those books will hate me even more for what I put him through this time. There’s a lot of web3/cryptocurrency nonsense in this one – the acid test will be covering it in a way that means something to most people. A challenge I want to grasp with both hands, though I can just see the reviews of people who don’t know what an NFT is. Well, I’ll explain all and show it all. You’ll see. The last time I did something like that, in Dodds 4, well let’s just say I learnt a lot from writing the seventh Cullen book…

This week

Once I’ve got through my recovery, I’ll have a detailed read of Shunty’s First Day. It won’t (FAMOUS LAST WORDS) take me long to do that, so it’ll then be ready for editing.

I need to do a lot of thinking about specific stuff, with a couple of big decisions to make this week. It’s always bloody go with me, isn’t it?

Anyway. I’ve been playing Demon’s Souls on the PS5. Souls games are notoriously difficult, designed with challenge in mind and I’ve been seriously rubbish at the few I’ve tried, but this one has got its hooks in me. I even finished the first world by killing a giant knight with a massive shield. Ahem.



One Response

  1. On 22 July 2022 Mick Herron’s sardonic spy thriller series called Slough House won him the Theakston Old Peculier crime novel of the year award. If Jackson Lamb had won it he’d have had a huge hangover this morning but let’s not dwell on what that might have sounded or smelt like. Both Mick Herron’s Slough House series and the Burlington Files series of espionage thrillers by Bill Fairclough were initially rejected by risk averse publishers who probably didn’t think espionage existed unless it was fictional and created by Ian Fleming or David Cornwell. It is therefore a genuine pleasure to see an anti-Bond anti-establishment novelist achieving immortality in Masham.

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