Friday, July 30, 2010

Back from Harrogate; signed books

Discussing the future of the thriller with, from left, Zoë Sharp, Sean Black, Jo Nesbø and Meg Gardiner (Photograph courtesy Zoë Sharp)
I'm back home in Stockholm after a great week in England, most of which was spent at the Harrogate crime writing festival. I met dozens of readers, writers, editors, agents, and publishers, and drunk a little too much Oban in the hotel bar while doing so. But I learned a lot. On Sunday, I was on a panel with four other writers, discussing the future of the high-octane thriller. It was a little nerve-wracking, as it was my first time speaking in public, but I hope I managed to make a few half-intelligible points. Meg Gardiner was moderating the discussion, and kept us all in check - there were cameras there, so if it goes online at some point I'll provide the link.

I chatted with tons of people, including briefly with RJ Ellory, who I congratulated for winning the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year with A Simple Act Of Violence. Much to my surprise, he told me he had read Free Agent. I also met Mark Billingham, Simon Kernick, SJ Parris, Joseph Finder, Kevin Wignall, James Twining and fellow Simon & Schuster UK authors Chris Ewan, Craig Robertson and Chris Carter. I bonded over Quiller and Coronas with Jason Elliot, and over Sean Connery and the Bourne films with Tom Hinshelwood and Howard Linskey.

But I think the greatest thing about the festival was getting to meet readers. Thank you very much to everyone who came up to say hello, bought one of my books, or who was subjected to listening to me waxing lyrical about thrillers. And if you did buy one of my novels and enjoy it, please spread the word!

If you couldn't make it to Harrogate but fancy buying a copy of Free Agent or Free Country - the latter will be published in the UK a week today - I signed several copies of both while in England. Warwick Books have a few remaining, and I also signed and numbered 100 hardbacks of Free Country with a 'Top Secret' stamp for Goldsboro Books.