Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival 2012 – the weekend taster

The launch of the programme for 2012 was held last night, so here’s the press release followed by a taster of events:

Harrogate celebrates the 10th Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

 2012 programme announced: Jo Nesbo, Harlan Coben, John Connolly, Kate Mosse, Peter Robinson, Peter James and Ian Rankin to headline

19-22 July 2012 at the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate

This year, the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival celebrates its tenth year. To mark the occasion, the cream of international crime fiction will once again gather in Harrogate to raise a glass of Theakstons’ finest to the biggest festival in the country championing crime writing, the most popular literary genre in the UK today.

Headlining the festival this summer are heavyweights Jo Nesbo, Harlan Coben, John Connolly, Kate Mosse, Peter Robinson, Peter James and Ian Rankin. Each year the festival is chaired by a different high-profile crime writer, and this year popular British author Mark Billingham, creator of D.I. Tom Thorne, takes the helm.

Billingham said: “In just ten years, the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate has become the biggest and best of its kind in the world and it’s an honour to be chairing the Programming Committee once again. I’m confident that we’ve handpicked a programme this year that will rival anything seen at the festival before. Big names? Of course. But this festival has always been about introducing crime fiction lovers to the very best of the newer talent on offer too, and we’ve got plenty from all over the world. Whether you like your crime fiction cosy as crumpets or dark as a bloodstain in the shadows, at this year’s festival there will be something for everyone!

Other highlights include a dedicated look at award-winning BBC TV series Luther (including insights into the new series) with author/screenwriter Neil Cross, journalist Miranda Sawyer and cast and crew; Swedish superstar Camilla Lackberg discussing the art of translation; Creative Thursday – a master class in writing crime fiction; Dragons’ Pen, where punters get a chance to pitch their would-be bestsellers to a panel of professionals; and Val McDermid revealing the most exciting emerging crime authors in her New Blood panel.

With four days packed with events, and over 80 authors in attendance, the festival will also serve up its usual helping of heated debate including: whether we are currently in a golden age of crime fiction; an author’s moral responsibility when writing in the genre; why women are the biggest consumers of crime fiction; plus former intelligence agents, investigative journalists and criminal prosecutors discuss putting top secrets into print.

The annual Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year will also be announced on the opening night of the festival, Thursday 19 July.

Simon Theakston, Executive Director of T&R Theakston, said: “I am hugely proud of our association with Harrogate’s world-class crime fiction festival. This year’s line-up is a fantastic mix of household names and brand new talent and, for this tenth festival, we look forward to giving both writers and ticket-holders a warm welcome and catching up on all the latest crime writing gossip over a pint of Old Peculier ale!”

The annual Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival started in 2003 and is held at The Old Swan Hotel in the beautiful spa town of Harrogate. Ranked one of the top three literary festivals in the UK by The Guardian, featuring in The Independent’s ‘The 50 Best Festivals’, and with fans including broadcaster Mark Lawson, the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is a must for both dedicated crime fiction fans and newcomers to the genre.

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And your taster of events:

THURS 19 JULY 20:00 £15: Theakstons Old Peculier Novel of the Year and opening night party hosted by festival favourite Mark Lawson.

FRI 20 JULY:

09:00, £12: special guest JOHN CONNOLLY in conversation with MARK BILLINGHAM.

10:30, £9.50: CRIME IN ANOTHER DIMENSION looking at crime with a science fiction/urban fantasy setting with BEN AARONOVITCH, CHRISTOPHER FOWLER, STUART MACBRIDE, CHARLES STROSS, hosted by DAVID QUANTICK.

10:00, £9.50: DRAWING THE LINE about struggling with morality with TIM WEAVER, MARGIE ORFORD, PENNY HANCOCK, GREGG HURWITZ and NJ COOPER, where do they draw the line in the sand?

14:00, £9.50: WANTED FOR MURDER: THE EBOOK, MARK LAWSON looks at the future of the printed book with industry experts URSULA MACKENZIE, PATRICK NEALE, PHILIP PATTERSON and writers STEPHEN LEATHER and STEVE MOSBY.

15:30, £9.50: WRITING FOR YOUR LIFE when writing what you know might actually cost you your life with DAVID HOSP, CHRIS MORGAN JONES, TONY THOMPSON and BORIS STARLING talking to CHARLES CUMMING.

17:00, £9.50: AMERICA’S GOT TALENT when JOHN CONNOLLY will showcase acclaimed new writers from the US: RYAN DAVID JAHN, MEGAN ABBOTT, GILLIAN FLYNN and CHRIS MOONEY.

20:30, £12: special guest KATE MOSSE talks to JENNI MURRAY.

22:00, £12: special guests IAN RANKIN and PETER ROBINSON in conversation, echoing their ‘now legendary’ appearance at the first festival in 2003.

SAT 21 JULY:

09:00, £12: special guest PETER JAMES interviewed by PAUL BLEZARD.

10:30, £9.50: THE GOLDEN AGE of the 20s and 30s discussed by STUART NEVILLE, ROBERT WILSON, NICOLA UPSON, DAVID ROBERTS and PAUL JOHNSTON (keeping score).

12:00, £9.50: NEW BLOOD with VAL MCDERMID this year introducing ‘sparkling new talents’ OLIVER HARRIS, ELIZABETH HAYNES, DAVID MARK and KATE RHODES.

14:00, £9.50: DEADLIER THAN THE MALE asks if women write the most graphically violent crime fiction with DANUTA KEAN hosting JILLIANNE HOFFMAN, JULIA CROUCH, AMANDA KYLE WILLIAMS and TANIA CARVER (MARTYN WAITES).

15:50,£9.50: ‘A DONKEY IN THE GRAND NATIONAL’ was how literary critic John Sutherland described the prospect of a crime novel on the Booker Prize shortlist. Chairing and moderating the fierce responses of JOHN HARVEY, VAL MCDERMID, LAURA LIPPMAN and SIMON LELIC will be HENRY SUTTON.

17:00, £10: special event: LUTHER with a behind the scenes look at the BBC’s international hit TV series with writer NEIL CROSS and members of the cast and crew.

18:15, £29: COME DINE WITH ME MEETS THE GLASS ROOM.  Set in the universe of Ann Cleeves’s latest VERA novel, join Ann and a host of other authors for a special murder mystery dinner …

20:30, £12: HARLAN COBEN interviewed by LAURA LIPPMAN.

22:00, £9.50: LATE NIGHT QUIZ with that pesky pair (my words) delivering the pain of the questions: MARK BIILINGHAM and VAL MCDERMID.

SUN 22 JULY:

10:00, £9.50: (The Prof) BARRY FORSHAW examines the art of translation with ANTONIO HILL, CAMILLA LACKBERG, LIZA MARKLUND and DEON MEYER.

11:30, £12: special guest JO NESBO interviewed by MARK LAWSON.

And don’t forget that Thursday is CREATIVE THURSDAY for upcoming authors.  More information for all this on the site here.  See you there!