Finally it’s Sunday, the last day of the Harrogate Crime Festival and it’s up early to pack my suitcase. Now where can I put all those books I’ve bought, plus can’t forget to pack the bottle of Old Peculier that came in my goody bag. The only solution is to pack the canvas goody bag and carry it slung over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes.
Breakfast next, and I decide not to collect my flyers and bookmarks from the unwanted books table until after the first panel of the day – bad decision – when I went to collect them they’d all been binned. The Scot in me mourned the loss of my material, the hours spent preparing it, never mind the ink and paper. Ah well, that’s life. Next year I’ll be there a lot earlier.
The highlight of morning had to be the special guest, Jo Nesbo. The ballroom where all the events are held was packed, illustrating the popularity of this event. Jo Nesbo is one of the Scandinavian writers who have risen to popularity over the past few years. And he’s Norwegian, which means I have a special affinity with him because of my Norwegian grandfather, not that he’d know it, of course.
He was an entertaining speaker who expressed a reluctance to talk at events, however, he said he was forced by Mark Billingham to come. He claimed to be unable to write in his apartment and said he preferred to write on trains, planes and in airports, and that he was delighted when his plane was delayed. His main character is Harry Hole, which he said was a common Norwegian name which should be pronounced ‘Hoola’. The first of his books published in the
UK was The Devil’s
Star, although the first book in the series is The Bat, which doesn’t seem
to be available in a UK or version. US
He took five weeks to write the first draft of The Bat, which is set in
His second book, also unavailable in the
The Redbreast his third book is the first of the series available in the
I won’t bore you with the details of my journey home, including train breakdowns, but before I left, I made sure I paid my deposit for next year’s Old Peculier Crime Festival at