Harrogate: shouldn't I be working?

Peter James
Opinion - Publishing Thursday, 23rd July 2009

Peter James blogs from Britain's biggest crime festival

Harrogate's Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival officially starts this evening (23 July), but it has already started on Twitter, with a bunch of tweets wondering what might be a collective noun for a group of crimewriters. Agent Carole Blake contributed a conclusion. Others suggested a murder, a clue, a bench, an investigation, an arrest. Perhaps BookBrunch should run a competition!
I always look forward to Harrogate with a mixture of excitement and dread. Excitement because I think it is the most friendly event for crimewriters not just in this country but anywhere in the world that I have so far attended; dread because it always coincides with the due date on my next novel! So, as has happened last year and the year before that, I end up spending half the festival holed up in my bedroom with my laptop, hammering away at the keyboard and knowing I'm missing some really good panel or party a few floors beneath me... And this year I'm even more behind on my new Roy Grace than ever. So when do all these other writers there actually write their books? James Patterson, of course, excepted.