Tuesday, July 24, 2018

High Times in Harrogate


(Left to right) Stav Sherez, the winner of the 2018 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award for his book The Intrusions, teams with Rap Sheet correspondent Ali Karim to welcome conventioneers to the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate.

Anybody who subscribes to Ali Karim’s Facebook page knows that, when he’s attending a crime-fiction festival—either in the States or Great Britain—he’s a fiend for photography. I’ve rarely seen anyone but a professional shooter take so many pictures during an event, with so many of them being a bit off kilter. (There must be some stylistic intent there, I just haven’t figured it out. Or maybe the slanted view results from Ali packing along too much medicinal gin.)

Naturally, The Rap Sheet’s chief UK correspondent was on hand for the recent Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, held from July 19 to 22 in Harrogate, England. The photos he snapped there include candids of authors and agents, along with shots of awards events, publisher parties, trivia quiz competitions, books he collected during the convention, and of course, photos of him clowning it up with his usual companions, Shots editor Mike Stotter and American copy editor/blogger Peter Rozovsky.

I won’t attempt to compile here all of the images Ali posted on Facebook: I don’t think I can write that many captions! But below, you will find more than a dozen that suggest the diversity and delights enjoyed by participants at this year’s Harrogate festival.


American authors Laura Lippman and Greg Hurwitz.



Good and appropriate advice from a lineup of Harrogate International Festivals team members, including—just to the right of the “A”—chief executive Sharon Canavar.



Daily Mirror books critic Deirdre O'Brien takes a moment with one of the authors on her radar, Steve Mosby (You Can Run).



Even a bit of rain couldn’t spoil the high spirits of this event.



When the lurid meets the literary: Ali Karim with South African-born British poet and literary agent Isobel Dixon.



Now here’s an intimidating bunch: authors Martyn Waites, Steve Cavanaugh, Luca Veste, and Stuart Neville.



Jon Coates, deputy news editor of the Sunday Express, chats with thriller writer Simon Kernick (The Hanged Man).



A little beer, a little camaraderie—what’s not to like? Will Dean (Dark Pines), Ruth Ware (The Death of Mrs. Westaway), and Abir Mukherjee (A Necessary Evil, Smoke and Ashes).



Wherever wordsmiths gathered, Ali’s camera was soon to follow. Here we see novelists Lloyd Otis (Dead Lands), Linwood Barclay (A Noise Downstairs), and Alafair Burke (The Wife), together with bloggers Craig Sisterson (Crime Watch) and Peter Rozovsky (Detectives Beyond Borders).



Ali was more than moderately enthusiastic about meeting American Joseph Kanon (Defectors) at this year’s festival. As he wrote on Facebook, “Joe Kanon is a helluva bloke, apart from being an extraordinary writer—truly liberal and currently horrified and embarrassed by the Trump regime. [We spent] a memorable afternoon with his anecdotes—just wonderful.” The photo shows (left to right) Jon Coates, Ali, Mike Stotter, and Kanon himself.



Ali’s caption for this shot: “Lee Child [center] discusses the exit strategy with his security team of Mike Stotter and Ali Karim.”



Vengeance in Mind author Daphne Wright (aka N.J. Cooper) with Nigerian writer Leye Adenle (When Trouble Sleeps).



Stotter catches up with Mick Herron, the winner of CrimeFest’s 2018 Last Laugh Award for Spook Street.



Shari Lapena, a former lawyer and English teacher, introduces Ali to her brand-new thriller, An Unwanted Guest.


Smile pretty for the camera, folks! Mark Billingham (The Killing Habit) with Kimberley “K.J.” Howe (Skyjack).

(All photos in this post copyright © Ali Karim 2018.)

READ MORE:Harrogate 2018—a Little Bit Different,” by Catherine Turnbull (Crime Fiction Lover).

1 comment:

Gram said...

Love the pictures! even if I had to turn my head in several directions :-)