Q&A with Helen Giltrow on Harrogate

Helen Giltrow, author of The Distance, answers our questions on the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival 2014.


 The Distance Cover



What’s your favourite thing about Harrogate?

This is my first ‘proper’ Harrogate. Two years ago I was up to my eyes in work, and made it to only a few sessions; and I missed out completely last year due to a back injury. So we’re in the realms of prediction here, but I suspect it’s going to be: spending four days in the undiluted company of people who are as fascinated by crime fiction as I am.


What are you looking forward to most at Harrogate?

Catching up with folk I met at CrimeFest in Bristol in May. And meeting other like-minded souls, both readers and writers. I don’t buy into the ‘writing is a lonely business’ thing, but I came away from CrimeFest more inspired and energised than I would ever have predicted. I’m hoping for more of the same.

I’ll also be doing my first ever panel event − Val McDermid’s New Blood panel. Though that’s slightly scary.


Who are you looking forward to seeing most at Harrogate?

Hard one − this year’s programme is stunning, made up almost entirely of (a) people I already read, (b) people I want to read, and (c) Olivia Colman.

Galbraith and McDermid has to be a highlight. Likewise, Bauer and Lippman. And Denise Mina, whose writing I’ve loved since Garnethill. And Lauren Beukes talking cross-genre crime novels. And Charles Cumming on the espionage panel. And did I mention Olivia Colman?


What will you be reading while you’re at Harrogate?

Rumour has it, pre-publication copies of Lauren Beukes’ Broken Monsters may be on sale after her panel. Mentally I’m already in the signing queue.


Your top Harrogate tip

I’ve been told to prepare for staying up late, talking.

Also: when packing, to account for the fact I’ll be weighed down with books on the return leg.


What you can’t leave home without for Harrogate

Snacks. (I’m like a toddler; I get grumpy without regular food.) And running shoes.


The Distance is published by Orion and is available in hardback and ebook. The Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival takes place 17-20 July at The Old Swan in Harrogate.