Saturday 28 February 2015

Jo Nesbø launch at Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

Jo Nesbo, one of the world’s leading crime writers, who dominats the bestseller charts and is published in 40 countries, is heading to Harrogate.  Nesbo will appear on April 8 at the Old Swan Hotel at a special launch event with the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, where the full 2015 festival programme will be revealed.  

The number one best-selling author of the Harry Hole series set in Oslo will discuss his new thriller, Blood on Snow on the eve of its publication with acclaimed broadcaster Mark Lawson. They’ll also discuss the globally popular Harry Hole books, soon to be turned into a film.  

Nesbo has made appearances at the Festival in 2008 and 2010 but it was his appearance as a Special Guest at the 2012 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival that became one of the largest events in the festival’s history.  

This one off evening with the King of Scandinavian crime also offers the chance to be one of the very first to get your hands on a copy of Blood on Snow as it is not released until the 9 April. Jo Nesbo will also be signing books after the event.  

Simon Theakston, Executive Director of T&R Theakston, said: “It’s an incredible coup that Jo Nesbo is coming to Harrogate on the eve of the publication of his much anticipated new thriller. He is only doing a tiny handful of appearances in the UK, so it’s a great indication of the reputation we now have as the crime writing capital of Europe. We’re also delighted to host our official launch party on the night to announce the full 2015 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival which is hosted at the Old Swan Hotel this July, a murderously good event considered to be the best of its kind in the world.”  

Sharon Canavar, CEO of Harrogate International Festivals, said: “We’re delighted Theakstons is supporting this unique one-off event with an international star attraction. Theakstons long-standing and on-going support of our arts charity allows us to deliver year-round programmes and one-off events throughout the year, enhancing our cultural offer for residents and tourists alike.”  

Join the crime writer, rock star and former professional football player at this exclusive pre-publication event.  

Tickets are now on sale, £13 per person. Please note that all bookings are subject to a £1.75 transaction fee.

Ann Chadwick
Director, Cause UK

M: 07534892715

Friday 27 February 2015

Adam Christopher on How I researched Elementary

Today’s guest blog post is by the award-winning author Adam Christopher. Adam Christopher is a novelist, comic writer and editor. His novel Empire State was awarded SciFiNow’s Book of the Year and Financial Times Book of the Year for 2012. In 2013, he was nominated for the Sir Julius Vogel award for Best New Talent, with Empire State shortlisted for Best Novel. He is also the author of Burning Dark, Hang Wire, The Age Atomic and the forthcoming The LA Trilogy. He brings his passion for Sherlock Holmes and Elementary to The Ghost Line and gives fans of the series a chance to immerse themselves even deeper into Sherlock's world. Elementary: Ghost Line follows Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson as they're summoned to the scene of a brutal murder only to be confronted with the body of a subway driver, riddled with bullets. In the Hell's Kitchen apartment they also discover a stash of money but who would want to kill a subway driver?

Writing Elementary: The Ghost Line was fun. In fact, it was the most fun I’ve had writing, I think. Tie-in fiction is a strange beast—the story is yours, but you have to fit it into a pre-existing universe, which isn’t. You can create your own supporting characters, but the stars of the story are ready-made, supplied fully formed and ready to roll.

As you can imagine, this is a double-edged sword. As a fan of the show, I’d like to think I know the characters (and the universe they inhabit) inside out and back-to-front. Creating a story to fit the world, and placing the show’s characters within it, was the proverbial kid in a candy store moment.

But here’s the thing with a tie-in: you have to get it right. Jonny Lee Miller’s Sherlock Holmes is so distinctive, his portrayal of the character so nuanced and complex that it had to be absolutely, 100% right in prose. Likewise Lucy Liu’s Watson, a character so perfectly balanced against Holmes, that balances guiding the characters together through the story. While the show’s scriptwriters have Miller and Liu to drive the characters with their performances, for The Ghost Line, I was on my own. And if I made a mistake, then it wouldn’t ring true to the show. Fans reading the book want to experience Elementary as they know and love it. So I had to get it right.

No pressure, then.

My primary resource for this book was therefore the obvious one: the TV show itself. Which I watched, and re-watched, and re-watched. Every day of writing began with an episode to immerse myself back in the world and the characters. Every lunch break meant another episode. During the writing itself I would pause, check an episode, freeze-frame through a scene until I found the exact reference I was looking for—it could have been a line of dialogue, it could have been a reference to a previous unseen adventure (or, sometimes, to the Holmes canon itself). It could even have been a facial expression or what someone was wearing.

While The Ghost Line is an entirely original adventure, it can be slotted between TV episodes seamlessly. So these details had to be checked, and checked, and checked again. But like I said, I’m a fan, first and foremost. Elementary is my favourite show, and writing the book was a dream. Getting it right was my prime directive.

The other challenge was writing a crime/mystery set in New York City. Now, NYC is my favourite place in the world. I’ve been there several times, and each time I’ve discovered more and more about this amazing city.

But while I like to think I know about the place, I don’t live there. In Elementary, Holmes and Watson live in a brownstone in Brooklyn. New York City is as much a character of the show as the two leads are themselves.

You can follow Adam Christopher on Twitter @ghostfinder and you can find him on Facebook as well.

Elementary: The Ghost Line by Adam Christoper (£7.99, Titan Books)

Thursday 26 February 2015

The Insect Farm by Stuart Prebble

The opening few pages of The Insect Farm so grabbed me that I couldn't stop
reading. This is one of the most original, surprising, and even shocking suspense thrillers that I've come across in a long time

David Morrell, bestselling author of Inspector of the Dead and Murder as a Fine Art


Published by Alma Books on 26th March in paperback, priced at £12.99
The Insect Farm is a cleverly plotted mystery of love, jealousy and suspense.

The idea for The Insect Farm came to me because of a recurring dream that I had inadvertently killed someone and had to spend my life trying to evade detection. I used to wake up, with a disturbing uncertainty about whether or not the dream was true’ Stuart Prebble

Brothers Jonathan and Roger Maguire each have an obsession. For Jonathan, it is his beautiful and talented girlfriend Harriet. For Roger, it is the elaborate universe he has constructed in a shed in their parents' garden, populated by millions of tiny insects.  But Roger lives in an impenetrable world of his own and, after the mysterious death of their parents, his brother Jonathan is forced to give up his studies to take care of him. This obligation forces Jonathan to live apart from Harriet – further fuelling his  already jealous nature.  Their lives are abruptly shattered by a sudden and violent death, and Jonathan is drawn into a cat-and-mouse game with the police. Does Roger know more than he is letting on? A cleverly plotted mystery with a shock ending, The Insect Farm – Stuart Prebble’s awaited new novel – will linger long in the mind of its readers.

Stuart’s career spans a range from BBC news and documentaries, through music and factual entertainment, to ITV’s World in Action and as former CEO of ITV.  Stuart was one of the founders (with Andrea Wonfor) of Liberty Bell Productions, where his programme credits include the Grumpy Series, 3 Men in a Boat, Willie’s Wonky Chocolate Factory, the Alastair Campbell Diaries, The Book Show and Songbook. He sold Liberty Bell to Avalon and in 2011 started Storyvault Films.  Stuart is also the founder of a website designed to collect individual memories that can be found at

 For further information contact Emily Banyard or Annabel Robinson at FMcM on 0207 4057422 or email Emily or Annabel.

Wednesday 25 February 2015

Nominations Anthony Ballots

To all Bouchercon attendees:

If you were registered for the Long Beach Bouchercon last year, or the one upcoming in Raleigh, you will be receiving ballots in a day or so, (Saturday, Feb 28) to nominate books and stories for the 2015 Anthony’s to be awarded in Raleigh in October.

They are trying something new, and testing the process for future Bouchercons, using a survey site called Survey Monkey to send and collate the nominations. Those who have attended past Bouchercons may be familiar with the surveys you received afterwards. (Some of you may have opted out of Surveys, and if so, you won’t receive the ballot unless you opt back in.)

However, the links to the ballots are being sent via email, and emails being what they are, it will be inevitable that many won’t receive them because of spam filters, firewalls and other reasons. So if you can set your emails and servers to allow mail from Survey Monkey ( or Bouchercon or Anthony Ballots, or just check your spam traps, that will hopefully cut down on undelivered ballots.  

If you want some further info, and a sneak peak at the ballot worksheet, check out

Remember, you are all members of Bouchercon, and the related success of the Anthony’s, being a fan-based award, are directly related to your participation.

Happy nominating and thank you!