JK Rowling heads for Harrogate crime-writing festival

7/4/05    Harrogate Royal Hall.
7/4/05 Harrogate Royal Hall.

The world’s media is set to descend on Harrogate for the second time in as many weeks as the world’s most famous author makes an exclusive appearance in town.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling will unveil her second crime novel written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith at the Royal Hall today (Friday July 19).

The world-famous writer has chosen Harrogate’s Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival for her first - and only - event this year as a crime writer, following the launch of her latest book, Silkworm on June 19.

The event was the fastest selling in the Harrogate International Festival’s 50 year history and eager fans queued for hours to get their hands on tickets which sold out in 90 minutes.

Sharon Canavar CEO of Harrogate International Festivals, said: “It’s incredibly exciting to welcome J K Rowling, writing as Robert Galbraith, to Harrogate.

“The world’s media spotlight will be on the town tomorrow night (Friday). It’s her only UK appearance in 2014, and as such is a brilliant coup for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival.

She added: “We’ve put Harrogate firmly on the literary map, and the fact she’s chosen the Festival speaks volumes about the calibre of the event. It’s now considered to be the biggest celebration of the crime genre in the world.”

Journalists from Australia, Denmark, Belgium and Finland will attend the event, along with representatives from almost every national newspaper in the UK. BBC Radio 2 will be broadcasting Simon Mayo’s Book Club live from Harrogate.

J K Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith, will be interviewed by festival founder Val McDermid, and organisers have arranged a live stream of the event at the Old Swan Hotel for those who weren’t lucky enough to snap up tickets for the Royal Hall.

This is the 12th annual Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. Simon Theakston, executive director of T&R Theakston, said: “It is a mark of the dedication and hard work of the Harrogate International Festivals and the constant support of its professional programming committee that our Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival has reached the status sufficient to attract such world renowned authors.

“We remain delighted to be the headline sponsor of the festival and to be associated with its growing success.”

Tickets for the screening at the Old Swan Hotel may still be available on the door (£8) or from the box office: 01423 562 303. See pages 24 and 25 for more on Harrogate Festivals.