Coup for festival as JK Rowling set to make appearance

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LITERARY superstar JK Rowling is heading to Yorkshire this summer for a special appearance at the a crime writing festival.

The Harry Potter creator will be “in conversation” with her friend and fellow author Val McDermid at the Royal Hall in Harrogate on July 18.

It is a major coup for organisers of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Festival and will be Rowling’s first and only appearance this year as Robert Galbraith.

Rowling was unmasked last year when it emerged she had secretly published a thriller called The Cuckoo’s Calling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, which has become an international best seller.

Her new novel, The Silkworm, is published on June 19 and the author will be discussing her crime-writing career in Harrogate.

It is the second in the widely-praised series featuring private detective Cormoran Strike and his young assistant Robin Ellacott.

It sees Strike unravelling the death of writer Owen Quine after first being called in to probe his disappearance.

The investigators uncover a manuscript in which many of Quine’s associates are portrayed unflatteringly – which would have ruined their lives if published and could prove to be a motive for a killer.

Rowling heads a stellar list of authors at this year’s festival, including Ann Cleeves, Sophie Hannah and Lynda LaPlante.

Sharon Canavar, chief executive of Harrogate International Festivals, said: “The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Festival is already known as the biggest and best in Europe, and the fact it attracts an exclusive event of this calibre really is testament to that reputation.”

More than 3,000 crime writing fans attended the first event in 2003, since when it has grown in popularity with people travelling to the North Yorkshire spa town from all over the world in order to meet their literary heroes.

The festivals office is currently taking bookings for weekend packages for the event.

Tickets for special guest events and weekend rover tickets go on sale through the box office from Monday, March 17.

The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate runs from July 17 to 20.For more information telephone 01423 562303.