Reacher author Child to chair Harrogate's crime writing festival

One of the world's best-selling crime writers Lee Child has been confirmed as the programming chairman for Harrogate's annual crime-writing spectacular.

The author Lee Child, who has been revealed as the programming chairman for the 2018 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. Picture by Charlotte Graham/CAG Photography Ltd.

Child, the author behind the popular Jack Reacher novels which have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide, promised to bring an exciting line up of writers together as he was revealed as the writer at the helm of the 2018 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival.

Held at The Old Swan Hotel between July 19 and 22, the event will celebrate its 16th year.

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Child, who lives in New York, said: “It’s a challenge to follow in the footsteps of authors such as Peter James, Val McDermid and Ann Cleeves as previous programming chairs, but I guarantee I’ll be bringing some very special names to 2018’s Festival.

“Harrogate is by far my favourite on the circuit, so it is a real honour – and a delight - to be taking the helm. My grandma lived in Otley so Harrogate is a place that has fond memories for me, and the Festival has a real warmth and laid back atmosphere. It’s a chance for readers and writers alike to hang out in a beautiful part of England. I’m looking forward to welcoming new and old friends.”

The author won the festival’s Crime Novel of the Year Award in 2011 and an Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award at last year’s event.

The festival’s title sponsor and executive director of T&R Theakston, Simon Theakston, said: “Lee Child is nothing short of a phenomenon, and as a regular Special Guest at our festival, it’s wonderful that he’s now our next Programming Chair. He is an inspiration to his fellow writers, but most importantly a hero to his millions of readers. No doubt, he will make 2018 a very special year indeed.”

Sharon Canavar, chief executive of Harrogate International Festivals, added: “It’s hard to top the success of the festival year-on-year, but with Lee as Chair it really electrifies the programme. He is a huge advocator and supporter of the genre.”

Special guests for next year’s festival are due to announced in the coming months.