I’ll do a more informative post tomorrow, once I’ve rested, but I’ve just returned from a lovely little island up north where the Harrogate festival treated me extremely well. (I just saw there were questions on this here on the blog—I went from Harrogate to London for a couple days to stay with friends, one of them Nomad Robin, and my internet wasn’t really happening—I’ve only now returned to civilization.)

Among the many highlights was hanging out, for the first time in the flesh, with fellow Nomad Kevin, who actually does look like his author photo, if you close one eye, stand on one leg, and hum loud enough so your skull vibrates. That aside, he was just as great as I imagined him to be (whew!) and his energy made me feel like a pensioner. Which is a good thing.

I also met new friends, among them my UK editor Julia Wisdom, who is all I’ve heard about and much, much more, as well as reuniting far too briefly with my US editor, Kelley Ragland, whose company I always enjoy—this time, though, I got to meet her riotous husband and rockin cool son, who smartly eschews writers and sets Spiderman central in his pantheon of heroes.

Among the rest of the writers, I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with so many that I can’t figure out the whole list right now. If I mention one, another will be dropped, so I’ll just wait on that. (Though it was particularly enjoyable dining with Val McDermid and getting into trouble for stealing her champagne…)

Since I’m someone who goes into public gatherings with grave reservations and horrible trepidation, I found myself completely surprised by Harrogate. It truly was a simple series of wonderful meetings, one after the other.

And since I was one of the only Americans (with family in Texas, no less) in attendance, among people with sharp political opinions, that’s no small thing.

It’s been said before, and now I see how true it is: Crime novelists really are the best people around, and I look forward to breaking bread and fighting over bottles with them again soon.

More tomorrow.

(Originally posted at the Contemporary Nomad)