Legal thriller writer John Grisham is to headline the 2018 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate this July.
The lawyer-turned-author will be interviewed on stage by Lee Child, author of the bestselling Jack Reacher series. Child is programming chair of the festival, which takes place from 19th to 22nd July in Harrogate, Yorkshire.
Grisham has had nine of his books adapted to film, including "The Firm" with Tom Cruise, "The Pelican Brief" starring Julia Roberts, and "A Time to Kill" featuring Samuel L. Jackson and Matthew McConaughey. His latest novel, The Rooster Bar (Hodder) was released last October. It will be published in paperback in July 2018 to coincide with Grisham’s visit to Harrogate.
“About 20 years ago I attended a Chelsea football match with my close friend and editor, Oliver Johnson", Grisham said. "Afterwards, we retired to a pub and I had my first pint of Theakston Old Peculier. Others followed. It’s my favourite beer in the world. Then Lee Child invited me over for the crime festival, and when I discovered it was sponsored by Theakston, I knew I had to say yes! I’ve never been to Harrogate or even to Yorkshire and I’m really looking forward to the festival.”
Grisham will join fellow American author Don Winslow as a special guest, with the full programme to be revealed in April.
Child said: “As I live in New York, I’m bringing some very special American friends over and John Grisham and Don Winslow are two of the biggest authors out there. I’m really delighted they’ll be hanging out in Harrogate. Alongside the blockbuster heavyweights, festival-goers can expect a really diverse mix of authors and panel events. It’s fun to add my stamp as chair and bring some different names to Harrogate for the first time.”
Title sponsor and executive director of T&R Theakston, Simon Theakston, said: “Over the years the festival has hosted iconic names from P D James to J K Rowling. 2018 has to be the first year we’ve had three American crime writing titans of this scale in our line-up. It’s a testament to the programming committee, chaired by the legendary Lee Child, and Harrogate International Festivals that 2018 will be one of the most hotly anticipated events in the literary calendar. I’m delighted that John’s appreciation of Old Peculier was a positive factor in persuading him to come from America to this year’s festival.”
The festival was co-founded by crime author Val McDermid, agent Jane Gregory and arts charity, Harrogate International Festivals in 2003.