Mari Hannah will be 2019 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival programming chair
James Patterson has been announced as a headline act at the 2019 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. The programmer of the festival will be Mari Hannah, who succeeds Lee Child.
Patterson has sold more than 375m books worldwide, and holds the Guinness World Record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers. He has been the most-borrowed author of adult fiction in UK libraries for the past 11 years. This year, the festival chose his Along Came a Spider as its first Big Read, and Hannah, as the festival's reader-in-residence, toured libraries to join reading group discussions about the novel.
Hannah said: "What some people may not know about James Patterson is how much he cares about reading, how much he gives back, donating books and offering financial support to independent bookshops, ensuring that his reading legacy lives on. As the festival's reader-in-residence for the past three years, announcing James Patterson in my year as programming chair is a huge honour."
Patterson has donated millions to reading initiatives, schools, colleges, independent bookstores and libraries. He is founding partner with the Duchess of Cornwall of the Children's Reading Fund (UK).
He said: "I'm really looking forward to coming to Harrogate next year and meeting my UK fans. I was thrilled that Along Came a Spider was chosen as the Big Read at last year's festival and taken on the road by Mari Hannah to libraries across the North. I firmly believe that better readers become better thinkers, and libraries and book festivals play a key role in spreading the joy of reading."
Photos: James Patterson (top - by Rankin) and Mari Hannah