A special presentation was made to Val McDermid – the winner of the seventh Theakston Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award. McDermid joins Sara Paretsky, Lynda La Plante, Ruth Rendell, PD James, Colin Dexter and Reginald Hill as recipients of the Award.
Val said: “It’s an honour and a thrill to receive this award. The community of writers and readers at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is unlike any other in its warmth and generosity and so this means a huge amount to me. This year sees the publication of my 30th novel and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate that.”
Crime writer Mark Billingham paid tribute to Val at the awards ceremony, he said: “It’s fitting that Val should receive this award at a festival she was instrumental in starting, and it’s one that is richly deserved. She has represented this genre quite brilliantly all over the world, both in person and through her novels, which have earned her legions of fans and a place among the very greatest crime writers of all time. She is the Queen of Crime, and long may she reign over us.”
J.K. Rowling, who writes crime fiction under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, sent a message of support, saying: “I’d like to add my note of congratulations to my friend and colleague Val McDermid, for her justly deserved Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award. She has been showing us all the way for a long time now. One of Robert’s proudest moments was receiving a favourable review from the great McDermid, who received a thank you note in fake handwriting, only to receive one two weeks later in my real handwriting when I was unwillingly unmasked.”
Val McDermid is one of the biggest names in crime writing. Her novels have been translated into 30 languages, and sold over 10 million copies worldwide.
Val has created many notable characters such as journalist, Lindsay Gordon and the private investigator, Kate Brannigan. One of her most enduring creations is the Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series, which were adapted in the highly successful TV drama Wire in the Blood, starring Robson Green.
Her 30th novel, Out of Bounds, is published next month. McDermid co-founded the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival with the leading arts organisation, Harrogate International Festivals, and literary agent Jane Gregory, in 2003.
Simon Theakston added: “It gives us enormous delight to celebrate Val McDermid’s remarkable career. Val is very much the heart and soul of our festival. Her generosity to readers and authors alike, her role as a champion of the crime genre, and her support for new talent, are all qualities to be admired. She is unique, not only as the only author to sponsor a football team – her beloved Raith Rovers – but for remaining grounded and inclusive, amidst her enormous success.”