Harrogate, Harrogate, Harrogate…

Got the sign-up pack in through the post this weekend to the Harrogate Crime Festival, including a form that I have to fill in saying that I’m not a vegetarian and won’t require a sacrificial sheep at any event I’m involved in. Even if it is called ‘New Blood’.

Trouble is, the form also hints that it would be very nice of me to waive any fee to actually appear at the thing – in order to support the festival. Which I’d love to do, were it not for quitting my job this year in order to be a write-ist, effectively slashing my take home pay by a HUGE amount. Mortgage, remember the mortgage…

Now the fee isn’t huge – after all this is all about taking part and meeting people and publicising the book and maybe even feeling that we’re not all alone in this crazy, messed up, crime-writing world… – but it would just about cover an additional night in the hotel the event’s taking place in. Which would mean I could go to the festival party, held the night before the New Blood thing and let the old beard down with everyone else. They’re putting me up on the night of the event itself, so I’d make nearly three days of the festival, rather than one and a bit.

Ethical dilemma, here we come: do I be nice and say, “No, it’s OK, I’m gonna waive that fee, ‘cos I think it’s important to support festivals like this.” and NOT go to the party (selfless, noble, but missing a chance to get to know the people involved), or do I plead the poverty of a fledgling write-ist and ‘party on down’ (risking being viewed as a gold-digging, hairy-faced poo-head)?

What do you think? Anyone else going?