Make sure you book in for a top line-up of authors at St Albans LitFest

Frank Gardner

Frank Gardner - Credit: Archant

Next week sees the start of the second St Albans Literary Festival, with a packed programme of events taking place between July 4-10.

Tracy Borman

Tracy Borman - Credit: Archant

Presented by the Herts Advertiser and run by a small group of dedicated volunteers, it features talks and workshops taking place in different sections of St Peter’s Church in St Albans, as well as select locations around the city centre.

Highlights include:

Monday July 4

Ben Aaronovitch

Ben Aaronovitch - Credit: Archant

n Frank Gardner - BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner OBE, who survived being shot multiple times by Islamist gunmen in Riyadh in 2004, reports on issues of UK and global security covering terrorist attacks, hostage-taking and Middle Eastern politics.

He will be discussing his debut thriller, Crisis, which combines his up-to-the minute insider knowledge and fly-on-the-wall insights with heart-in-mouth excitement.

n Ken Livingstone - This event has been cancelled due to low sales

Alison Weir

Alison Weir - Credit: Archant

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Tuesday July 5

n Carol Hedges – A Journey Back to 1860s London - Crime writer Carol will be taking her audience on a journey back to 1860s London to visit the sights, sounds and people of the past. She will talk about how she researches, writes, publishes and publicises her books and will be answering questions from the audience.

Thursday July 7

n Dave Gibbons – The legendary comics artist, whose portfolio includes Kingsman: The Secret Service, Green Lantern, Doctor Who and Rogue Trooper, will be taking part in a retrospective look at his remarkable career, spanning his time working for 2000AD, his art and scripts for US publishers Marvel, DC and Dark Horse, through to his recent collaboration with the renowned Mark Millar which inspired the action blockbuster Kingsman.

n Anthony Lester QC in conversation with Martine Croxall – Anthony Lester QC was at the heart of the 30-year campaign which resulted in the Human Rights Act 1998, as well as the struggle to bring about the Equality Act 2010 and prevent discrimination on grounds of race, gender, religion, sexuality, and disability.

He will be speaking about his new book, Five Ideas To Fight For, looking at principles vital to the way of life we enjoy today: human rights, equality, free speech, privacy and the rule of law, in a special session hosted by BBC News presenter Martine Croxall.

Saturday July 9

n Killer Women Crime Fiction Panel - A murderous panel exposing the tricks of the trade practiced by three of the nation’s top crime writers: Sarah Pinborough, Angela Clarke and SD Sykes.

n Making the Detectives with Peter Robinson and David Mark - This event features novelists David Mark and Peter Robinson (see interview p27), creators of Det Sgt Aector McAvoy and DCI Alan Banks, and will look at how writers come up with their lead characters and then develop their lives and personalities over the course of several novels.

n Alison Weir on Catherine of Aragon, the True Queen - In her new novel, the first in a series of six focusing on the wives of Henry VIII, Alison Weir tells the poignant story of Katherine of Aragon, the King’s first wife.

n Ben Aaronovitch discusses the Rivers of London series - Ben will be talking about his acclaimed supernatural police series, soon to reach its sixth volume, which offers a unique blend of police action, supernatural mayhem and threads of London’s fascinating hidden history woven through the fabric of the plot.

Sunday July 10

n Amy Licence – Medieval Queens: Written into the Margins - This talk looks at the female experience and how it has been reported by historians.

n Tracey Borman: The Private Lives of the Tudors - The author of Sunday Times bestseller Thomas Cromwell, presents the definitive look at Tudor life in her new book The Private Lives of the Tudors, turning everything you think you know about the world’s most famous dynasty on its head and exploring the secrets of servants, attendants and those who surrounded the monarchy.

n Ayisha Malik: Sofia Khan is Not Obliged - A debut novelist whose book may be the first Muslim romcom is set to wrap up this year’s St Albans Literary Festival.

To avoid further cancellations due to low sales please book your tickets now. Printed programmes featuring venues and times are available from key locations across St Albans, including St Albans Cathedral, Waterstones and St Peter’s Church.