What a weekend! Newcastle Noir just keeps getting better! A huge thanks to Dr Noir herself, Jackie Collins and her fantastic team of staff and volunteers who work so hard throughout the year to provide an inclusive and affordable crime book festival for the city of Newcastle and beyond!
This year the festival moved up to the City Library, which was a fabulous and central venue.
Plus they had teamed up with Motel One as the festival hotel. What a beautiful hotel, clean, comfortable and central, it was a great place to be for the weekend!
This is just a brief overview of the weekend as the lovely Mary from Liveanddeadly was taking copious notes and I’m sure will be providing indepth coverage of the event!
I travelled down to Newcastle on the Friday afternoon, incognito! Thanks to the criminal mastermind, Jackie Collins, I’d been asked to moderate the Rough Justice panel on the Saturday morning featuring debut author, and my #Twinnie AKA Noelle Holten, along side Craig Robertson, Michael J Malone and Sarah Stovell. However, Noelle did not know that I was going to be doing this! We had planned to tell her that morning but Jackie thought it would be great to have me in the audience and announced to the panel just to see Noelle’s reaction! She really is a criminal mastermind! I think Noelle was suitably surprised!
Of course, it is hard to stay incognito when you are staying in the same hotel as almost everyone else! I was delighted to bump into the lovely Anne Cater and #Bloke (Martin) and the rest of team #Orenda before heading back up to my room to prepare for the next day!
The Rough Justice panel was a brilliant line up, four of my favourite authors and I got to talk to them about their dark and twisted minds! Dark and twisted is putting it mildly!
It was then a quick catch up with Sarah Hardy and Claire Knight who had travelled up from Leeds to support Noelle!
My next event was taking part in the CrimeFictionCoach workshop led by Susi Holliday and Steph Broadribb. This two hour workshop was informative and inspirational! All budding, or indeed experienced, crime writers should check this service out. They have a whole host of packages to help authors at any stage of their journey!
Then back to the hotel for a quick freshen up before meeting up with everyone for a few refreshments!
Sunday morning was an early rise to catch Antti Tuomainen, Matt Wesolowski, Will Dean and MJ Arlidge in “If you go down to the woods today”. This was a panel well worth getting out of bed for on a Sunday morning! They talked about all things creepy and sinister, how the woods and our landscape along with an element of mythology provide a terrifying backdrop for their writing!
This was followed by “Do you come from a land down under” with Vanda Symon, Rachel Amphlett, Helen Fitzgerald and Nathan Blackwell with a fascinating, and hilarious, insight into crime fiction from Australia and New Zealand…there were even some Toffy Pops thrown in too! And I was so delighted to finally get to meet Vanda and Rachel!
A quick bite to eat and then it was Wonderwall – Northern Noir with Robert Parker, Mel Sherratt and Caroline England, talking about their Northern roots and how they take readers to the heart of their books.
My last panel of the day was Fog on the Tyne with Howard Linskey, Mick Herron, Richard Rippon and MW Craven; this one was the panel of laughs that I had expected it to be with the fantastic North East dark humour shining through!
Sadly my time at Newcastle had come to an end! A coffee with Noelle Holten, Nic Parker and the lovely Vic Watson rounded off a perfect weekend! I got to catch up with loads of #MyTribe, never seen a lot of them, passed some like ships in the night and never took enough pics!
Thank you to all the Newcastle Noir team for a very warm welcome, some criminal delights and a whole lot of fun! Met up with some old friends, made some new ones and came away with a countdown for #NN20!
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