This year, Newcastle Noir was launched by Denise Mina, in conversation with Festival Director Jacky Collins.
Denise was discussing her latest book, “The Long Drop”, which is a standalone psychological thriller based on Scotland’s first convicted killer.
She gave a wide-ranging interview discussing winning her awards and how different it is to try and write a graphic novel in comparison to a book.
The main Festival began on Saturday with a panel dedicated to local (or “Geordie”) authors. This panel consisted of Howard Linskey, L. J. Ross and Matt Wesolowski.
Howard has written 2 different series set in the North East. His first trilogy was about a Geordie white-collar gangster and his latest is about crime journalists Tom Carney and Helen Norton. He gave a reading from the third book in the series, “The Search”, which comes out on 4th May.
L. J. writes about DCI Ryan, and has 5 books in the series. Her reading came from “High Force”, which is the latest book.
Matt has mostly written horror novellas, but had an idea to turn a podcast into a book, giving six different points of view on a murder. He also gave an excellent reading.
This panel talked a lot about how Newcastle and Northumberland is a character in itself – and was one of my favourites of the day.
Panel 2 was on an LGBTQ theme, with Sarah Stovell, Lilja Sigurðardóttir and David Swatling.
Sarah’s debut novel, “Exquisite”, is being released in the summer. It’s a psychological thriller set in the Lake District. Lilja has 2 books of a trilogy in her native Iceland, but her first one, Snare, will be out in English in the Autumn. David is also a debut novelist, his novel is “Calvin’s Head”.
The panel discussed the issues facing them as LGBTQ authors, how different it was to have LGBTQ characters published and read from their debuts. They all books to look forward to!
After a lunch break, it was time to hear from the Femme Fatales – or more specifically, the Scottish Femme Fatales!
This was the first of 2 panels that had last minute changes – sadly the authors Alex Grey and Alanna Knight couldn’t be there – but we had 2 fantastic replacements! The panel consisted of Lin Anderson, Jackie Baldwin and Jackie McLean.
Unfortunately I couldn’t hear most of this particular panel, however I did have chance to speak to them all afterwards and the books all sound good!
Panel 4 was on a subject that didn’t interest me as it was on German Historical Fiction, however I was really pleased that the next panel was Nordic 1. It is well known at the Festival that the Director likes her Nordic Noir!
Our 5th Panel had Kjell Ola Dahl, Thomas Enger, Nina von Staffeldt and Antti Tumainen.
Kjell has 4 books that have been translated into English. They are crime with a psychological element. I really liked the sound of the one he read from, “Faithless”.
Thomas has 4 of his 5 novels so far translated into English. I have already read one (Pierced) and can highly recommend it. The first in the series was Burned.
Nina has not as yet got an English publisher, but I did manage to read a sneaky sampler of the first few chapters. It looks really good – it’s about a viral outbreak!
It was good to see Antti again – he was also at the festival last year. Again I can highly recommend his novels – I had the chance to read one last year!
After a break, the Germans were back again! This time a panel on German Noir. I was quite disappointed that one of the authors couldn’t make it at the last minute due to travel problems.
We were still treated to hearing from Cay Rademancher and Wulf Dorn. They were both knowledgeable and entertaining.
Our final panel of the day was called Crime Fiction: Presenting the Case, and was a collection of publishers, bloggers and translators. It was an interesting way to finish the day.
So, by the end I was completely exhausted – and had picked up 4 books! This is only the first half of the weekend – more to come!