Crime fiction event in Whitley Bay features Ann Cleeves

Simon Bewick and Victoria Watson, the team behind Virtual Noir at the Bar, have released tickets for their first physical event in Whitley Bay.

Bay Tales Live, a one-day crime fiction festival for readers and writers, will be held at Whitley Bay Playhouse on Saturday, 12 Feb 2022 and will feature some of the most successful UK crime writers, as well as introducing audience members to the brightest rising stars of 2022.

Featured authors have had their books optioned by BBC, ITV and Netflix. Keen to continue their habit of hosting the biggest names in crime fiction alongside promising new writers, Watson and Bewick – shortlisted for FutureBook’s Event of the Year last year – collaborated with some of the biggest publishers in the UK to put together a programme of six panels featuring award-winning authors like Louise Candlish and Vaseem Khan as well as successful local authors Ann Cleeves and Trevor Wood.

And, just like their Virtual Noir at the Bar shows, the pair couldn’t resist throwing a wildcard into the mix by inviting Dr Richard Shepherd, forensic pathologist and author of the Sunday Times bestseller Unnatural Causes, to speak at the event.

Having presented free weekly events for twenty-four consecutive weeks during 2020, with additional Halloween and Christmas specials, 2021 has seen the pair running monthly virtual events as well as supporting a number of publishers with online book launches.

After bringing hundreds of authors and readers together during the pandemic, the team would like them to connect in their hometown which also happens to be the setting for ITV’s smash hit TV show, Vera.

Local author Ann Cleeves, author of the Vera and Shetland series said:

“I can’t wait to meet fellow readers and writers in Whitley Bay in February. I know it’ll be a brilliant day.”

“This is an event for both readers and writers of crime fiction, with a little forensic pathology thrown in for good measure,” said Victoria Watson who, prior to the pandemic, had been responsible for Noir at the Bar events in Newcastle and Harrogate. “The events I’ve hosted in the past, whether online or in real life, have always given audience members [an opportunity] to mingle with the featured writers. Although Bay Tales Live will be in a more formal setting, there will be opportunities for people to meet the writers and get their books signed as well as to ask questions towards the end of each panel.”

From the North East

Simon Bewick, who edited the NHS charity fund raising crime fiction anthology featuring Virtual Noir at the Bar authors, Noir from the Bar said:

“We want to make this event truly affordable for every[1]one. At £30 for a full day festival featuring six panels and over twenty authors, we believe it’s the best value of its kind around.”

Tickets for the event can be purchased from the Whitley Bay Playhouse box office or from The Bound bookshop, 82a Park View, Whitley Bay.

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