Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Dealing out crime fiction on the English coast

This coming weekend a collection of crime writers from across the UK (should the collective noun be 'a murder of crime writers'?), with dashes of Nordic and Continental Europe, will gather for a one-day festival in the coastal town of Deal, just up the road from the famous White Cliffs of Dover.

I'm very pleased to be part of the second Deal Noir - I heard great things about last year's event, and I'm curious to explore Deal itself and the surrounding Kent coast outside of the various session.

Deal Noir is the creation of Mike Linane, the brains behind the 'Bodies from the Library' event in London celebrating Golden Age detective fiction, and Susan Moody, a former Chair of the Crime Writers Association, member of the Detection Club, and acclaimed crime writer herself.

It's a one-day festival held in the Landmark Centre, with a series of sessions throughout the day. There are some pretty fantastic crime writers appearing, so it's ridiculously good value as you can get a pass for the entire day for just over 20 pounds (the price of a single session at some other events).

From what I've heard, Deal is a nice little seaside town, looking out onto the English channel towards France. So it'll be a day of great books discussions in a lovely location. Here's the programme:

9.00: Registration

9.25: Welcome by Susan Moody

9.30: "There’s A Time And A Place For Everything" -  Guy Fraser-Sampson, Daniel Pembrey, Linda Regan and William Shaw, moderated by Craig Sisterson

10.25: "New Blood  (Sweat and Tears)" - Alison Baillie, Simon Booker, Susi Holiday & Sarah Ward, moderated by Andy Lawrence

Coffee break

11.35: "Around The World In 80 Slays" - Piergiorgio Pulixi, William Ryan, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Edward Wilson, participating moderator by Quentin Bates

12.35: "May The Force Be With You" - Lisa Cutts, Michael Fowler, Matt Johnson, David Videcette, moderated by William Horwood


2.00: "The Life and Crimes of Agatha Christie" - Dr John Curran and David Brawn

3.00: "Watching The Detectives" - Simon Brett, John Harvey, Susan Moody, Andrew Taylor, moderated by Ayo Onatade

Coffee Break

4.25: "Leading Ladies" - Elly Griffiths,  Elizabeth Haynes,  Sarah Hilary,  Alex Marwood, participating moderator Allison Joseph

5.25: "Whydidn’ttheydunnit?" - Simon Brett

5.45: Announcement of Flash Fiction Award and Closure by Susan Moody

So as you can see, that's a pretty cool line-up, with a diverse array of authors and sessions. I'm looking forward to chairing the first panel, about the importance of setting (time and place), and then watching from the audience for several others.

In an aside, I just realised that the William Horwood who is moderating the 12.35pm panel is the author of a series that I absolutely adored as an adolescent - Duncton Wood. For those who aren't familiar with it (it's not a crime series), it is an epic series of tales about a mythic/fantastical society of moles in England. Think Watership Down meets Game of Thrones. A more epic Animal Farm.

So lots to look forward to this weekend. If you're there yourself, please do come and say hi.

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