VNatB at Crawley WordFest

On February 23rd we hosted a special one-off Virtual Noir at the Bar on behalf of Crawley WordFest

You can view the recording of the show below.

We were thrilled to welcome A. A. Chaudhuri, Amen Alonge, Trevor Wood, SJ Watson, Awais Khan, Neil Lancaster, Abir Mukherjee, Eve Smith, Jack Jordan, Russ Thomas and Victoria Selman.

With so much writing goodness we’ve had to split the show in two.

See Part 1:

And here’s Part 2:

Friends of the Bay

Our Sponsors and Supporters

This event would not have been possible without the support of a lot of people and companies. We’d like to thank them all – and can recommend them all!

First and foremost, we’d like to thank Ann Cleeves

Ann has been a tireless supporter – of us, of local businesses and writers in the region and far beyond. It was Ann who ‘outed’ us during one of our virtual shows and said we should run a ‘live’ show and she has supported us ever since – financially and, more importantly, at Living North‘s Christmas Fair, in print and online.

Our Sponsor: Living North

We couldn’t have asked for a better sponsor for our inaugural event. We wanted someone who really represented the North East – and we couldn’t have found anyone more appropriate than Living North. If you want to know what’s happening and what to do, where to go for the best food, drink and events in the North, make sure you pick up a copy of Living North or visit their website.

Living North have given us space at their Christmas Fair, online and in their magazine – and we are very grateful to them for all their help.

Our Bookseller Partner

the bound opened in 2021 in Whitley Bay. As part of The Forum (Corbridge)/ Accidental Bookshop (Alnwick) trio of shops they provide the North of England with great quality independent book shops. As well as providing our on-the-day bookselling services they also facilitated our author reception and book signing session featuring all our panelists.

Publishing Panel Sponsors

It would have been a quiet event without the support from our publishing sponsors! We were blown away by the enthusiasm shown by the publishers we spoke to and suggested the idea. Before we could even finish our pitch they were in – and they have done us proud through sending the very best authors to our event – thanks to you all!

Simon & Schuster

Simon & Schuster UK is one of the leading general book publishing companies in the UK. The group is based in London with sister companies in the United States, Canada, Australia and India. Within the UK division, there are four imprints: Gallery, Scribner, Simon & Schuster; and Simon & Schuster Children’s Books, which publish a wide and eclectic mix of authors ranging across commercial fiction, literary fiction, general non-fiction and children’s publications. Home to bestselling authors and award winners, Simon & Schuster UK is a publishing house of quality writing and a proud home to its authors and their exceptional work. It also runs a sales and distribution service for a number of independent and international publishers including Andrews McMeel, Black Library, Boom! Studios, Elliott & Thompson, Gallup Press, Inner Traditions, National Geographic Adult Books, Rebellion and VIZ Media.

Simon & Schuster International is dedicated to publishing a broad and diverse range of books for everyone, representative of the world around us. They are committed to working with and supporting writers, illustrators and other creative partners from all walks of life, regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, nationality, religion or belief, age, social or economic circumstance.

Find out more about Simon & Schuster here

Michael Joseph – Penguin Random House

Michael Joseph, our founder, was already a bestselling author before he turned publisher in 1935 – the same year Penguin paperbacks arrived. He loved authors. In particular, Michael Joseph loved guiding them towards commercial success, bringing their brilliant stories to the wider world. In 1985, exactly half a century after their mutual founding, Michael Joseph became the commercial imprint of Penguin Books. Our founder’s legacy – the nurturing of writers and making of bestsellers – remains proudly in our blood to this day.

Visit the website here

Quercus Books

Founded in 2004, Quercus has already won the prestigious ‘Publisher of the Year’ award and built a reputation as a hit-maker: daring, ambitious, socially conscious and collaborative. We publish under eight main imprints, including Quercus Fiction, the home of bestselling commercial and crossover fiction.

Visit the website here


For seven decades, Transworld has been at the forefront of Commercial Fiction publishing in the UK, with an unparalleled reputation for launching blockbuster debuts and building the biggest fiction brands in the market. Last year alone, Transworld Fiction titles spent a total of 70 weeks in the Sunday Times bestseller list. Across the list – spanning everything from dark mysteries and thrillers that excite and surprise to uplifting, thought-provoking stories for modern women – we seek out the most original and exciting new voices and turn them into household names. We believe that reading can bring joy to everyone and anyone, and strive to reach the widest possible audience for our books, guaranteeing entertainment, escapism and unforgettable stories. 

Visit the website here

Tote Bag Publishers

To make the event extra special, and to help raise some money for charities, we decided to produce tote bags, with books and merch not available elsewhere. A number of publishers agreed to help us fill our goody bags with the best of stuff…Orenda Books Viper Books Harper Collins Headline, Little Brown

Orenda Books is a British-based publishing house that publishes literary and crime fiction. The London-based publisher was established in 2014 and publishes debut and existing authors including Ragnar Jónasson, Thomas Enger, Michael Grothaus, Gunnar Staalesen, and Kati Hiekkapelto

Viper Books is a new crime imprint from Serpent’s Tail, publishing books with bite: crime, thrillers and mysterious gothic fiction. From renowned established authors to exciting new voices, we strive to publish the best and brightest in the genre.

With a history stretching back over 200 years, HarperCollins is the second largest consumer book publisher in the world. Here at HarperCollins UK, we publish around 1,500 books a year for readers of all ages and interests.

Headline has spent over three decades creating books people want to read and our passion for the commercial means we are home to some of the UK’s biggest-selling authors and continue to invest in new talent with bestseller potential.

Four-time winner of the Publisher of the Year award, Little, Brown Book Group is one of the most successful and dynamic publishers in the UK. Across our fifteen imprints, we publish as wide a range of titles as anyone in the industry, and pride ourselves on the quality, variety and diversity of our publishing output.

Local Businesses

If we were to start listing all the cafes, restaurants, shops and other outlets who let us put up posters and display leaflets we’d need a much bigger website, but we thank them all. In addition, a number of businesses provided us with special offers, deals, and promotions to add value to our event for our attendees. These include…

Rustic Cup

The venue for our ‘Vera’ cocktails, The Rustic Cup is one of our favourite places for coffee, cake & more in Whitley Bay

For the Love of the North

With a shop at Spanish City, Whitley Bay and a website packed with cards, gifts, prints and more, For the Love of the North is the place for all your North East mementos

Hepple Spirits

Hepple Spirits Company was founded to reveal the true, invigorating taste of wild juniper. Hepple, located high in the remote Northumbrian Hills, has one of the purest natural environments in Britain and as a result juniper thrives.

Tynemouth Coffee

Freshly roasted and lovingly prepared, the Tynemouth Coffee Company can deliver their award winning artisan coffee experience directly to your front door. Free delivery. With an unrivalled selection of global blends and tastes, you can enjoy the modern coffee shop escape, without having to lift a finger


Her Last Holiday Launch

Her Last Holiday Cover
Her Last Holiday

On Thursday 20th January we were delighted to host Avon’s launch of CL Taylor’s Her Last Holiday paperback release

Mark Edwards and Claire Douglas joined Cally Taylor to talk about writing habits, inspiration and, yes, a little bit of Jason Momoa.

You can see the recording below.

You come to Soul Shrink to be healed. You don’t expect to die.

Two years ago, Fran’s sister Jenna disappeared on a wellness retreat in Gozo that went terribly wrong.

Tom Wade, the now infamous man behind Soul Shrink Retreats, has just been released from prison after serving his sentence for the deaths of two people. But he has never let on what happened to the third victim: Jenna.

Determined to find out the truth, Fran books herself onto his upcoming retreat – the first since his release – and finds herself face to face with the man who might hold the key to her sister’s disappearance. The only question is, will she escape the retreat alive? Or does someone out there want Jenna’s secrets to stay hidden?

Her Last Holiday Recording
Author Profile Hall of Fame Authors

Dr Richard Shepherd Profile

Dr Richard Shepherd

Richard Shepherd was born in West London but grew up in Watford. At the local grammar school he was introduced to a medical textbook smuggled into the classroom by a friend which opened his eyes to the world of crime and murder, setting him on a lifelong quest to understand death in its many forms. He trained as a doctor at St George’s Hospital medical school at Hyde Park Corner, qualifying in 1977 and then completed his postgraduate training as a forensic pathologist in 1987. He immediately joined what was then the elite forensic department at Guy’s Hospital.

He has been involved nationally and internationally in the forensic investigation of thousands of deaths from unnatural causes, from headline-making murders to mass natural disasters, and many sudden and unexplained deaths that his investigations showed were from natural causes or due to accidents. His skills and expertise still remain in demand around the world.


Social Media


Twitter: @DrRichardShep

Facebook: @DrRichardShepherd

Instagram: drrichardshepherd

Author Profile Hall of Fame Authors

Tim Weaver Profile

Tim Weaver

Appearing at Bay Tales Live

Tim Weaver is the author of 13 novels, including the David Raker mysteries You Were Gone and No One Home, and the standalone novel, Missing Pieces. His latest book is The Shadow at the Door, a unique collection of four inter-connected stories, all featuring David Raker –– and, in June, Raker will return again in Tim’s thrilling new novel, The Blackbird. 

Tim’s books have been selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club, shortlisted for a National Book Award, and been nominated for both the Crime Writers’ Association Dagger in the Library and Ian Fleming Steel Dagger awards. They’ve also been Sunday Times Top 5 bestsellers and number ones on Kindle, iBooks and Audible.


Social Media


Twitter: @TimWeaverBooks

Author Profile Hall of Fame Authors

Amy McCulloch Profile

Amy McCulloch

Appearing at Bay Tales Live

Amy McCulloch is a Chinese-White author, born in the UK, raised in Ottawa, Canada, now based in London, UK. She is the co-author of the #1 YA bestselling novel THE MAGPIE SOCIETY: One for Sorrow, and has written seven solo novels for children and young adults. She has hit the bestseller lists in several countries around the world, and been published in fifteen different languages.

Before becoming a full-time writer, she was editorial director for Penguin Random House Children’s Books. In 2013, she was named one of The Bookseller‘s Rising Stars of publishing.

When not writing, she loves travelling, hiking and mountaineering. In September 2019, she became the youngest Canadian woman to climb Mt Manaslu in Nepal – the world’s eighth highest mountain at 8,163m (26,781ft).


Breathless will be published on Feb 17th from Michael Joseph


Breathless is a high-altitude, high-stakes thriller that combines fascinating, authentic mountaineering experience with pure thriller entertainment. The suspense rises like the Nepalese mountain it is set on. Reminded me of the best of Michael Crichton, where in-depth knowledge and a masterful plot work together to create a tense adrenaline-fuelled ride. I loved it‘ — Matt Haig ― Sunday Times bestselling author of The Midnight Library

‘Nail-biting, chilling, totally exhilarating…a true triumph’ — Stacey Halls, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Familiars

‘I loved it. I read it in two sittings. It was so tense by the end, the air in my bedroom felt as thin as in the mountains. I think it’s a total triumph of a thriller.‘ — Gillian McAllister, Sunday Times bestselling author of That Night

‘A breathtaking book set at 8000 metres – the air alone can kill you, and there’s a killer on the loose too. I absolutely loved this, the author’s incredible knowledge of mountaineering really shone through – a real page-turner that I read in a couple of days. Tense, terrifying and fascinating in equal measure‘– Catherine Cooper, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Chalet

Tense, chilling and terrifying with unforgettable characters and an unpredictable and atmospheric plot. One of the most original thrillers I’ve read. It deserves to be huge!’ — Claire Douglas, Sunday Times bestselling author of Last Seen Alive

Breathless is a thriller that moves at a breakneck pace through the ice-packed dangers of the Death Zone. I felt like I was on the mountain and raced to the end. Read it, and it’ll leave you breathless, too‘ — Laura Lam ― Sunday Times bestselling author of Seven Devils and Goldilocks

‘It’s rare that a thriller actually lives up to that word. But here – in the jeopardy its characters are plunged into, in the story’s twists and turns, and in the true star of the novel, the mountain itself – Breathless truly manages to thrill‘ — James Smythe ― author of I Still Dream

A truly breathtaking thriller. It had me gasping and guessing with every turn of a page. The audacity of the adventure is only matched by the brilliance of McCulloch’s deft and evocative writing‘ — Kim Curran ― author of the Slay series

Social Media


Twitter: @amymcculloch


Instagram: @amymccullochbooks

Author Profile Hall of Fame Authors

Amen Alonge Profile

Amen Alonge

Appearing at Bay Tales Live

 Amen was born in Lagos and moved to London as a teenager almost twenty years ago. Since then, he says “I’ve enjoyed so many wonderful life experiences that have led me to this moment. I’m an author, a lawyer, a husband, and a father… and I love every moment.”

We’re delighted to welcome him to Bay Tales Live ahead of the publication of his debut novel

Included in ‘BBC News Books 2022: A pick of what’s coming up’; and ‘Dead Good Books: Debut crime novels to watch out for in 2022, A Good Day to Die is going to be one of the books of the year!


Amen’s debut novel is released by Quercus on February 17th.

His real name: Unknown 

His code of conduct: Don’t be a pawn in someone else’s game. Never underestimate the enemy. Above all, survive. There is no glory in death. 

His mission: It’s been ten years since Pretty Boy has left the big city – but today he’s back. No one knows why, but it’s clear that revenge is on his mind: he is determined to make the person responsible for his exile from the London scene finally pay. But his plans seem derailed when he takes possession of a bracelet, unaware that its original owner has set a high price for its safe return. Suddenly, the hunter becomes the hunted and Pretty Boy will have to find out if it is indeed a ‘good day to die’. 

Jam-packed with action, an unforgettable cast of characters and peppered with dry humour, A Good Die To Die is the British answer to The Wire and marks the arrival of a fresh and exciting new voice in thriller writing.

What Others Are Saying:

Action-packed, gripping, and wildly entertaining, A Good Day To Die is a cracking crime thriller. Amen Alonge is a powerful new voice in thriller writing and a talent to watch’ – Adam Hamdy, Sunday Times bestselling author.

If UK hip hop was a book, it would be A Good Day To Die. A smart, gritty, action-packed thriller that invokes the spirit of Chester Himes’ – William Shaw

This is cracker of a debut, sharp and brutal, with a body count that would make Tarantino blink’ – Trevor Wood

Social Media

Instagram: amenalonge

Twitter: @AmenAlonge


Author Profile Hall of Fame Authors

Olivia Kiernan Profile

Olivia Kiernan

Appearing at Bay Tales Live

Olivia Kiernan is an Irish writer. In a previous life, she completed a diploma in anatomy and physiology then a BSc in Chiropractic before she succumbed to the creative itch and embarked on an MA in Creative writing. In 2015, she began writing Play Dead For Me (formerly titled Too Close to Breathe), a crime thriller that was published to critical acclaim in 2018 and features Dublin detective, Frankie Sheehan.

The second in the series The Killer In Me was called a “captivating new thriller” by the Wall Street Journal, “a high-stakes noir page-turner” by and “a nail-bitingly good read” by Mystery Scene. The third in the DCS Frankie Sheehan series If Looks Could Kill was released in 2020 and the fourth The Murder Box is now available in Hardback.


Social Media


Twitter: @LivKiernan

Facebook: olivia.kiernan.5

Author Profile Hall of Fame Authors

Sarah Vaughan Profile

Appearing at Bay Tales Live

Sarah Vaughan

Sarah Vaughan read English at Oxford and went on to become a journalist. After training at the Press Association, she spent eleven years at the Guardian as a news reporter and political correspondent before leaving to freelance and write fiction.

Anatomy of a Scandal, her 3rd novel and her first courtroom drama/psychological thriller, combined these experiences and became an instant international bestseller, and Sunday Times top five bestseller. Translated into 23 languages, it was also a kindle number 1 bestseller, and has just been filmed as a six-part mini-series for Netflix, written by David E Kelley, and starring Sienna Miller, Michelle Dockery and Rupert Friend.

Little Disasters was a Waterstones thriller of the month, WH Smith paperback of the month, Kindle bestseller, has been published in the US and various countries, and is in the process of being adapted for TV.

Her fifth novel, Reputation, is published on March 3rd in the UK, and July in the US, and has also been optioned for the screen.

You can preorder your copy of Reputation here


Social Media


Twitter: @SVaughanAuthor

Facebook: Sarah Vaughan Author

Author Profile Hall of Fame Authors

Louise Candlish Profile

Louise Candlish

Appearing at Bay Tales Live

Sunday Times bestselling author ​Louise Candlish was born in Northumberland, grew up in the Midlands town of Northampton, and moved to the capital to study English at University College London. She is the author of 15 novels, including the #1 bestseller Our House, winner of the British Book Awards 2019 Crime & Thriller Book of the Year and soon to air on ITV as a four-part drama starring Martin Compston, Tuppence Middleton and Rupert Penry-Jones.

The Other Passenger, a noir tale of adultery and double crossing set among the Thames river commuters, is Louise’s first Richard & Judy Book Club pick and was longlisted for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award 2021. An international bestseller, it is now in development for the screen in the US.

Louise’s latest release is The Heights, a twisty revenge thriller whose narrator, Ellen, has a strange fear of heights known as ‘high place phenomenon’. To be published in paperback in the US in March 2022 and the UK in June 2022, it has also been optioned for TV.

Louise lives in South London with her husband, teenage daughter and fox-red Labrador Bertie.


Social Media


Twitter: @louise_candlish