Bay Tales Live 2024

We’re delighted to announce our full line up for Bay Tales Live 2024, taking place at Whitley Bay Playhouse and venues nearby over the weekend 1st -3rd March, 2024 with fringe events on Friday evening, Saturday evening and Sunday morning as well as our all-day show on Saturday 2nd.

Still need your ticket? You can email us at and order for £37.50 (plus £1.50 handling fee) and book your space on a fringe event (while places last), buy at Whitley Bay Playhouse Box Office in person for £37.50 (plus £1.50 handling fee per ticket), or online via the Playhouse website (additional charges will apply via this method).

08:45 Doors Open

The Playhouse will be opening their doors for the 2024 show nice and early to give you a chance to browse Whitley Bay’s very own independent bookshop the bound’s display of books and visit the Bay Tales merchandise store – or just get to your seat early and watch our big screen display outlining what you can expect from the day.

09:20 – 09:30 Welcome and Introduction

The Bay Tales team, Simon Bewick and Vic Watson, will give you a quick introduction to the day’s events.

09:30 – 10:30 Ann Cleeves in Conversation with Emma Flint

Ann Cleeves, OBE

Our patron, Ann Cleeves, is the international bestselling author of Vera, Shetland and the Two Rivers series. Ann was chosen as the 2017 recipient of the Cartier Diamond Dagger from the Crime Writers’ Association for “sustained excellence” in crime fiction.

Emma Flint

Ann’s very special guest for our 2024 show, Emma, is a North East native, born and raised in Newcastle upon Tyne. Her first novel, Little Deaths, was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Desmond Elliott Prize, the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger Award, and The Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize.

Other Women is her second novel and was a BBC Radio 2 Book Club pick in 2023.

Moderated by Tim Rideout

Tim has worked with a number of bookshops and book festivals, interviewing Ann Cleeves, Elly Griffiths, Ian Rankin, Mark Billingham and Val McDermid among others. A veteran of Bay Tales Live, we look forward to welcoming Tim to the stage this year!

10:30 – 11:00 Break and Book Signing

Ann and Emma will be available to sign copies of their books. You can also grab refreshments, enter our money-can’t-buy raffle and pick up your 2024 Bay Tales Live tote bag (while stocks last!).

11:00 – 12:00 Simon & Schuster UK Panel

Nicci French

Nicci French is the pseudonym for the international best-selling writing partnership of journalists Nicci Gerrard and Sean French.

With over 25 psychological thrillers, including the phenomenally successful Frieda Klein series and their most recent books with Simon & Schuster UK, The Lying Room (2019), House of Correction (2020), The Unheard (2021), and The Favour (2022) we’re thrilled to have Nicci and Sean joining us.

Hannah Richell

Hannah’s work, including The Peacock Summer and The River Home has been selected for the Richard & Judy Book Club, the Waterstones Book Club, and WHSmith Book of the Week and has been translated into nineteen languages. The Search Party, described as ‘a masterclass in narrative tension that will keep you guessing until the last page’ is due to be released in January 2024.

Katherine Bradley

Katherine’s novel The Sisterhood, was one of our Bay Tales Live 2023 tote bag titles and readers lucky enough to receive it have been raving about the book described as ‘Vox meets The Handmaid’s Tale in this feminist reimagining of 1984‘.

We look forward to welcoming Katherine in person as part of the Simon & Schuster UK panel!

Moderated by Vaseem Khan

We’re delighted to welcome Vaseem back to the bay following his appearance as Ann’s Patron’s Pick in 2022. The bestselling author of the Malabar House & Baby Ganesh series, CWA chair, and co-host of The Red Hot Chilli Writers podcast will be the one asking the questions as he chairs the Simon & Schuster UK panel.

12:00 – 12:30 Break and Book Signing

Nicci, Sean, Hannah, Katherine and Vaseem will be available to sign copies of their books and, if there are any left, you can use the break to pick up a tote bag, some Bay Tales merch or to enter our money-can’t-buy raffle.

12:30 – 13:30 Penguin Michael Joseph Panel

Claire Douglas

Claire is the Sunday Times number one bestselling author of eight stand alone novels. Her seventh book, The Couple At No 9. was an Amazon number one bestseller and a number three Sunday Times bestseller and most recently hit number one on Germany’s Der Spiegel paperback bestsellers chart. The Girls Who Disappeared was a Richard and Judy book club pick for Autumn 2022 and an instant number one Sunday Times bestseller.

Gillian McAllister

Gillian’s works have been translated into 40 languages. She has been selected for the Reese Witherspoon book club, the Richard and Judy book club and the Radio 2 book club. Her novels include Wrong Place Wrong Time, Everything But The Truth, Anything You Do Say, No Further Questions, The Evidence Against You and How To Disappear.

Amy McCulloch

Amy was born in the UK, raised in Ottawa, Canada, and is now based in London. She is the co-author of the #1 YA bestselling novel THE MAGPIE SOCIETY: One for Sorrow. Her debut adult novel was the international bestselling thriller, Breathless. Her second adult thriller, Midnight, will be released in Summer 2023.

Moderated by Jonathan Whitelaw

He proved such a favourite last year that we’ve invited Jonathan back to join us as a moderator. Not only a talented author (The Bingo Hall Detectives and The Village Hall Vendetta), Jonathan is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster (and all-round good egg).

13:30 – 14:45 Lunch Break and Book Signings

As well as giving you time to get your books signed by Claire, Amy, Gillian and Jonathan, we’ve allocated an hour and a quarter for lunch to give you the chance to browse the bound and Bay Tales stands as well as to get out and stretch your legs.

Don’t forget to check out the local eateries offering Bay Tales ticket holder deals!

14:45 – 15:45 Pan Macmillan Panel

Take it to the Grave: Secrets, Lies and Unreliable Characters 

Araminta Hall

Araminta has worked as a writer, journalist and teacher. Her novels include Everything & Nothing (a Richard & Judy read), Dot, Perfect Strangers, Hidden Depths and Our Kind of Cruelty. Araminta’s forthcoming novel, One of the Good Guys is due to be released in January 2024 and has been described by Gillian Flynn (author of Gone Girl) as ‘a resonant, razor-laced, and dangerously glittering novel.’

CL Miller

Cara’s debut The Antique Hunter’s Guide to Murder will be published by Pan Macmillan in Feb 2024 and has been described as The Number One Ladies Detective Agency meets Midsomer Murders by way of Reverend Richard Coles and Richard Osman. Get ready to meet your next favourite cozy author!

Alice Feeney

Alice is a New York Times million-copy bestselling author. Her books include Rock Paper Scissors (being made into a TV series by the producer of The Crown), Daisy Darker and her sixth novel Good Bad Girl.

Moderated by CM Ewan

Following on from his appearance as a panel member at Bay Tales Live ’23 we’re delighted to have Chris (author of The House Hunt, A Window Breaks and, fittingly for his role as moderator this year, The Interview) join us once again – this time asking the questions.

15:45 – 16:15 Break and Book Signing

Alice, Araminta, Cara and Chris will be available to sign copies of their books and, if by some miracle there are any left, you can use this final break to pick up a tote bag, Bay Tales merch or enter our money-can’t-buy raffle. The bound bookshop will still be open for any book buys you haven’t managed yet!

16:15 – 17:15 Bay Tales Live 2024 Very Special Guest

Val McDermid

Val has sold over 19 million books across the globe, including no less than five best-selling series that have been translated into more than 40 languages.

With five major series (featuring Lindsay Gordon, Kate Brannigan, Tony Hill & Carol Jordan, Karen Pirie, and Allie Burns), as well as stand-alone novels, non-fiction and even children’s books, Val is one of the most respected crime writers in the world, and recipient of more honours than we could include here, including, in 2010, the prestigious Diamond Dagger award.

We’re thrilled to have Val join us at Bay Tales Live 2024.

Moderated by Steph McGovern

Presenter of Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch, local Steph is no stranger to Whitley Bay or Crime Fiction. After opening our first show in 2022, then taking on interview duties at the phenomenally successful Viva Vera show at the Playhouse in 2022, we’re delighted to have her moderate a panel for us at Bay Tales Live 2024.

17:15 – 17:45 Raffle & Final Signings

Immediately after the final session, we’ll be drawing winners for our Bay Tales Live 2024 Charity Raffle with gifts kindly provided by authors, publishers, and local businesses with all proceeds going to the Bay Foodbank.

Val will be signing copies of her books upstairs during and after the raffle.


Friday Night: Noir at the Bay

Fully Booked

Saturday Night: Northern Crime Syndicate

Fully Booked

Sunday Morning: Vaseem Khan and Abir Mukherjee in Conversation

Our Sunday fringe event featuring Vaseem Khan and Abir Mukherjee with special guests is now fully booked.

Please note: you must have an all-day Bay Tales Live ticket to attend our fringe events.

E-mail Hours Contact us and we'll get back to you as soon as possible!
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