Bay Tales Live #4: Recording

To celebrate our first birthday of live shows on April 1st, we’re making Bay Tales Live #4 available to all.

Enjoy what you see? Visit our Events page to see what else is coming up and register.

And to catch up on 60+ hours of Bay Tales Live & VNatB shows, consider joining Friends of the Bay, where you’ll also find fiction, non-fiction & more, updated every week.

Part 1:

April Book Previews, Linda Hill’s book review and Cate Quinn reads from her novel Black Widows. PLUS music from Martin Stephenson

Bay Tales Live #5 Part 1

Part 2:

Our in-depth interview where Vic Watson talks to Lesley Kara, Lauren North and Rob Parker


Virtual Noir at the Bar Archive

From the beginning of April until the End of August 2020 we ran a weekly show every Wednesday.

The format was simple: (Normally) 10 authors reading extracts of up to 10 minutes from their work. As the weeks went on we featured quizzes, competitions and had some great musical guests including Martin Stephenson, Lloyd Cole, Nils Lofgren, The Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Josh Ritter, The Hold Steady and many more.

Unfortunately, due to copyright agreements we can’t include them in the recordings, although you may find the occasional track from crooner supreme Jason Isaacs in the shows below.

These are all the shows we have – the first ever show wasn’t recorded and the second show’s recording corrupted. So here they are – all the regular shows, plus a couple of specials.



Catherine Cooper, Gytha Lodge, Hayley Webster, Emma Christie, Danny Marshall, Nell Pattison, Derek Farrell , Trevor Wood , Allie Reynolds, Andrew Cotto, Louise Mangos and Gregg Hurwitz. Click on the image to view.

Ramsey Campbell, CJ Tudor, Max Seeck, Matt Wesolowski, Alison Belsham, Vanessa Savage, Laura Purcell, Suzy Aspley, Ian Skewis, CJ Cooper and Ian Rankin.Click on the image to view.

VNatB on tour! Helping out our friends at Lyme Crime: Amanda Jennings, Neil Broadfoot, Leye Adenle, Marnie Riches, Simon Bewick, Paddy Magrane, Derek Farrell, Helen Fields, Rob Parker and Ed James. Click on the image to view.


CD Major, Kate Medina, Rachel Ward, Stu Turton, Emma Curtis, Kia Abdullah, Lauren North, Chris Lloyd and Karen Hamilton. Click on the image to view.

Rhiannon Ward, Lin Anderson, Jack Jordan,
Ian Skewis, Araminta Hall, Kate Reed Petty, Harriet Tyce, Stuart McLean, Luke Kuhnes and, as a last-minute replacement, the artist known as Polly Filliere (aka Simon Bewick). Click on the image to view.

Brian Stewart, Tom Benjamin, Sandra Ireland, Caroline England, Kate Helm, Rachel Bennett, Abbie Osborne, DA Minishi, Paul Finch and our wild card reader, Paul Davidson. Click on the image to view.

SJ Watson, Vanda Simon, Joseph Knox, Helen Fields, Laure Van Rensburg, Rebecca Fleet, SE Moorhead, Anita Frank, Bogdan Teodorescu and Alex Hawley (featuring Rob Parker). Click on the image to view.

Olivia Kiernan, Susan Allott, James Ellson, GJ Minett, Tana Collins, Bogdan Hrib, Victoria Selman, Simon Toyne and Dorothy Koomson. Click on the image to view.

Jonathan Whitelaw, Isabelle Grey, Awais Khan, Samantha Lee Howe, M Sean Coleman, TM Logan, Marianne Kavanagh, Douglas Skelton, Dan Smith and Lisa Hall. Click on the image to view.

Amanda Jennings, Elle Croft, Egan Hughes, Rachel Sargeant, Chris McGeorge, Jane Roberts-Morpeth, Rachel Abbott, Jennifer Harvey, Tammy Cohen and Sharon Bolton. Click on the image to view.

Caroline Mitchell, Charlotte Levin, Fiona Veitch Smith, Gail Williams, DC Smith, Jessica Moor, Andrew Michael Hurley, Russ Thomas and Joe Lansdale. Click on the image to view.

Adam Hamdy, Elizabeth Haynes, Anna Mazzola, Cara Hunter, Kate Hamer, Louise Candlish, Nikki Smith, Roxie Key, Elly Griffiths and Amanda Robson. Click on the image to view.

Cath Staincliffe, Elizabeth Kay, Jenny Blackhurst, Laura Shepherd-Robinson, Liz ugent, Margaret Murphy, Mark Leggatt, MJ Arlidge, Ruth Ware, Stephanie Wrobel and Lawrence Block. Click on the image to view.

Neil Lancaster, Kate Simants, Caz Frear, Rowan Coleman, Mick Finlay, William Shaw, Henrietta McKervey, Morgan Cry, Katerina Diamond and very special guest, Linwood Barclay. Click on the image to view.

Christie Newport, Nina Manning, Holly Watt, Emily Koch, Andrea Carter, Daisy Waugh, Mason Cross, Gareth Rubin, Robin Morgan-Bentley and MW Craven. Click on the image to view.

Dave Sivers, Theresa Talbot, Holly Seddon, Vic Watson, Jean Rafferty, Gillian McAllister, Chris McDonald, Danny Marshall, Lizzy Barber and Phoebe Locke. Click on the image to view.

Adele Parks, Jane Corry, Ali Land, Rachael Blok, Sam Carrington, Katie Lowe, Lesley Kara, Vaseem Khan, Peter Rosovsky, Fiona Cummins. Click on the image to view.

S E Lynes, Louise Beech, Noelle Holten, Julia Crouch, M.M. Chouinard, Nicola Martin, Chris Ewan, Darren O’Sullivan, Amer Anwar and Ragnar Jonasson.Click on the image to view.

Ann Cleeves, Nick Quantrill, Elizabeth Drabble, Claire McGowan, Phoebe Morgan, Mel McGrath, Kate Rhodes, Sarah Hilary, Mary Paulson-Ellis, Sarah Vaughan Click on the image to view

Michael Nath, Tony Kent, Quentin Bates, AM Peacock, CJ Cooke, Bea Davenport, Alison Bruce, Craig Robertson, CL Taylor, Susi Holliday Click on the image to view.

Alan Jones, Kirsten McKenzie, Derek Farrell, Roz Watkins, Zoe Sharp, Karen Murdarasi, Lesley Kelly, Rob Scragg, Lucy Atkins, Ashley Erwin. Click on the image to view.

Suzy Aspley, Simon Bewick, Alex Caan, Caroline Dunford, Emma Flint, Sarah Jeffery, Heleen Kist, Isaac Parker, Nic Parker, and Sara Sheridan. Click on the image to view.

Louise Mangos, Effie Merryl, Danny Marshall, Neil Broadfoot, Rob Parker, Martyn Taylor, Trevor Wood, Eve Smith, Gytha Lodge, Chris Merritt Click on the image to view.

Unfortunately, episodes 1 and 2 of Virtual Noir at the Bar do not exist in video format.


Bay Tales Live Archives

This is where you can find our 2021 shows. Just click on any of the images below to find the session recording. We’ll be adding new shows throughout the year so be sure to keep coming back!

Main interview: Lesley Kara, Lauren North and Rob Parker

Book Review: Linda Hill

Author Reading: Cate Quinn

Main interview: Ann Cleeves and Cath Staincliffe

Book Review: Alex Hawley

Author Reading: Stephanie Wrobel

Main interview: Steve Cavanagh, Neil Broadfoot and Tony Hutchinson

Book Review: Chris McDonald

Author Reading: Russ Thomas

Main interview: Peter James

Book Review: Roxie Key

Author Reading: Eve Smith


About Friends of the Bay!

Find out more about why you should join Friends of the Bay in the video here!


You can sign up here


Writing Magazine

Do you write?

Whether you’re an established author, working on your first piece of fiction or somewhere in between, Writing Magazine is the place to go.

With the latest news, writing advice, creative writing competitions, writing courses and much more, Writing Magazine is the premier writers’ resource online and in print.

You can buy the magazine in print or digital formats here:

AND, you can download The Writer’s App: free with In App Purchases it gives you the opportunity to:

  • Access a news feed of open competitions around the world, available for all genres
  • Review submission calls from magazine and book publishers on the hunt for authors
  • Receive journal prompts, writing prompts, and novel writing tips to spur creativity
  • Learn about upcoming prizes and up-to-date industry news
  • Get the inside track on the latest trends and developments in your niche
  • Join individual and group competition opportunities for writing and publishing
  • Connect with other writers and employment opportunities

Our favourite bit?

The How To Write section of the site – searchable by keywords and categories it includes exercises, author profiles and articles on fiction, non-fiction and much, much more.


Christmas Crime Competition!

Bay Tales (with Virtual Noir at the Bar)’s First Festive Fiction Fandango!

Do you have a Christmassy crime or mystery short story?

Are you a member of Bay Tales’ Friends of the Bay?

If yes, why not enter our first Christmas Competition?

Our first Friends of the Bay Writing Competition – more to come!

What we’re looking for

A festive themed short that can be read aloud in seven minutes or less.

One winner will get to read their story live on our Christmas VNatB show

What you can win

  • A reading spot on the Live Christmas Virtual Noir at the Bar show (Wednesday December 16th) alongside an all-star line-up!
  • Your story, along with a complete Author Profile and links to your site / social media / books on the Bay Tales website.
  • A prize set of some of our favourite crime/ mystery books from 2020
  • And, winner or not, you’ll get feedback on your story from our judge’s panel of established authors.

The Detail:

  • There is no strict word count, but the story MUST be able to be read aloud, by you or a chosen representative in seven minutes or less.
  • The competition is open to subscribed members of Friends of the Bay at the time of submission.
  • All entries must be received by the 10th December in order to give adequate preparation time for our VNatB show on the 16th December.
  • Feedback on stories received will be at the judging panel’s discretion in terms of length and detail and will be given by December 31st.
  • The choice of books we select will be based on our favourites.

Ready to enter?

Email your entry, as a Word or PDF document to

Include in the body of your submission:

  • Full Name
  • Friends of the Bay User Profile name
  • Email address
  • The Story – including word count and approximate reading time.


No such thing as a free lunch? Pah!

We’re thrilled to announce we’ll be picking one Friend of the Bay member as our guest for lunch with the one and only

Ann Cleeves

Vera and Shetland author, Diamond Dagger winner…and lunch companion
– Ann Cleeves

At a mutually agreeable date (once we get this pesky lockdown thing out of the way), we’ll meet up for lunch at one of our favourite North East eateries – with food and drink on us.

You’ll join us in Whitley Bay, a stone’s throw away from some of the locations used in the popular TV version of Ann’s brilliant detective, DI Vera Stanhope, where we promise a fantastically tasty brunch / lunch.

Whether you’re a writer or a reader, this is your chance to put any burning questions you have to one of our most-loved authors. Or, you know – just chat with one of the nicest people we know…

There’s no competition, no ‘tell us how you’d kill someone with a starter in 25 words‘ style entry requirement. It’s just our way of saying thank you to all of you who are supporting our exciting new venture.

And if you don’t win? Joining Friends of the Bay before December 31st for our special introductory price of £25 still gives you access to:

  • weekly updated fiction and non-fiction from some of the very best writers around
  • special offers & discounts on books, food, drink, clothing and much more
  • access to our Friends of the Bay Community forum

So either way, Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!*

(*We cannot guarantee chicken will be on the menu)

The pesky terms and conditions:

  • Anyone registered as a Friends of the Bay member by December 31st will be eligible for entry.
  • We will offer up to four dates suitable to Ann’s diary.
  • We will pay for your food and drink bill up to £35.
  • We cannot cover travel or accommodation costs.
  • There is no cash equivalent prize.
  • You may bring one guest with you, at your own expense.

A Huge Thank You from the Bay Tales team to Ann Cleeves for her kind and ongoing support in our adventures!