Tag Archives: readings

Guest Post: Nicola East on Noir at the Bar London

 
So, you’re the brave soul taking Noir at the Bar to London – what possessed you?! 

I’m wondering the same thing myself!!! However, I had such a great time organising the one at Hull Noir that I was itching to do it again. Since I live in the East End, I thought Whitechapel was an ideal place to start the London NATB tradition. I hope it’s the first of many.

Where and when will it be? 

It’s going to be at LHT Urban Bar, 176 Whitechapel Rd, E1 1BJ on Monday 26th March. Doors open at 6 and the event will run from 7 until 9:30 (ish!).

Whitechapel is a perfect location given its history and links to one of the most infamous unsolved crimes of all time.
The bar is very cool and the management there are really looking forward to hosting such a great literary event. Given our list of authors, location and setting, I believe this will be the start of putting London firmly on the well established NATB map.
Who’s on the bill? 
Leye Adenle
Danielle Ramsay
Vicky Newham
Andy Martin
Mark Hill
William Shaw
Leigh Russell
Vaseem Khan
Steph Broadribb
Johana Gustawsson
What can we expect from the night? 
The evening will be a relaxed affair with readings from some amazing established authors plus some wonderful new blood! There will also be the opportunity to put your name in the hat to volunteer to be the wildcard entry.
To put your name down to read at a future Noir at the Bar in London, Nikki is going to be posting in the Facebook page for NATB London so people could message her via that or email nicola.east1@outlook.com

Don’t Quit the Day Job: Ian Skewis

Lots of people don’t realise that although you may see work by a certain author on the bookshelves in your favourite shop, many writers still hold down a day job in addition to penning their next novel. In this series, we talk to writers about how their current – or previous – day jobs have inspired and informed their writing.

One author who is making waves in the world of crime fiction is Ian Skewis. His novel ‘A Murder of Crows’ has been getting lots of love in the crime community and Ian is with us today to talk about how his day job affects his writing – and his life. 

Vic x

I write every day.

I never used to. I have always written. But only in the past couple of years has it become a necessity.

A necessity, because I am now published, and once you’re on that road, there is no going back. A writer’s profession can be precarious and to not do everything you can to maintain that path would be career suicide. So, when I’m not writing I’m promoting online. When I’m not promoting online I’m reading my work to an audience at a festival or library or community centre. In other words, more promoting. And when I’m not doing that I’m attending other people’s book readings and launches. Networking. It’s endless.

My social life has shrunk drastically as a result and the few times I have something close to a night out are when I’m with other writers. Again, this is courtesy of book launches etc. Finding a balance is difficult.

And then there’s the ‘day job.’

I often feel a bit grumpy about going to work at my day job because I’m always thinking that I could be writing or promoting my own work instead. But, as is always the case, the ‘day job’ does serve several functions. The first and most obvious is that it pays the bills. That’s its main function. But there are several other functions that didn’t become apparent to me until this whole author thing really took off. My day job allows me to use a different part of my brain for solving different kinds of problems. Sometimes, if the writing process has been especially strenuous, I actually look forward to going back to the day job. I simply can’t wait to talk to people who are real, as opposed to the ones who are inside my head. And more often than not, any problems I have with my stories, such as a kink in the timeline perhaps, are resolved subconsciously, in the background, whilst my main brain is actively working at the day job.

Other times, after a 12 hour shift, I’m so tired the next day I can barely write a meaningful paragraph. But sometimes, when I’m in that docile state, I have some amazing ideas and the writing just pours out, because the part of my brain that prevents the free flow of imagination, the part of me that perhaps over analyses, has been put on hold.

So there we have it.

The ‘day job’ has its uses.

But the good news is that I can actually begin to take a wee bit more time away from the day job and spend it on my writing, now that my work is being recognised. And I have to say that if I had a choice I would like to write full time and use my entire brain for that, and my nights could be my nights again. Who knows, I might even strike a balance and get a social life again. Time will tell…

Review of 2017: Nikki East

Our final St Nick of today is Nikki East. It was a pleasure getting to know Nikki better during Newcastle Noir then seeing her again at Harrogate and Bloody Scotland. 

Nikki, along with Nick Quantrill and Nick Triplow, were responsible for Hull Noir which included a special Noir at the Bar. Anyway, let’s hear all about it from Nikki herself. 

I hope you enjoy the rest of your day – check back for another end of year review tomorrow. 

Vic x

Do you have a favourite memory professionally from 2017?
Without doubt, Hull Noir. Nick Triplow, Nick Quantrill and I took over Iceland Noir this year and hosted it in Hull as part of the City of Culture celebrations. Our feedback has been amazing and we’ve been asked to do it again already. It took a lot of organising however the results speak for themselves. We had the most tremendous guest authors and moderators who made the whole event worthwhile for everyone attending but was very special for us as it was our very first one.

And how about a favourite moment from 2017 generally?
As part of Hull Noir, I was able to introduce and host Hull’s very first Noir at the Bar. I was nervous as the whole NATB concept is so special to so many however, again, it went very well and we had some wonderful readings. I feel very honoured and privileged to be part of it and hopefully will be part of more in the future.

Best book of 2017?
Abir Mukherjee’s second novel A Necessary Evil published by Harvill Secker. It continues with the adventures of Captain Wyndham and Sergeant Banerjee in 1920 Calcutta. This and the award winning debut, A Rising Man, are wonderfully written with brilliant characters that thoroughly transport you back to another time and a whole other world. Simply magnificent and a must read.
Favourite film this year?
Guardians of the Galaxy 2! I just love these movies!! I get very little time to spend with my son now he’s an adult and we’re both very busy with conflicting schedules but we managed to find time to go and see this together. What a laugh, great music plus I had good company.
Favourite song of the year?
Bruno Mars 24k Magic album. Although the album came out last year, I only downloaded it this year. I love it. My favourite track is Perm. It makes me dance about like no one is watching whether I’m in my home, on the tube or walking down Whitechapel High Street!!  I do get looks but that song is just soooo good!!! 😉
Any downsides this year?< /em>My downsides are very limited to be honest. Consequently all I’d say is I don’t have enough time to get to all of the amazingly book related events now I live here in London.
Are you making resolutions for 2018? Resolutions!??! Hmmmm, maybe start planning for another festival, host more NATBs and who knows, maybe land a full time position somewhere in this awesome industry. Fingers crossed people! 🤞
What are you hoping for from 2018?Mostly just to build on the foundations I’ve laid in 2017. Onwards and upwards is always my mantra. I’ve had THE BEST 2017 and all I can hope is that 2018 brings even more amazing opportunities for me and mine.

Noir at the Bar NE

OK, so it’s just over 24 hours to go until Noir at the Bar hits Newcastle for the first time. Noir at the Bar first began in Philadelphia in 2008 thanks to Peter Rosovsky and spread across the US like wildfire after the second chapter was set up in St Louis.

Noir at the Bar isn’t just about having fantastic readings by a range of authors, it’s also about getting the audience involved.

So, even if you’re not on the bill, you could make your mark by choosing the running order of the evening. Janet O’Kane is opening the evening but, other than that, the order of the readers will be chosen by members of the audience who choose names from a hat.

Similarly, if you have a five minute excerpt that you’d like to read, put your name down with me or Jacky and you’ll be entered into the wildcard round. One lucky reader will get to close the first ever Noir at the Bar NE thanks to the wildcard round. Will it be you?

Ultimately, I’d like everyone to be able to mingle and chat. That’s why we’ve gone for short readings, so everyone can chat with each other and make those all-important friendships and connections. Don’t be shy, crime writers might like to kill people in their stories but it’s quite rare for them to be anything other than friendly and approachable in real life.

If you’re talking about the event, please use the hashtag #noiratthebarNE on social media. We’d also love you to tag us in posts, reviews and photos.

Noir at the Bar is happening on Wednesday, June 1st at the Town Wall pub (Pink Lane, Newcastle). It starts at 7pm but space is limited so get there early to ensure you don’t miss out!

Vic x

New Talent Being Showcased.

January can be a pretty boring time after the December rush of Christmas parties, friendly catch-ups and family get-togethers. People are skint, they’re on diets and there’s generally not much going on. However, ARC Stockton are looking to change that. On Wednesday, 30th January, they’re holding their first Scratch Night of 2013.

After the success of their first new writing Scratch Night and their Short Sharp Festival, ARC are bringing you an evening of 8 rehearsed readings of exciting new short plays by members of Writers ARCADE: their new writing group for emerging playwrights.  Local actors and directors have been working in collaboration with these new promising writers to stage their ten minute plays for your all important feedback. Here’s a preview of some of the work being showcased.

A Small Donation by Louise Taylor.

Beth is. Alex definitely is. Kerry thinks she is, because she doesn’t really know what ‘it’ is. Are you? How much is it worth to you? And what would you be willing to give it up for?

Radio by Mhairi Ledgerwood.

Mam can never do the right thing, while Stephanie is trying to hold the family together. Andy wants a bedtime story, but it may come at a high price. How much value should we place on art and is it worth fighting for?

Unpaid Leave by Allison Davies.
Higgs is off on sabbatical, but first she needs to find a suitable replacement. Might Tio be up to the job of running the show or will he be shown the door? Only time will tell.

The evening is held at ARC Stockton Arts Centre, Dovecot Street, TS18 1LL Stockton-on-Tees.

Tickets are £3.00 and free for ARCADE members. Book here or email box.office@arconline.co.uk or ring the box office on 01642 525199. Be quick, ARC’s last Scratch Night was a sell-out!

Vic x