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Mark Billingham, Susan Moody and David Donachie at Deal Noir Crime Fiction

By Beth Robson

Some of the UK’s most celebrated crime fiction authors are set to descend on Deal for the first Deal Noir Crime Fiction Convention.

The event is aimed at lovers of the genre and will take place at the Landmark Centre in the High Street on Saturday, March 28.

Author Susan Moody, who has a flat in Deal and is writing her 35th book, is spearheading the festival along with co-organisers Mike Linane and Eyvor Fogarty.

She said: “One of the conventions I went to was called Iceland Noir. They managed to get it up and running in six months - we’ve done it in three and a half.

“I spoke to somebody recently and said: ‘Why don’t we do a crime convention in Deal?’ And so it was born.

“I’m really thrilled at how everybody has got behind it.”

Deal Noir crime fiction literay festival. Eyvor Fogarty (left) and best selling author Susan Moody
Deal Noir crime fiction literay festival. Eyvor Fogarty (left) and best selling author Susan Moody

The programme is packed with talks from an impressive list of big name authors on panels with other writers in their genre. They include: Mark Billingham, Tania Carver, Alex Marwood, Michael Ridpath, Quentin Bates, William Horwood, Erin Kelly, Laura Wilson, Helen Giltrow, Louise Millar, Janet Laurence, Robert Goddard, Ruth Dudley Edwards.

Recipients of the prestigious Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger Simon Brett and Catherine Aird will attend too.

Author Mark Billingham. Picture by Charlie Hopkinson
Author Mark Billingham. Picture by Charlie Hopkinson

A handful of the authors live, or have places in Deal, like Mrs Moody herself, Mark Billingham, Melanie (MJ) McGrath, Richard Blake (Sean Gabb), David Donachie and Stephen Bates.

There will be interactive sessions where the audience will have chance to put their questions to the panel and join in the debate.

Co-organiser Mike Linane said: “When you consider the calibre of the authors attending it is astounding and it’s great that this event is coming to Kent and Deal in particular.”

Mrs Moody added: “The South East really does lack a crime fiction event of any substance and considering the popularity of the books with readers it seemed to me that there was a real need to engage both readers and writers alike, to take a peek behind the curtains and learn from some of the best writers in the genre.”

Deal Noir starts at 9.30am on Saturday, March 28. Tickets £12.50. Book online at: www.dealnoir.wordpress.com

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