OIR: Darren Laws on Deal Noir

Article published on April 23, 2015.

If you are a crime fiction aficionado, then you may already be aware of Caffeine Nights, a comparative ‘new kid on the block’ in crime publishing. And recently they branched out into staging their own events, the first being Deal Noir, held in Deal, Kent featuring some of the UK’s most popular crime fiction authors. Darren Laws, MD of Caffeine Nights, gives us the lowdown . . .

The town’s Landmark Centre hosted 20 authors including Simon Brett and Catherine Aird, both of whom are recipients of the prestigious Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger Award. Organised by genre stalwarts Susan Moody, Eyvor Fogarty and Mike Linane, the day was sparked by a conversation during a similar crime fiction event in Iceland.

Harrogate and Bristol are the recognised conferences on the crime fiction calendar so it’s encouraging that Deal Noir was a sell out, especially considering it was only conceived four months previously in Reykjavik. With a structured programme of talks from the guest speakers and plenty of time between sessions for networking the day sped along leaving the audience entertained and enthralled.

Highlights of the day were Simon Brett’s masterful Scandinoir pastiche, told skilfully by the man himself with full ironic Scandinavian gusto, MJ McGrath’s polar bear anecdote and ‘The Dark Side’ session featuring Mark Billingham, Martyn Waites and Alex Marwood which had the packed house both gripped and laughing at the same time. Robert Goddard kept the audience enraptured as he spoke with Susan Moody, and Catherine Aird enlightened the audience as she spoke about her writing procedure and how since being selected for the Diamond Dagger she has been invigorated not only with her writing but also by the new pressures to her social calendar!

For an inaugural event the whole day went without a hitch leaving the audience wanting to know if and when the second Deal Noir was going to happen. Indeed, the organisers have already confirmed for 2016 with a promise to be bigger and better.

Darren Laws

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