Saturday 21 September 2019

Morcambe & Vice - Crime Writing Festival BLOG TOUR @BOTBSPublicity Jacky Collins - My Life In Books @CollinsJacky @MorecambeVice

In September 2017, Morecambe & Vice made its sparkling debut at the glorious Morecambe Winter Gardens. Described as a weekend 'full of warmth, wit and wisdom', authors, speakers and guests from across the globe flocked to the sunny seaside for a weekend filled with criminal shenanigans.

Now, in 2019 it is back for the third year running! This year the North West's quirkiest crime-writing festival will be bigger and better than ever before! Keep an eye out on our Facebook page and Twitter stream, as they start to announce authors and panels.

What's new for 2019?

In 2018 they themed their entire festival around the idea of 'hidden talents': they had cocktail making, singing and even fire-eating! 

This year, the theme for Morecambe & Vice is (rather fittingly!) :
'Bring Me Sunshine' 
They'll be shining a bright positive light on the world of crime fiction, filling their festival with tales of inspiration, overcoming hardships and that warm fuzzy feeling you get when good things happen!

Find out more at

I am absolutely delighted to be part of the Morcambe & Vice Blog Tour, huge thanks to Sarah from Book on the Bright Side Publicity who invited me to take part.

I am doubly delighted to welcome the one and only Jacky Collins (aka Dr Noir) to Random Things today. Jacky is an absolute force to be reckoned with in the crime fiction community and her own crime fiction festival; Newcastle Noir is a wonderful event too.

Jacky is sharing with us the books that are special to her in My Life in Books.

My Life in Books - Jacky Collins

Thank you for inviting me to take part in the Morecambe & Vice Blog Tour.
The following texts have left an indelible mark. I had the good fortune to read them at various stages of my life and my short explanations should provide some good insight as to why.

I Remember You, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir
Having come to appreciate the crime fiction writing of this fabulous Icelandic author, when I Remember You my respect for Yrsa’s craft grew even more. Before this, I had never been a fan of genre-fusion, but as I made my way eagerly through the pages, continually scared out of my wits, I realised that a skilful author makes the merge most effective

Chalk Circle Man, Fred Vargas
In 2010 I experienced a bout of severe depression and I see this text as the start of be beginning to emerge from that sad time. The quality of Vargas’ transported me to another place. As I followed Adamsberg’s great detective work, I was able to find a new perspective for my own life.

The Draining Lake, Arnaldur Indriðason
This is the first book I ever discussed with the European Crime Fiction book group that I set up at Newcastle City Library in 2012. Arnaldur’s exquisite storytelling showed us how the past and present could merge together, as contemporary and former crimes were solved. It’s also this novel that ignited the spark that would develop into the immense passion that I have for Iceland and Icelandic crime fiction.

The Reykjavik Trilogy (Trap, Snare, Cage) Lilja Sigurðardóttir
I’m aware that my list is heavily biased towards Icelandic authors, but I just have to include Lilja’s work here since her writing serves to challenge the traits we have come to know & love of Nordic Noir. Against an Icelandic backdrop, The Reyjavik Trilogy combines elements of the Mexican soap opera, mixed beautifully with a gripping love story. She’s also skilled in providing insight into Iceland’s 2008 crash, banking fraud, the aluminium industry and global drug trafficking in such an engaging way that you really have to admire her writing skill.

The Hobbit JRR Tolkien
As a very young girl, my English teacher provided me with the first text that affected the way I saw myself and the world around me. Being even shorted then, Tolkein’s work encouraged me to believe that being small didn’t mean that you didn’t have an important part to play. The Hobbit helped me understand the power of bravery and standing firm against all odds.

Chronicles of Narnia CS Lewis
Following on from the previous text, these novels were where I learnt how to escape through the written word. Once again, the notion of bravery and teamwork in the face of adversity spoke deep into this adolescent heart. I am not a big fan of fantasy writing, but the idea of slipping into another world is something I wish I could still do to this very day.

Involuntary Witness Gianrico Carofiglio
Back to the world of crime fiction for this one. Carofiglio’s courtroom drama is one that I’ve used in teaching undergraduates. I chose this because of how it clearly demonstrates the genre can be used to provide insight into the way other nations’ justice systems work. Involuntary Witness also draws our attention to the plight of refugees and how the system can so often fail them and this issue is something very close to my heart.

The Murder Farm Andrea Maria Schenkel
The final text I have chosen is yet again one I have used in my classes. I was impressed by the author’s use of fact, fiction and folklore. Despite the fact of the story being set in post-WWII Germany, the message around the abuse of women and young girls certainly resonated with similar atrocities and injustices that are happening in the world today. Schenkel’s text certainly generated some excellent discussion and we also enjoyed the film adaptation.

Jacky Collins - September 2019 

Dr Jacky Collins (aka Dr Noir) is the founder and director of Newcastle Noir, the annual crime fiction festival that is held the first May Bank Holiday weekend in Newcastle upon Tyne. 
Inspired by Iceland Noir and the bigger UK crime fiction festivals, Jacky wanted to bring local, national and international crime writers together, so that people from the North East could enjoy a weekend together discussing all things crime fiction without having to travel far. 
Jacky is also responsible for the Edinburgh Noir at the Bar, a quarterly event where published, emerging and would-be authors get to read their work to a very appreciate audience.  

Twitter @CollinsJacky       @NewcastleNoir

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