2020 programme

Saturday 14th November 2020

9 – 9.45am

10 – 11am
Murder on the Mersey: Ashley Dyer, Caz Finlay, David Jackson, Amanda Brooke
Liverpool is a city steeped in culture and history – but it is also a city of stark contrasts, and its dark side has inspired many authors, from literary giants to saga writers. Join us for Murder on the Mersey, where four local (and international!) crime writers, Amanda Brooke, David Jackson, Ashley Dyer and Caz Finlay will discuss the impact of this beautiful and often troubled city on their writing.

11:15 – 12:15pm
Writing in the Margins: Ann Cleeves, Elly Griffiths, Sarah Ward
Ann Cleeves, Diamond Dagger winner and author of the Vera and Shetland novels, in conversation with Elly Griffiths. Chaired by Sarah Ward, these two fabulous writers will discuss the marginal/coastal locations in their crime novels, touching on the importance of nature, isolation and forgotten communities in their writing.

12:15 – 1:00pm

1:00 – 2:00pm
Gritty and Gripping: Mandasue Heller, Mel Sherratt, Noelle Holten, Caz Finlay
What makes a book unputdownable? What makes a reader keep turning the pages? Gritty and gripping are just some of the words used to describe the novels of these three fantastic authors. Chaired by Caz Finlay, these bestselling authors will discuss just how they put the grit and grip into their thrillers, and what they think keeps their readers coming back for more.

2:15 – 3:15pm
Poirot: The Greatest Detective: Sophie Hannah and Dr Mark Aldridge
Poirot is a monstrous ego, describing himself both as “probably the greatest detective in the world”, and “the greatest mind in Europe”. Christie, irritated with his tedious quirks, tried to kill her Belgian detective off, but her publishers (and readers) loved him, the Poirot novels thrived, and they have been adapted scores of times for TV, film, radio – even graphic novels. Now Sophie Hannah has received the blessing of the Christie estate to write more Poirot novels – her fourth will be released in August this year. So, what is it about Poirot – this little, round, pompous, faintly ridiculous Agatha Christie creation – which gives him such enduring appeal? Find out when Sophie Hannah discusses Poirot with Dr Mark Aldridge, Senior Lecturer in Film and TV studies, and international authority on Agatha Christie. Moderated by Ian Skillicorn.

3:15 – 4:00pm
Break / Crime Writing workshop with David Jackson

Crafting the Killer Pitch: As novelists of commercial fiction, we are in the business of selling ideas – to agents, to publishers and, ultimately, to readers. Our chances of success increase dramatically if we can express those ideas in ways that are brief and snappy and carry a punch that sends our intended audience reeling. In this short workshop David Jackson describes techniques that will help you in devising story pitches that have exactly that tight, powerful focus.

4:00 – 5:00pm
Truth and Lies: Howard Sounes and Jane Corry
We delve into the minds and motives of killers both real and imagined. Howard Sounes covered the Fred and Rose West serial murder case as a journalist. His taped interviews from that time form the basis of his bestselling book and No.1 podcast. Jane Corry spent three years as the writer-in-residence of a high security prison for men. The experience has influenced her psychological thrillers. A fascinating discussion with two authors who’ve closely examined what makes a murderer tick. Moderated by Ian Skillicorn.

5:15 -6:15pm
Panel 6 (full details coming very soon!)

Our book sales room will be open all day, with authors making appearances for book signings.