Get ready for @bay_tales Live 2022

Earlier this year it was a privilege to be part of one of Bay Tales‘ fantastic online events, giving a book review of The Last Bear by Hannah Gold. You can see what I had to say here.  I also have a written review on Linda’s Book Bag here. Bay Tales co-ordinators Simon Bewick and Vic Watson have been bringing all manner of exciting virtual events since lockdown last year and you’ll find details of what’s been happening on the Bay Tales website.

Now, however, Bay Tales are going live with their first ever ‘in real life’ event and I’m delighted to bring you details:

Bay Tales LIVE 2022

Tickets are now on sale for one-day crime fiction event in the heart of Vera country. The team behind Virtual Noir at the Bar have released tickets for their first physical event – in their hometown of Whitley Bay, North Tyneside.

Bay Tales Live, a one-day crime fiction festival for readers and writers, will be held at Whitley Bay Playhouse on Saturday, 12 Feb 2022 and will feature some of the most successful UK crime writers, as well as introducing audience members to the brightest rising stars of 2022. Featured authors have had their books optioned by BBC, ITV and Netflix.

Simon and Vic

Keen to continue their habit of hosting the biggest names in crime fiction alongside new writers, Vic Watson and Simon Bewick – shortlisted for FutureBook’s Event of the Year last year – have collaborated with some of the UK’s biggest publishers to put together a programme of six panels featuring award-winning authors like Louise Candlish and Vaseem Khan as well as successful local authors Ann Cleeves and Trevor Wood.

And, just like their virtual shows, the pair couldn’t resist throwing a wildcard into the mix: inviting Dr Richard Shepherd, forensic pathologist and author of the Sunday Times bestseller Unnatural Causes, to speak at the event.

“This event is perfect for both readers and writers of crime fiction, with a little forensic pathology thrown in for good measure,” said Vic Watson who, prior to the pandemic, had been responsible for events in Newcastle and Harrogate. “The events I’ve hosted in the past, whether online or in real life, have always given audience members to connect with the featured writers. Bay Tales Live may be in a more formal setting but there will still be opportunities for people to meet the writers and get their books signed as well as to ask questions towards the end of each panel.”

After bringing hundreds of authors and readers together during the pandemic, Vic Watson and Simon Bewick would like them to connect in their hometown which also happens to be the setting for ITV’s smash hit TV show, Vera.

Local author Ann Cleeves, author of the Vera and Shetland series said: “I can’t wait to meet fellow readers and writers in Whitley Bay in February. I know it’ll be a brilliant day.”

Whitley Bay, a seaside town ten miles east of Newcastle, has seen significant investment and regeneration in recent years and the Bay Tales team are keen to raise the town’s profile by enticing crime fiction fans with a reasonably-priced day pass, leaving guests with plenty of money to spend while in the town.

Simon Bewick, who edited the NHS charity fund raising crime fiction anthology featuring Virtual Noir at the Bar authors, Noir from the Bar said: “We want to make this event truly affordable for everyone. At £30 for a full day festival featuring six panels and over twenty authors, we believe it’s the best value of its kind around.”


I don’t know about you, but I think this sounds an absolute cracker of an event and brilliant value for money. I’m hoping I’ll be able to pack up the motorhome and head there myself on Saturday 12th February 2022.

More information regarding the full line-up and where to buy tickets can be found on the Bay Tales website.

You can also follow Bay Tales on Twitter @bay_tales and find them on Facebook and Instagram.

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