Newcastle gives author top-selling location

THE city of Newcastle is one of the most talked-about characters in crime author Jaye Ford’s chilling suspense novels about women who survive terrifying assaults.

‘‘The ‘exotic location’ has been mentioned as one of the reasons that my books have sold in places like Russia and Poland,’’ Ms Ford, a Lake Macquarie resident, said.

‘‘I’ve even had a message from a Sydney reader not so long ago – she’d never been here but she said Newcastle seemed like a scary place to live.’’

Visitors will have the chance to make up their own minds about the city when they attend the inaugural Newcastle Writers Festival, to be held from April 5 to 7.

The three-day event is being organised by Newcastle Herald journalist Rosemarie Milsom with assistance from Hunter Writers Centre director Karen Crofts.

‘‘Why a writers’ festival? Because it’s long overdue and there always has to be a first time,’’ Ms Milsom said at the festival launch on Wednesday.

‘‘Writers’ festivals aren’t just for writers, they’re about the exchange of ideas, provide insight into the creative process and a nirvana for booklovers.

‘‘Newcastle and the Hunter is rich with literary talent.

‘‘Poets are abundant, we have published authors across crime, historical fiction, erotic writing, romance, non-fiction, history, and the short story is alive and well.’’

The festival’s 35 events – including 16 ticketed sessions – will be held across inner-city venues and cover themes of true crime, the sea, women and social media, memoir, sport, history, romance, the price of war, the art of writing and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Guests include much loved British actor and new Australian citizen Miriam Margolyes, Mark Tedeschi QC, Major General John Cantwell, Robert Drewe, David Marr, Ramona Koval, Jane Caro, Richard Fidler, Michael Chamberlain and Stuart Littlemore.

The complete festival program will be published in the Herald on March 9.

Tickets, details newcastlewritersfestival.org.au

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