Yes, that's right, all three of the creators and organisers of Hull Noir are called Nick!!!
2 out of 3 of us are from Hull; 2 out of 3 of us live in and around Hull; but all 3 of us LOVE everything about the great city of Hull.
Below is a little intro into who we all are and what we do. With regard to the Hull Noir, we come together to make one indistinguishable Super Nick that ensures you all have a criminally great festival.
I’m a crime writer born and bred in Hull. It’s where I live and where I set my work, predominantly the Joe Geraghty (Private Investigator) novels, all published by Fahrenheit Press.
When I started writing about fifteen years ago, I knew no one. I barely knew any writers, never mind other crime writers. But I did quickly learn that it’s the most social of genres and was quickly welcomed into the family of fellow-writers, readers, bloggers and reviewers.
It also changed locally. I stumbled upon Nick, not surprisingly via the work of Ted Lewis and we increasingly worked together to promote our novels. Our ‘Humber Beat’ events take us around the north of England, long car journeys spent talking about books and writing. From there it was only a short hop to meeting Nikki, and as Hull became UK City of Culture 2017, the festival was born. It hasn’t been plain sailing (we don’t talk about the stage we used for the first festival), but those stories are for another time...
The festival has opened so many doors for me. The Geraghty novels have taken me to all the major UK crime festivals and out to Iceland Noir. I’m not sure how it’s happened, but I’m now regularly asked to interview other authors on stage and have quizzed Lee Child, Martina Cole, Mark Billingham, Peter Robinson and many others. It seems crazy when I look back to fifteen years ago, but it’s a life of crime (writing) for me...
First came poems and lyrics for songs that never went further than the stage of the Old Tiger’s Head in Lee Green. Indie/goth guitar for much of the 80s before a leap of faith to see if I had what it took to write. Let’s just say, it wouldn’t be the last leap. English, Writing and Publishing at Middlesex University, then, after leaving London for Barton upon Humber in 2001, an MA in Writing at Sheffield Hallam University. I’ve never looked back.
I researched and wrote the social history books Family Ties, The Women They Left Behind, Distant Water, and Pattie Slappers that explored the working lives of people in largely vanished Humber industries. In 2012, my novel Frank’s Wild Years, took me back to south London.
After almost a decade researching the life and work of British crime fiction pioneer, Ted Lewis, the biography Getting Carter: Ted Lewis and the Birth of Brit Noir was published by No Exit Press in 2017. By then, I’d met Hull crime writer, Nick Quantrill. We’d set up crime fiction events under the tag, The Humber Beat. With Hull as City of Culture on the horizon, we got together with Nikki East and, between us, curated the first Hull Noir crime fiction festival.
Some things are too good to let go and Hull Noir’s one of those. The Humber’s an inspirational part of the country. Another ‘dirty old river’ that draws great people and great writers to its shores. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Born and raised in East Hull, I left at 18 to go to uni in Teesside where I got a BA (Hons) Public Administration. From there I went to work in NHS Finance & Information Services in Chester where my son, George, was born. I’d always worked second jobs in pubs (I started out in Saltshouse Tavern & The Quayside, aged 17) and I became a fully-fledged landlady when George was two years old and eventually moved back to Hull to run The George Hotel on Land of Green Ginger. I love Hull and its people and get back whenever I can for a brilliant night out followed by pattie and chips!
I've been working in the shadows on the periphery of the publishing industry for 10 years, assisting authors with image and promotion, building websites, proof-reading, branding and much more.
In 2020, along with Sumaira Wilson I co-founded and took the role of Creative Director for SpellBound Books. Our remit is to publish the kind of writing we want to read, regardless of genre. If it's a page turner, we're gonna be interested.
I have hosted Noir at the Bar events in Hull and London, where I now live. I chaired a panel of super talented authors at Newcastle Noir and, along with my wonderful son, helped coordinate logistics for Bouchercon 2018 in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The bottom line is that I love books and I love being around people who love books - that's how I know these guys.