Saturday, 9 June 2018

'Short and Sweet' Interview with Alan Carter.

Alan Carter was born in the UK but now resides in New Zealand and will be appearing at next year's Rotorua Noir writers' festival here in the Bay Of Plenty. He was recently asked to appear at Newcastle Noir in England and I caught up with him for a quick Q&A just after he returned.

#1: So, Alan, you’ve just been to the wonderful Newcastle Noir crime writers’ festival in England. It’s organised by a friend of mine, the fabulously crazy Jacky Collins who will be a panel moderator at Rotorua Noir. It sounds like everyone had a great time at Newcastle Noir. What was your favourite part of the festival?

"Newcastle Noir is a great festival held in a grand old building, the Lit & Phil, which oozes history, books, and grand thoughts. Jacky is indeed a dynamo who knows her onions (how is that for atrociously mixing your metaphors). There were so many great sessions and top rank authors lining up and all credit to Jacky for her obvious powers of persuasion. I think my favourite was Crime in Translation - Lilja Sigurdardottir and Roxanne Bouchard reading from their works in the original Icelandic and French and their respective translators reading the English equivalent and discussing the perils and art of what they do."

#2: You were born not too far from Newcastle? Do you get back there very often and what are your fondest memories of growing up there?

"I was born in Sunderland, about 20km away, but a world apart if you support the wrong football team. I loved the coastline, I grew up ten minutes’ walk from the beach at Seaburn and there are some specky limestone stacks just along the road at Marsden which I couldn’t resist including in Marlborough Man."

#3: You would have met quite a few authors while you were at the festival. Who were the stand out personalities for you either on panels or in person?

"Lilja is of course a real live wire and I enjoyed chatting with Mari Hannah who is building a large and devoted following with her NE (North-East England) set books. Newcastle Noir is good like that, intimate, with the chance to mingle with your peers and heroes (and heroines). Even managed a brief fanboy moment with Val McDermid who has said nice things about my Cato series."

#4: You’ll be coming to Rotorua Noir next year. What do you think we have to do to keep up with the likes of Newcastle Noir? Do you think for example that there might be some musicians hidden in our ranks?

"If there are they’ll have to be pretty good to match up to the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers - there's some serious musical as well as writing talent there. I think the intimacy and inclusiveness, not just among authors but between author and audience, which characterises NN (Newcastle Noir) is a good thing to aim for."

And given the size of the venue and the vibe that I will be bringing to the festival here in Rotorua, that is exactly what I'll be shooting for, Alan! 

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