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Highland writers contribute to crime story collection in aid of NHS


By Margaret Chrystall

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Margaret Kirk
Margaret Kirk

Two writers from the Highlands have donated stories to a collection being sold in aid of the NHS.

Margaret Kirk – who is now working on In The Blood, the third book in her Shadow Man series – has contributed to the forthcoming Noir From The Bar Anthology which features some top crime writers.

The award-winning writer of Shadow Man and What Lies Buried will feature her story Still Life in the book, all profits from it going to NHS Charities Together.

Neil Lancaster, a fellow writer based in the Black Isle, has also contributed a tale from his Tom Novak series.

Neil Lancaster
Neil Lancaster

Neil said: "In the story, called Ice, Tom and his team disrupt in a slightly unusual way the supply of a new and deadly drug coming into the UK from Mexico."

Margaret Kirk said, “I was delighted to offer my story to support this very worthy cause. This is a great anthology and I’m very proud to be part of it.”

Based in Newcastle, Noir At The Bar is an event which usually gives crime writers the chance to get together with other authors as well as crime fiction enthusiasts.

When the coronavirus lockdown started, Noir’s founder, writer and creative writing tutor, Vic Watson looked to move the event online, setting up a free weekly virtual get-together.

Simon Bewick, a marketing consultant and writer, agreed to provide marketing and technical support, and just one week later the first Virtual Noir At The Bar launched.

In less than two months, the weekly live event has been seen live by hundreds of attendees, with thousands watching the recordings the following day.

Over 70 authors have already, with more than 100 more scheduled up to August.

To create something lasting from these virtual events, the idea for the story collection Noir From The Bar was conceived – with 20-plus short crime stories.

Created in just six weeks it will be published on Wednesday with other authors featured including Neil Broadfoot, Roz Watkins, Sarah [SJ] Bolton and Zoe Sharp. There are also stories from up-and-coming writers from Newcastle to New Zealand.

All the contributors – authors, editors and designers – have given their time and work for free and have agreed that all profits should go towards supporting the NHS.

Noir From The Bar is available from Wednesday via Amazon Kindle, for £2.99 (paperback details to follow shortly).

All proceeds will go to NHS Charities Together

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