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Noireland International Crime Festival, Belfast

Noireland International Crime Festival, Belfast

If you’re a fan of the crime genre, whether you enjoy reading the books or aspire to be an author, then Belfast’s debut crime festival is a must attendance.

Noireland (great name by the way) will be running from 27-29th October and taking place in the Europa Hotel.

Organised by the people behind the amazing bookshop ‘No Alibis’ which is situated in Botanic in Belfast, this festival celebrates the island’s love of crime fiction.

The 3-day event will be showcasing the amazing talent emerging from Ireland currently as well as some of the popular authors from all over the world, such as Sophie Hannah, Arne Dahl and Benjamin Black, to name just a few.

Noireland International Crime was organised to provide a platform for the wealth of crime writing talent emerging from Ireland, showcasing it alongside some of the biggest international names in crime and thriller writing.

With a jam-packed programme of great authors plus a selection of entertaining events, this debut festival is an exciting introduction to Northern Ireland’s love of all things crime and suspense.

As a very new and independent organisation they rely on partnerships, sponsors, donations, ticket sales and volunteers to support their work.

If you are interested in partnering with Noireland or sponsoring them you can contact them at

For more information and updates about the events plus tickets, go to

Liz Nugent Writers Tips

Liz NugentI’m wary of offering advice because every writer has a different approach and a different set of rules, but the one thing I would suggest is quite simply –to read. Read as much as you can in as many genres as you can. Read fact, fiction, history, biography, the classics, children’s etc. Eventually, you’ll find the one that appeals to you most.

Liz Nugent In Conversation With No Alibis Bookshop, Belfast

Liz NugentAward winning and bestselling Irish author Liz Nugent is coming No Alibis Bookshop Belfast to read and talk about her new book ‘Lying In Wait’ a suspenseful tale about deceit.

Liz previously came to Belfast in 2014 as part of the Belfast Book Festival to talk about her debut novel, ‘Unravelling Oliver’ which went onto win Crime Fiction of the Year at the Bord Gais Book Awards.

Liz will be appearing at the Belfast Bookshop on Friday 2nd September at 6pm. See you there!

Lying In Wait By Liz Nugent

Lying In Wait‘Lying In Wait’ is the latest book by Irish author, Liz Nugent.

Lydia Fitzsimons lives in the perfect house with her adoring husband and beloved son. There is just one thing Lydia yearns for to make her perfect life complete, though the last thing she expects is that pursuing it will lead to murder. However, needs must – because nothing can stop this mother from getting what she wants.

‘Lying In Wait’ is the second book from Liz Nugent after her first book, the award winning crime thriller, ‘Unravelling Oliver’ and her second is just as intense and atmospheric.

The story is set in Dublin in 1980’s when Lydia Fitzsimmons is desperate for another child, but unable to have another one, she hires the help of Annie Doyle, a troubled, young prostitute who ends up dead. With blood on her and her husband’s Andrews hands, the pair hide Annie’s death from the world and carry on with their lives as best they can. Meanwhile, their only son Lawrence suspects something but nothing is ever done about it. Annie’s family report the girl missing but she is never found and her sister Karen is certain that someday her sister will turn up explaining her absence.

Seen through the narrative of the three main characters of the story, Lydia, Lawrence and Karen, the story is written from the perspective of the murderer, the murderers son and the victim’s sister and tells how one person wants the problem to go away whilst another person is desperate to find answers.

The voices are distinct, particularly Lydia, who to the outside world leads a privileged and pampered life, but once we delve deeper into her past with family secrets deeply hidden, we see a troubled character who shows little or no remorse for her actions and the consequences. She controls and manipulates her son, leading him to believe that she is a poor, weak woman but she is incredibly vindictive with her motives. Lawrence feels sorry for his mother, but he sees through her actions and knows that she isn’t as innocent as she makes herself out to be. Meanwhile, on the other side of Dublin, we meet Karen, Annie’s sister, a sophisticated young woman, plucked from obscurity to become a model, she believes her sister wouldn’t just disappear and is determined to find out what really happened.

‘Lying In Wait’ is a cleverly observed and written psychological thriller that pulls the reader in, with a dark and intricate storyline. Set against the poverty stricken background of 1980’s Dublin, this tense and eerie setting is the perfect location for this twisty and chilling tale with an ending that leaves the reader astounded.

You can buy Lying In Wait from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Liz Nugent

Liz NugentLiz Nugent has worked in Irish film, theatre and television for most of her adult life. She is an award-winning writer of radio and television drama and has written short stories for children and adults. Her first novel ‘Unravelling Oliver’ won Ireland AM Crime Fiction Award at the Irish Book Awards.

  1. To the readers of the blog, that may not be familiar with you or your writing, can tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing?
    I was quite a failure at school, not really excelling in any area. I got very mediocre Leaving Cert results, and worked in lots of different jobs until I found theatre. I loved it and worked as a stage manager for about twelve years. The most interesting part of the job for me was the text and watching actors inhabit characters. Directors would try to shape the interpretation of the text. I used to love it when the playwright came in to rehearsals and give notes. I always felt the story started with them, no matter what the director or actors did. I then got a job as a Story Associate on a soap opera and again, I got very involved with character continuity. I hated when writers made characters do things that I deemed not in keeping with their historical characterisation, but I guess in soapland, you have to do that or the audience would die of boredom. While in that job, I wrote plays for radio and tv and an animation series for children. A short story that I entered into a competition was shortlisted for a prize. It took me a few years to realise that story had more potential and I eventually developed that into my first novel Unravelling Oliver.
  2. Where do you get your ideas for your stories?
    I guess every experience I have in some way informs the work I do. I am also inspired by other books, films and TV dramas. The obituary column in the Irish Times is a fascinating source too. There are people who have led the most fascinating lives who we don’t hear about until they are dead!
  3. Lying In Wait

  4. You have pursued various careers in your life from actress to author, which role do you enjoy the most?
    Obviously, being a full time writer is really satisfying, although hard work, but once about twenty years ago, I helped out with the casting of a film. If I could have any job in the world, I’d be a casting agent. I am a huge consumer of television dramas and a regular theatre-goer, so I know who’s who and what they are capable of. It’s amazing, for instance, how many great tv/film actors can’t make it work on stage. Oh God, I’d really love to be a casting director!
  5. Was there a book that you read that didn’t live up to the hype?
    There are a few. But you know what, the writer worked really hard on that book and I’m not going to name names. Just because it didn’t appeal to me doesn’t make it a bad book. Everyone else appeared to love it. Am I jealous of their success? A little- particularly when I feel that it was marketing rather than merit that got it there but that happens exceptionally rarely.
  6. Why did you decide that you wanted to write crime?
    Good question. I never made that decision at all. Genre never crossed my mind when I started writing ‘Unravelling Olive’r. I had been really fascinated by John Banville’s Freddie Montgomery in ‘The Book of Evidence’, and the real life man on whom the character was based, Malcolm MacArthur. I wanted to write a character as flawed and damaged as that so I created this sociopath Oliver Ryan and watched the mayhem that he unwittingly caused unfold. There were a lot of crimes committed but I didn’t know I was a crime writer until I was nominated in that category for the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards (I won!). With ‘Lying in Wait’, my editor was quite specific that she wanted that same sinister creepy tone so that’s what I gave her. It is such a broad genre now and encompasses everything from spy thrillers to police procedurals to psychological suspense. I have no objection to being genreified (yes I just made up a word).
  7. From books and films, who has been your favourite bad guy?
    It has to be Heathcliff. He had a rotten start in life and then had a chance at happiness. If Cathy had returned his love instead of being a spoiled little snob, they could both have been happy. Heathcliff was the victim of his circumstances and I can totally understand how he turned out to be the monstrous bully he was in the end.
  8. If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you bring with you to pass the time?
    Well, they’d have to be big ones I guess as I don’t know how long it’s going to be before I’m rescued. Assuming that I can’t have ‘The Complete Works of Shakespeare’ as one tome, I’d opt for ‘Ulysses’, ‘War and Peace’ and Marian Keyes’’ Making it Up as I Go Along’ because you’d need a laugh.
  9. What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
    I’m wary of offering advice because every writer has a different approach and a different set of rules, but the one thing I would suggest is quite simply –to read. Read as much as you can in as many genres as you can. Read fact, fiction, history, biography, the classics, children’s etc. Eventually, you’ll find the one that appeals to you most.
  10. When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
    My pottery mug full of Lyons tea.
  11. And finally Liz do you have any projects or releases on the horizon which you would like to share with the readers of the website?
    Just this little old second novel called ‘Lying in Wait’.

Follow Liz Nugent on Twitter Liz Nugent for updates.

You can pre-order Lying in Wait from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 14th July 2016.