With its bubbling mud and steaming pressure Rotorua may be the perfect setting for a crime novel (Ngaio Marsh certainly thought so in 1943 when she penned Colour Scheme) and in 2019 it will be the hub for book lovers as Kiwi crime takes centre stage at New Zealand’s very own crime festival Rotorua Noir.
The festival founders are Kiwi crime writer Grant Nicol and Craig Sisterson, who is also the founder of the Ngaio Marsh Awards. In fact Rotorua Noir will also be celebrating 10 years of the fabulous Ngaio Marsh awards. Grant has recently returned to New Zealand from Iceland where he helped organise the Iceland Noir crime writing festival in 2016 and hopes to bring some of its ideas to New Zealand for Rotorua Noir.
Craig and Grant met in Iceland, when they both attended Iceland Noir in Reykjavik. On moving back to New Zealand Grant decided it was “time to have our own festival to celebrate Kiwi crime writing. Craig has done a great deal over the last few years to champion the cause of New Zealand crime writers so I had no hesitation in calling him up and asking for his help when I came up with the concept.”
Planned for early 2019 (probably January or February says Grant) the exact venue is yet to be selected but will be announced shortly and the ball is well and truly rolling. The festival will incorporate two days of panels featuring local and international crime writers discussing their craft and a day of workshops for local writers to attend. “We already have four authors from overseas who have agreed to attend, as well as many Kiwis – but there will also be writing workshops, author readings and a North Island vs South Island cricket match” says Grant. “We will be looking to involve the local community as much as possible and will be utilizing a local arts venue as well as one of Rotorua’s book shops. I want to get as many of New Zealand’s crime writing community together under one roof and give the public the chance to listen to them and meet the people responsible for creating so many fine books.”