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December 2020

Writer of one of The Times ‘Books of the Year’ pens first book written in Geordie dialect

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Chris Rickaby, writer of one of this year’s The Times ‘Books of the Year’ has recently brought out, Billy Quiz and the Mission to Mars, published by One Word Press, as a homage to his childhood growing up in Newcastle in the 1970s. It’s the tale of sixteen-year-old Billy Agnew – better known as Billy Quiz. During the long hot summer of 1976, Billy Quiz is wrestling with a lot of questions. He’s also being terrorised by two skinheads. As he helps his dad deliver post around a tough estate in Newcastle, letters begin to appear addressed to a district of Vienna that does not exist. They lead to a mysterious Jewish woman who has a disturbing story to tell. Can she provide Billy with the answers he’s looking for? After conducting his own research, Chris believes Billy Quiz is the only ‘first person’ novel written in the Geordie vernacular, offering a fine balance of dialect whilst still being accessible to readers around the world. There’s also a glossary at the back for those readers not familiar with words such as ‘canny’, deek’, ‘bairn’ and ‘hoy’! Chris Rickaby says: “There are lots of great novels set in Newcastle, especially thrillers, and when I was young there were Scott Dobson’s brilliant Larn Yersel’ Geordie books, and, more recently, Jonathan Tulloch’s The Season Ticket but, so…

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