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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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What’s your story ?

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So, as I’m sat in my local Caffé Nero, (a regular haunt for said coffee addict!) the festive decorations are a glimmer and I’m eyeing up a piece of red velvet cake that well and truly has my name on it! As the world goes by around me, I affectionately watch a loving Granny and Grandad cosy up with their granddaughter armed with a bounty of books of a chocolate brownie or two!   Aside from serious cake envy, I watch them snuggling in for a version of ‘The Tiger who came to tea’, and it got me thinking about the powerful impact of storytelling, its capacity to engage and inspire and the impact this has in life and indeed business. Telling stories is part of our DNA, to connect, entertain and share important information. Stories have been inspiring and shaping us for centuries way back to our caveman ancestors.  Today it’s the reason we love watching movies or TV, why we exchange our latest personal adventures with friends over a cuppa or check our Facebook and Instagram story updates! Words are our most powerful tools, they have crushed souls and built empires. Forming some of my fondest childhood memories, I…

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