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TREVOR WOOD

Trevor is the writer of shortlisted book The Man on the Street. Hailing from Newcastle upon Tyne, this is his third novel and his first nomination for the Old Peculier Crime writing Award. Originally a teacher, he's been writing professionally for 10 years.

What’s your favourite tipple for enjoying with a book? 

Gin and tonic. Or a nice cold glass of white wine. Or a full-bodied red, an Argentinian Malbec perhaps. Though it could be a single malt or a bourbon, e.g. Jack Daniels. Maybe prosecco if there’s anything to celebrate (it being Friday, for instance). And last but palpably not least, a smooth pint of Theakston Old Peculier, obviously!

Where are you most likely to have that creative “eureka” moment? 

Definitely out jogging. Despite living in the centre of Newcastle, I’m right on the edge of a series of parks leading into the beautiful Jesmond Dene so whenever the muse deserts me I chuck on my trainers and head out the door. I always come back with three or four new ideas, some of which are clearly insane once I’ve thought about them but there’s also always at least one that moves things forward again. And thinking about the book makes me forget how much the jogging is hurting.

If you could be any character in a book, who would it be? 

I’m shooting for Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird. Noble, honourable and with a much cooler name than ‘Trevor.’

What’s the most “Peculier” situation you’ve found yourself in while researching a story? 

I contacted someone I vaguely knew at the Port of Tyne authority to try and find out where a body might end up if thrown into the River Tyne at a certain point at a certain time of year. The message was passed on to the harbourmaster who gave me a variety of fantastic suggestions and tips. It was only then that I remembered the person I first contacted went to school with my wife and felt the need to message her back to reassure her it was all for book research and she had no need to keep her eye on the local press for reports of a mysterious death.

Do you think you have what it takes to commit the perfect crime? 

No. I’m a terrible gossip and useless at keeping secrets. And I like a drink (see question 1). This is not a good combination. I’d be like Bill Macy in Fargo.

What would make you a better author but a worse person? 

I am completely unable to ignore any kind words about my book on social media and reply to everything, often ending up in lovely, but time consuming conversations. It’s thoroughly enjoyable and often life-affirming but means I can easily lose a whole morning when I could be writing. This is between us, right, I don’t want my editor reading it and realising that my deadline extension requests aren’t actually due to a mysterious long-term collapse of the electrical infrastructure in the North East.

Find out more about the festival and the programme of events here