A best-selling author will be headlining Darlington Libraries’ Crime Festival next month (7-12 October).

Alex Gray, writer of 16 best-selling crime novels featuring Detective Chief Inspector Lorimer and his psychological profiler Solomon Brightman, will be offering an insight into where she gets her inspiration and will talk about her latest release The Stalker.

It’s one of the highlights of Darlington Libraries’ Crime Festival, organised to celebrate National Libraries Week, which offers the chance to join crime writing workshops and learn about self-publishing.

There’s also a chance to win various prizes throughout the week, including tickets to see Curtains, Jekyll and Hyde and The Lady Vanishes at Darlington Hippodrome.

An Evening with crime author Alex Gray will be held on Wednesday 9 October, 7-8.30pm, and tickets are £5, or only £3.50 if purchased with a ticket for any of the festival workshops.

Other Crime Festival highlights include:

Crime fiction workshop with Dr Noir, Jackie Collins – Tuesday 9 October, 7-9pm, tickets £5. A creative crime writing workshop which will help get you started on writing your own short story and help to develop your ideas.

Cops and Robbers: Creating characters for crime fiction – Wednesday 9 October, 10am-noon, tickets £5. Join author and creative writing tutor Tracey Iceton for this writing workshop on creating crime fiction characters.

CSI (Crime Scene Imagining): How to create settings in crime fiction – Wednesday 9 October, 1-3pm, tickets £5. Tracey Iceton leads this workshop on how to set the scene when writing crime fiction.

Local Studies crime themed open day – Thursday 10 October, 10am-4pm drop-in, free. Revisit local crimes of the past and discover if there are any shady villains in your own ancestry. Items on display will include some from the Head of Steam – Darlington Railway Museum and Durham County Record Office.

Mentoring sessions with Sixth Element Publishing – Saturday 12 October, eight individual, slots available between 9.30am and 3pm, tickets £5. Join Sixth Element for a half hour, one-to-one mentoring session on writing and publishing.

Cllr Paul Howell, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for leisure and the local environment, said:

“Crime fiction is one of the most popular contemporary reads, not to mention being the source of some gripping television dramas, and we’re thrilled to welcome Alex and all our guests to share their experiences during our Crime Festival.

“I’m sure it’ll prove a popular event and hope it will be an inspiration for many budding crime writers out there. Whether you’re a budding author or an avid reader and fan of the genre, there’s plenty going on for everyone.”

Darlington Libraries’ Crime Festival will run 7-12 October. All events are at Crown Street Library and tickets must be booked in advance at www.eventbrite.co.uk

For more information pop into the library, call 01325 349610 or log onto www2.darlington.gov.uk You can also follow us on Facebook @DarlingtonLibraries or on Twitter @DarlLibs