Newcastle writer Daniel James will give the first public reading from his novel at Books on Tyne 2017 tomorrow night.

The writer and journalist from Cullercoats, North Tyneside, will be joined on stage by special guests Professor Brian Ward and Dr Claire Nally, and will also reveal the first ever screening of documentary footage about Ezra Maas, the mysterious artist at the centre of his new book.

Daniel is part of a packed programme of events at this year’s Books on Tyne festival, alongside bestselling authors such as Val McDermid (The Wire in the Blood), Ann Cleeves (Vera), LJ Ross, and many more. The debut author will be welcomed to the stage tomorrow night by Professor Brian Ward, one of the UK’s most respected scholars of American Studies, before sitting down for a Q&A with Dr Claire Nally, Senior Lecturer in English Literature and an expert in 20th Century fiction.

Tickets are free for Daniel’s event tomorrow night (28 November) at 6pm, at Newcastle’s City Library, but must be booked in advance from Newcastle Libraries Eventbrite page here.

The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas is a compelling and suspenseful postmodern mystery about a journalist searching for the truth about a reclusive artist through six decades of unreality and fabricated history. Join Daniel James as he follows Ezra Maas down the rabbit hole into a literary labyrinth of fractured identities and sinister doubles where nothing is what it seems in this unique novel told through a combination of hard-boiled prose, biography, letters, emails and phone transcripts.

Daniel, 36, said: “I was honoured to be asked to appear at Newcastle Book Festival alongside so many successful authors, and I’m very excited to read from the book for the very first time.

“I understand tickets are going fast, so if you’re interested in finding out more about my novel please reserve a free ticket and come along. I’ll be discussing the origins of the novel and my journey towards becoming published.”

The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas will be published in early 2018 by Dead Ink Books, an ambitious, independent publisher funded by Arts Council England.

Daniel added: “What happened to Ezra Maas is one of the biggest mysteries of contemporary art. He was one of the most influential artists of the 20th Century until he disappeared in mysterious circumstances – and no one has been able to write a book about his life or work until now due t legal issues with his estate and the intense secrecy of his friends and cult-like followers.

“Maas first became famous in the 1960s alongside the likes of Andy Warhol, but his rejection of celebrity and refusal to be photographed or interviewed meant that very little was known about who he really was or where he came from. Naturally, this made him a very intriguing and compelling
character.

“In today’s era of post-truth and fake news, it seemed the perfect timing to uncover the true story of such a mysterious and reclusive figure, but it wasn’t easy – what began life as a biography gradually turned into a detective story where I faced very real threats from forces who wanted to protect Maas’s mysterious legacy at any cost.”

The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas from Dead Ink Books will be available from all good book stores, including Forum Books in Corbridge, Northumberland, Waterstones, Foyles and Amazon.

Books on Tyne 2017 runs until 3 December and is a partnership between Newcastle Libraries and Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society. To book tickets for Daniel’s event on 28 November at 6pm click here or go to: http://www.booksontyne.co.uk/events/item/the-unauthorised-biography-
of-ezra-maas