Northumberland TV scriptwriter with credits on Hollyoaks, Byker Grove and BBC’s Doctors secures three book publishing deal

A Lesbury writer has secured a multi-book deal with an international publisher.

Monday, 30th November 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Monday, 30th November 2020, 6:07 pm

Marrisse Whittaker has signed a three-book deal with Bloodhound Books.

Earlier this year, Marrisse was shortlisted for The Lindisfarne Prize for Outstanding Debut Crime Fiction with her novel The Magpie, having picked up a leaflet advertising the competition at Alnwick library when it reopened in the Playhouse last December.

The competition is sponsored by best-selling Northumberland writer LJ Ross in association with the Newcastle Crime Noir Writing Festival for writers who have connections to – or feature locations in – the North East.

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Marrisse Whittaker.

The Magpie is the first of a series of three books to be published in 2021 and will feature many locations familiar to Northumberland residents.

Although Marrisse has worked in TV and film production for many years and has written scripts for TV drama’s including Channel 4’s Hollyoaks and BBC’s Doctors and Byker Grove, The Lindisfarne Prize inspired her to try novel writing for the very first time.

“Writing scripts for TV is a very different experience to writing novels, but I’m really lucky to have had the opportunity during lockdown to get involved in a new project and thrilled to have been signed by Bloodhound Books,” she said.

“I’m hoping that eventually the books will be adapted for TV too. There can never be too many ways of telling great stories about Northumberland.

“I’m particularly grateful to author LJ Ross for having used her own self-made success as an author, to encourage other Northumbrians with an interest in novel writing to give it a go."

Marrisse started her career as a make-up artist working in theatre, films and TV and was involved in productions such as Elizabeth with Cate Blanchett, partly filmed in Alnwick and several TV projects featuring Robson Green.

Later she teamed up with her partner Bob Whittaker to start factual TV production company, Orion TV, making programmes for Channel 4, BBC, Discovery and History Channels including a series, Brush With Britain, featuring artist Charles Evans from Acklington.

The 2021 competition is open for new entries. Visit

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