Book launch for Berwick author with her own story to tell

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A Berwick author whose debut novel picked up a prize before it was even published has launched her book in the town.

Christie J Newport’s own story is the very definition of triumph over adversity, giving her success even more significance.

The Raven’s Mark, which was launched at Berwick Library, has received rave reviews from other well-known authors – including one of Christie’s idols, Dorothy Koomson. It is the first in a series featuring Detective Chief Inspector Beth Fellows.

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Christie, who lives near the town centre with her wife Amy, suffers from an extremely rare auto immune illness and was mainly bedbound for 10 years before receiving publicly funded life-changing stem cell replacement therapy in the USA in 2015.

Christie J Newport at the book launch.Christie J Newport at the book launch.
Christie J Newport at the book launch.

She still has to make regular trips to hospital for infusions, but the reduction in pain brought with it a high degree of mental clarity that meant she could at last pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an author.

The 41-year-old originally from Lancashire, was awarded the first Joffe Prize for Crime Writers of Colour – one of the biggest competitions for crime writers in the UK.

She said: “I think it is very important to see more diversity in terms of people of colour and disability so I am very proud to be able to do that both through my writing and the characters and stories I create.”

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Christie is regularly found using the archives at Berwick Library to research her work, including her next Beth Fellows case and her separate historical psychological novels. She has also run a course for creative writing at the library.

Coun Jeff Watson, cabinet member for culture, heritage and libraries at Northumberland County Council, said: “Christie is an exceptionally talented writer who has chosen to make Northumberland her home.

“She has also made herself a member of our community by getting involved, supporting the library service and by backing other up-and-coming writers.

“She is a great example of making a success in the publishing world and overcoming every issue life can throw at you. I’m told her novel includes an explosive twist at the end – and I can’t wait to read it.”

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