Former Sunderland student and academic unite to write crime novel

Nicky Doherty, former Sunderland Uni student
Nicky Doherty, former Sunderland Uni student
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A former Sunderland University student and visiting lecturer have teamed up to pen a crime novel.

Nicky Doherty and Julie Blackie, visiting lecturer in script writing at the University, have written their first novel, ‘The Prodigal’, under the pen-name Nicky Black.

The pair met when both worked on regeneration schemes in the North East more than 20 years ago.

Both undertook production management and creative writing courses at Sunderland University, and Julie became a visiting lecturer due to her considerable TV writing experience, including Hollyoaks and Casualty.

Nicky said: “It was about bringing the people to life using the insight we had from our own experiences of working in North East communities.

“The publishing industry is very hard for new writers, so rather than wait for agents to sign us up, we decided to self-publish through Amazon, so it isn’t available in book shops yet.”