David Belbin

David Belbin

David led Nottingham’s successful bid to become a UNESCO City of Literature. A novelist, he’s best known for thirty Young Adult novels and the Bone and Cane sequence about Nottingham crime and politics. 'Provenance', his new and collected short stories, was published in 2016. He stood down as Chair of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature in October 2021.

About David

David studied English and American Literature at University of Nottingham and has lived in the city since graduating. A former English teacher, he spent several years as a full-time writer. Since 2002 he has taught Creative Writing part-time at Nottingham Trent University. David is a trustee of Nottingham Playhouse and writes occasional music reviews for the Nottingham Post. He lives in Sherwood.

He stood down as Chair of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature in October 2021. Read more on this here.

My biggest influence

My biggest influence in becoming a novelist was Brian Moore, who I wrote my undergraduate dissertation about. Especially The Doctor’s Wife. Bernard Malamud’s novels and stories also thrilled me. My favourite, Dubin’s Lives, has a Lawrence connection.

I devoured all of Patricia Highsmith in my twenties. Start with the Ripley novels. I still have a short note she sent me just before her death. Highsmith’s one of only two authors I’ve written fan mail to. The other was crime author Ed McBain, who I was later lucky enough to meet. I couldn’t have written my The Beat series without his 87th Precinct novels.

Ann Beattie is my favourite short story writer. Try The New Yorker Stories. Bulwell’s Stanley Middleton became a good friend. Harris's Requiem and Holiday are my favourites. During teacher-training, I discovered Robert Cormier. His brilliant I Am The Cheese determined me to try my hand at writing Young Adult Fiction, which changed my life.

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