Bloody Scotland Part 3 – Whats Happening in Stirling.

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Less than a week to go now to Bloody Scotland – excitement levels are building (I’m REALLY looking forward to it) so today I’m bringing you a few more short sharp interviews with some of the authors appearing to highlight some of the events coming up starting on Friday 9th September.

You can find the full programme and buy tickets HERE – do come along if you can even if only for the day, plenty going on for all crime writing fans and its one not to be missed.

On Saturday awesome author and all round lovely lady Eva Dolan will be on a panel with Ben McPherson and Mari Hannah – that is bound to be a brilliant one, all the books by these three are terrific.

Also on Saturday “Searching for the Truth” with Mary Paulson Ellis, Tim Weaver and Amanda Jennings – another panel that is bound to be fascinating. Read on to find out a little more from these authors….

 

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Tell us a ittle bit about your latest novel and what readers can expect from it, maybe about what originally sparked the idea?

After You Die is the third in my Zigic and Ferreira series and sees them investigating a disability related hate crime in a sleepy commuter village just outside Peterborough. Ferreira has previously met with the victims, Holly Prentice – a young right to die activist who was paralysed in a rock climbing accident – and her mother Dawn, and let their complaint slip due to the pressure of other cases. Now they are both dead and she has to wrangle with her own guilt while trying to find their killer.

The book was inspired by the real life case of Fiona Pilkington and her daughter Francesca, who suffered many years of abuse and harassment arising from Francesca’s disability, with little help from the police, who were disinterested and over stretched. Ultimately the case ended with a murder suicide and led to a major investigation by the police into how they deal with hate crimes arising from prejudice against the disabled.

In the wonderful world of Crime writing which Crime authors inspire you? Who writes your “go to” books when you look to read for pleasure. Or indeed do you read outside of Crime?

There are far too many to mention them all, but I eagerly await the new Ian Rankin novel each autumn. The Rebus books are what got me into reading crime and then writing it so it’s always a special moment curling up with the latest. I’m lucky enough to get an early look at Luca Veste’s Murphy and Rossi novels, along with those of Nick Quantrill and Jay Stringer, and I’d recommend everyone adds them to their TBR piles because they are some of the best gritty UK crime writers out there. Other musts…Mari Hannah, Sarah Hilary Craig Robertson, Stuart Neville, Kati Hiekkapelto, Mark Edwards, Chris Ewan, Susi Holliday, Ava Marsh…I could do this all day!

I read a lot of non-crime too, especially when I’m writing, but it tends to be at the darker end of the literary fiction scale. Recently I’ve had my heart pummelled by Kit De Waal’s My Name Is Leon and Simon Van Booy’s Father’s Day, two books about families and people cut adrift within the system.

Will this be your first time at Bloody Scotland? If so are you excited? If you’ve been before what would you say to encourage readers to attend?

This will be my third year at the festival and it’s the absolute highlight of the crime writing year. A genuinely warm and welcoming event where authors, bloggers and readers mingle in the bar until the wee hours. The programme is always top notch, with an intriguing mix of superstars and exciting new voices. And then there’s the fringe events. I’m hugely looking forward to Crime at the Coo, this year, a cabaret show where the great and good get to show off their non-writing skills, and the now legendary football match between the Scottish and English crime writers – they say crime writers are gentle souls and that’s usually true, until someone drops a ball between them.

Tell us one random fact about you that is unlikely to come up at the festival?

It’s Bloody Scotland, you never knows what’s going to come up! But…I’m totally addicted to playing cribbage and am, horn-toot, actually rather not bad at it. Open invite to anyone who turns up with a board…

You can purchase After you Die HERE

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Mary Paulson Ellis is the author of “The Other Mrs Walker” a novel I have on my tbr pile and am hoping to get to VERY soon.

Could you tell us a little bit about your latest novel and what readers can expect from it, maybe about what originally sparked the idea?

It begins with an old lady dead in a freezing Edinburgh flat, nothing left behind but a series of objects – an orange, an emerald dress, a Brazil nut with the Ten Commandments etched in its shell. Then it follows Margaret Penny from the Office for Lost People as she weaves through the mortuaries and funeral parlours of Edinburgh in an attempt to uncover the official paperwork that will confirm exactly who her dead client really is.

But the truth about the dead Mrs Walker lies not in paperwork but in the objects she has left behind. So the book dips back in time, over and over, into the London of the 1930s – 60s as these odd artefacts reveal the true story of the Walker family with all the betrayals, secrets and lies that reside at its heart.

It’s a jigsaw puzzle of a book in which the reader is always one step ahead of Margaret and where the crimes have all taken place in the past, but the effects of which are still rippling through into the present. I got the idea many years ago when I saw a TV documentary about the people who go into the properties of someone who has died on their own with no apparent next-of-kin. What an interesting job, I thought. Then I started to wonder about the people who had died and the life they must have led. It didn’t seem right for them to be defined solely by pieces of paper. When I brought the two together out came, The Other Mrs Walker.

In the wonderful world of Crime writing which Crime authors inspire you? Who writes your “go to” books when you look to read for pleasure. Or indeed do you read outside of Crime?

My absolute ‘go to’ for inspiration and pleasure is Kate Atkinson, particularly her ‘crime’ series featuring the investigator, Jackson Brodie (though I love all her books). I’m very influenced by her cross-over style – part detective story, part family mystery – which is a fair description of my own novel too.

In general I read anything and everything, often outside crime. But my first forays into the crime genre (and perhaps the ones that have stayed with me the most) were the unique worlds created by Ian Rankin, Denise Mina and Val McDermid. A baptism in Tartan Noir! I’m fascinated by anything set in Scotland, however I have recently enjoyed discovering another Bloody Scotland author, Mari Hannah and her returning series character, DCI Kate Daniels, giving it laldy down there in the gritty English North East.

Will this be your first time at Bloody Scotland? If so are you excited? If you’ve been before what would you say to encourage readers to attend?

Yes, this is my first time! And it’s hard to overstate just how excited I am at the prospect. I’m appearing on the Saturday afternoon, but I’m going for the whole weekend to take in some brilliant events (Josephine Tey, Scotland the Grave, Victorian Gothic amongst others) and to soak up the atmosphere. Perhaps I’ll also drink some wine.

Tell us one random fact about you that is unlikely to come up at the festival.

I once went on a blind date to Egypt. We corresponded beforehand after I answered an ad in a magazine, then met at the airport for the first time. Luckily it didn’t lead to murder (though my mother was convinced that it would).

Thank you!

The Other Mrs Walker by Mary Paulson-Ellis is published by Mantle (£12.99) and can be purchased HERE.

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Tim Weaver’s latest novel in the fantastic David Raker series is Broken Heart – I read this recently and as ever it was entirely addictive. There will be more on that on the blog very soon…

Could you tell us a little bit about your latest novel and what readers can expect from it?

BROKEN HEART is about a woman called Lynda Korin, who drives out to a beauty spot on the Somerset coast, leaves her mobile phone and her purse in the car, tosses her keys into some nearby scrub, and vanishes into thin air. CCTV footage shows her entering the place, but never leaving, so it becomes the job of missing persons investigator David Raker – hired by Lynda’s sister – to find out where she went. Pretty soon, he discovers that Lynda’s marriage to a long-dead and once-renowned Hollywood film director might hold the key. BROKEN HEART is a novel about secrets, lies, hidden secrets and lies, and people who keep secrets and tell lots of lies. And movies. It’s all about the movies too.

In the wonderful world of crime writing which crime authors inspire you? Who writes your “go to” books when you look to read for pleasure. Or indeed do you read outside of Crime?

Michael Connelly was really the conduit into crime writing for me. Through discovering his novels in my late teens, I went on to read Chandler, Macdonald, Ellroy, Thomas Harris, James Lee Burke and so many more. I’ve generally always read more American crime fiction, even though my books are set in the UK, but there are obviously tons of brilliant British authors working in the field, who I always make an effort to seek out as well. I must confess, in the last 3-4 months of writing my own novels, I don’t tend to read much crime fiction at all, as it messes with my head and I start to worry that everyone else is much, much better than I am! So, during that period, I’ll keep reading, but will switch to reading lots of non-fiction, and graphic novels too. I’ve always been a massive comic book nerd.

Will this be your first time at Bloody Scotland? If so are you excited?

Yes, it will indeed be my first time and I’m very excited to be going. I’ve done lots of events and festivals, but never been north of the border, so really looking forward to being in Stirling. I’m also looking forward to showing off my bang average football skills in the England vs Scotland match. In fact, even bang average might be overstating it a little bit.

Tell us one random fact about you that is unlikely to come up at the festival?

I’m a little bit obsessed with Robocop (1987 version). I’ve watched it hundreds and hundreds of times, I have a Robocop coffee mug, Robocop toys, a Robocop wall clock, a Robocop… well, you get the idea. You can basically blame my parents: they wouldn’t let me watch it when it came out (understandable, as I was only 10 at the time), or afterwards once they’d seen it for themselves, and so it became like the Holy Grail in my teens; this movie that all the other kids talked about, but which I never got to see. And then I finally did get to see it, and it turned out to be absolutely amazing. Obsession created.

Ha! Robocop. Brilliant.

Broken Heart can be purchased HERE

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In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings is a truly wonderful and evocative novel – don’t miss out if you havent read it already, it is one not to be missed.

Could you tell us a little bit about your latest novel and what readers can expect from it, maybe about what originally sparked the idea?

In Her Wake tells the story of a woman’s search for her identity, both literally and emotionally, when she discovers that everything she thought she knew about her parents and upbringing is shown to be a lie. It’s set on the rugged coast of Cornwall, in and around St Ives. It’s a story about love, loss, control, and family bonds. The original idea was sparked by an age progression image released in the search for a child who’d gone missing twenty years earlier. I began to think about what kind of people would take someone else’s child to raise as their own, and how, as an adult, the abducted child would go about repairing the relationships of the family they were taken from. The setting was inspired by my deep love of Cornwall. I’m fifty percent Cornish and it’s the half I’m most proud of (though don’t tell Dad that, OK…?)

In the wonderful world of Crime writing which Crime authors inspire you?

I grew up reading Agatha Christie and Dick Francis, and was addicted to horror, particularly books by Stephen King and James Herbert. I would read beneath my duvet by the light of the torch getting more and more scared until I’d finally have to close the book and put it outside my bedroom door in case the words within were somehow able to creep out and get me. Now I am inspired by the writers I not only read but also know. Making friends in the crime writing world has been one of the best things about becoming a published writer. Sarah Hilary, Tammy Cohen, Mark Edwards, CL Taylor, Elizabeth Haynes, are just some of the people who inspire me. In fact the whole of the writing ‘Crime Scene’ is a pretty inspirational place at the moment.

Who writes your “go to” books when you look to read for pleasure. Or indeed do you read outside of Crime?

I read crime, of course, but it’s lovely to read outside the genre. I adore Anne Tyler, Maggie O’Farrell, and Ian McEwan. And I still hold a flame for Stephen King, my love for him will never die.

Will this be your first time at Bloody Scotland? If so are you excited? If you’ve been before what would you say to encourage readers to attend?

This will be my second year and I’m very excited! It’s such warm, fun, full-on festival, with a brilliant line up of events. Stirling is a beautiful venue and the passion of those involved in organising the festival is both impressive and infectious.

Tell us one random fact about you that is unlikely to come up at the festival?

I have loads of pets including a black lady chicken called Jon Snow and a brown lady chicken called Flameboy.

Thank you!

In her Wake can be purchased HERE

Thanks to all the authors for taking the time to have a quick chat. Tempted yet? Not sure? Well you know, STILL more to come  including a few more authors tempting us in –  In the meantime do pop over to the Bloody Scotland website for more detail and follow them on the Bloody Scotland Twitter feed for updates and more information.

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One Response to Bloody Scotland Part 3 – Whats Happening in Stirling.

  1. crimeworm says:

    Tim Weaver, you have great taste in crime fiction! Look forward to meeting you at Bloody Scotland

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