Friday, 13 November 2009

third degree burns

I don't see a time when I'll start a blog that does not say... well it has been a busy week! The highlight of it was doing my workshop on 'The art and craft crime writing' down in Kilmarnock at the lovely Burns Monument. The workshop is informative, helpful and extremely funny - not alway intentionally so it has to be said - but great fun all the same. To show how to build tension and the role of the reversal in crime writing we do my version of the screenplay of Jaws ... in one minute... accompanied by a white shark (well it was a blue whale but it was a crime workshop not a David Attenbortough special and they all should have been creative types with good imaginations!). It went down a hoot and you can always tell when they are enjoying themselves - some smart arse at the back starts doing THAT music.....

The rest of the evening was taken up doing a double hander with Gary Moffat, he of Daisy Chain fame. Nice guy, lawyer, great writer, if you ever get the chance to see him... go! The Burns monument is a great venue for many things, including weddings, nice hall, great gardens for photographs. The lovely Louise who was in charge said, totally off the cuff... 'Yes, you and Gary are in the wedding suite tonight!' Much carry on type tittering all round.
I do wonder when listening to other writers... particulary at big conferences... at Bristol there was a lawyer, a coroner, a peadeatrician and a pathologist on the panel who are all best seling crime writers... do lawyers and medics write slightly differently because of their background? The obvious answer is yes until you look at the books... and then think... no they are actually equally violent and nasty types on paper no matter what they do for a day job!!
thanks to all who turned up, sorry to those who drove home no able to get THAT tune out of their head...
oh no, I'm at it again now...

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Hello All
Such is the life of a creative genius... (well me!!!)
My colleagues at the day job are having great adventures across both North and South Africa, one investigating leopards in the Kruger National Park and the other is looking at a pyramid. I've been left manning the ship.
This leaves little time to write but the good news is that Penguin really like the third book, they think it is my strongest yet and they have tentatively christened it Dark Water ... but this might change.
Meanwhile, we are ploughing forward with planning book four which is really turning out to be very evil and very nasty indeed.
I'd like to thank everybody who turned up at the Murder Mystery Night and helped make it such a success although I was a little concerned when some of your seemed truly disappointed not to be the killer - better luck next time!
Blog again next week.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

And in the begining....

....there was a blog.
So a hello to everybody who has been following me by letter and email while I ( by that I mean folk who understand computers) have been trying to sort out the gremlins in the web site.

Bookwise the news is good, I've just delivered book three and the Penguins like it although the editor says she has to read it under a duvet against the radiator nursing a Rusty Nail. I think Glasgow does a pretty good impersonation of Siberia in it. The Scottish Tourist board have asked that Book 4 is set in summer...a slightly warmer bit of Siberia then.

Four of the best crime writers in Scotland are appearing at Hillhead Library on Friday 16th, the event is in aid of Unicef. Me, my old pal (I mean I have known her for ages not that she is ancient although come to think of it....)Alex Gray, Karen Campbell the best seller and Helen Fitzgerald- the Crocodile Dundee of the Scottish Chapter! All on stage together. Scary.

I've been getting a few letters asking about book three - there wasn't a excerpt from it in the back of two and a few of you are worried that I've stopped writing. The answer to that is that publishers buy a 'deal' - a two, four or six book deal. If they know they have the rights for the next book, they can put an excerpt in. If not - they have to wait. We are still debating the title of book three. I came up with the highly original 'Book three!'. All the titles I came up with gave the game away too soon.

Book four has a working title, The Line.
And it is set during a heatwave! I wonder if I can go to the Bahamas to research,
More next week,