Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Busy times.

Been up the proverbial back alley with a photographer for the Daily Record. I am worried that I now find standing in a puddle in the pouring rain, arms out as if I am about to have a shoot out at dawn through the saloon doors of the OK corral, as my natural pose.

Two weeks ago I was on STV's The Hour with Michelle and Stephen. Scary! And the scariest thing was there was no run through or previous meeting or discussion of questions - what you see is what happened - exactly. So, when interviewed by Mark Lawson of Radio 4 you kind of know what you are going to be asked ie something about writing, hopefully. But with Michelle? - it could be "so you're a crimewriter, is that noe great. " How do you answer that? "Aye, next question please."

And then somebody pointed out that I am the dead spit of Eva Peron. I then found out he has since been operated on for an eye problem, no kidding, get better soon Dave! No doubt when he gets a bit better he'll tell me that I look like J K Rowling's big sister.

Then we were off the Milngavie - Fish N' Chips night with champagne - well chip butties and Irn Bru in my case. I was there with Shirley McKay and Gary Moffat (G I Moffat as he is on the cover of his books) and we were dutifully chaired by my favourite QC Len Murray.

At this event 200 fish suppers - this is fish and chips wrapped together in a wee greasy parcel for anybody reading this who isn't a Scot - are delivered from the local chippie. The award winning fish shop closes for half an hour and they get frying as if they are on steroids. The suppers arrived hot but 20 minutes late so us four had to ad lib for a full 20 minutes, at one point we were interviewing each other and then we were asking questions to the audience.

It was also Weegie Wednesday. The award winning short story writer who I confess I thought was a poet but there you go, Donal McLaughlin and I went out with Deborah Niven, who writes stories about moles - all moles are spies - and a German academic who lives in Switzerland and has just written a crime novel. Interesting stuff and a keen observation: so what are the Swiss passionate about I asked? Anything they are good at - pause - unlike the Scots who are passionate about all things they are bad at.... which is just as well... he added in a tutonic kind of way. I found myself thinking of Josef Fritzel. Wolfgang, Wolfie to his pals, was no doubt presented with whisky, tartan and a piece of Harris tweed. But we went one better and in the interests of understanding within the European Union, we gave him Irn Bru, tablet, a macaroon bar and a dictionary of Glaswegian slang. Poor man.

Meanwhile due to an oversight of the greatest PA in the world, I was actually dirving in the muppet mobile with no valid MOT as a lovely policeman pointed out on the A91 in St Andrews. He was very kind and drew directions how to get to the Kincardine Bridge in the dirt on the bonnet. He asked me what I was doing driving about at three in the morning with no real sense of direction. I explained I had been to see Sweet Charity at the Byre Theatre. He shook his head saying that he didn't know any of those songs. I gave him a few bars of Hey Big Spender. He told me to go on my way.

Subsequent visit to the local cop shop to display correct documentation was very interesting with a very drunk lady flat out on a bench - indeed rather well dressed drunk lady - gayly urinating all over the floor. It was the middle of the afternoon. The cops were great in understatement "watch your feet as you go miss" he said.

In the spare three minutes I have I am writing a piece for Red Herring on the collective noun for crime writers - I'm rather fond of a 'denouement'. Indeed my denouement for this blog is I have passed my exam. I have no idea of what letters I get after my name now but I kind of like Diploma in Forensic Medicine - DipiFormed.

Monday, 6 September 2010


Lots happening as you can imagine.

Next week I have an event with Alex Gray at Dunfermline Waterstones on Wednesday 8th. Even if you don't like either of us, there is a glass of wine on offer!!

Even better is the champagne at the Fish, Chips and Champagne night on Sunday 12th with Gary Moffat and Shirley McKay, that is always a really good event. Last year there was nearly an impromptu performance by Denise Mina, Karen Campbell and myself doing the Nolan sisters ( but not quite so shiney and much more sweary).

Then I'm doing something for the Daily Record midweek .. apart from that, finishing touches to book four and starting book time is my own.

I've never done so much publicity for a book before... got lost in Clydebank trying to find radio Clyde, been mistaken for somebody who appeared on X factor, ended up giving the DJ a giggling fit on Radio Manx, claimed I wrote Atonement in the Sun ( I didn't - I wrote Absolution but I got the train of thought the journalist was obviously on) and was mistaken for a prostitute a certain Glasgow hotel. ... can't work out if that last one was a complement or not.

However, the highlight of the stress was going on STV's The Hour with no rehearsal, no warning, no clues, nae nuffin!!! but in a strange kind of way, it was fun. Stephen and Michelle were great.. that job is a lot harder than it looks, I'd go cross eyed if I had to read auto queue for more than two minutes. But I was on with two border collies looking for a home... and I tried to steal the puppy, it was soooo cute. He was blind and a real wee charmer. But I don't think the bold Emily.. (who is officially the ugliest dog in Glasgow) would have been too chuffed.
For the French and Saunders fans amongst us, do you remember the series of sketches they did about breakfast tv? And what does the queen have mid morning? A hob nob? Well, I couldn't get that out my head while I was sitting on their sofa... I kept thinking.. when do I move?? You know when the guest gets up and the camera catches them leaving rather than being being removed off camera.... or even worse the presenters hand shoots out and they growl 'stay there' out the corner of their mouth. So I made sure my backside was glued to that sofa until I was given the green light to get out the door. eeekkk.

But all the camera crew were laughing... and at one point Stephen Jardine looked a wee bit scared. I considered my job done!

will blog again soon, time allowing


Thursday, 15 July 2010

HI, here's the cover of the new book!! Looks good, the first reviews are all fab and the grand launch is in Glasgow Waterstone's, Sauchiehall Street on 4th August .... that's a Wednesday!!
Usual mayhem of readings, questions, some stand up comedy .. not always intentional and jolly good time had by all.
I'm pressing on with book four - squeezing it in between interviews and photographs.
I'll try to blog properly next week... but that's in Harrogate ... where I am being Miss Marple...or Miss Marbles as I call her. And my panel is 'A scotsman, englishman and irishman walk into a pub and write a crime novel'.... discuss.... there is an american refereeing it!
If you want to see more on that, I've been guest blogger on murder is everywhere - and I think mine is posted next week... after Martin Edwards. I think I have proved my point on how great scotland is by one photo of a real rottweiler of a mountain !!
I will try not to mention the world cup while I'm down south. I just won't try very hard...


Saturday, 29 May 2010

The post Bristol blog

Oh well very excited now ... I have been off Penguin visiting this week and with the Theakston's long list coming out it all just winds the tension up even more. There's been a lot of latte!

Can I please kidnap the wondrous Figbane for the penguinettes quiz team next year ... we managed to scrape a third place at Crime fest... by cheating it has to be said. Fortunately, Peter Guttridge, who is a lovely man, has no idea about the Scottish accent and thought I was growling through the quiz in a generally life-threatening way. I was, of course, doing a cash for questions deal with Mike Stotter who was officially banned for being far too good (won it for every year since the meolithic period I think) and just happened to be sitting near me. I think I could wangle the wondrous Figbane an entry pass by disguising him as a haggis. Not that I have met him but judging by his picture and the poor quality of the security at
Crimefest, I think we could just wing it.

Great festival though ... and hello to three scots lads who followed us down to support the writers, always good to have a bit of a home following amongst the lively, but rather intense, Americans. Is it me or do they tend to ... well moan a bit ... well moan a lot ... like there could be world war three going on and they could still moan that they had to wait for a cup of tea. I was just bloody glad somebody else was making the tea for me ... and what is it with Americans and eggs?? Over easy, sunny side up, flipsy floppsy ... it's a chicken's embryo - just eat the bloody thing.

Meanwhile, the glorious Donna Moore has a new book out... 'Old Dogs' - buy it and read it if you don't mind the embarrassment of laughing out loud in public and getting funny looks on the bus. I think Donna could take over breakfast tv, she'd soon get the country forgetting the a kind of 'You think the recession is bad - you should try my hangover.' Helen do-you-think-anybody-would- notice- if-I-nipped -out- for-a fag Fitzgerald was on good form , great panel on being gruesome, wish she'd been on our 'the use of swearing in a crime novel panel' - she's a expert! I was having sex in the gutter - that was the name of the panel by the way - and being Desmond Bagley on the forgotten authors panel ... I was doing well until that bloody John Buchan came out of nowhere and saved the world in his 39 steps ... tutt ... why does that make me think of Jasper Carrott?? Oh yes ... John Buchan, Richard Hannay, Jesus of Nazareth, Robert Powell, the detectives and Jasper Carrott ... if that confuses you .... the wondrous Figbane will enlighten you ....

if you have not voted yet, do it now...or The Emily will get you.

I think legally, that's threatening behaviour but who cares!

More soon, Caro.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Vote Ramsay Vote Rankin!!

No I've not gone mad - it's just Theakstons have produced the long list for Crime Book of the year 2009 and only two scots on it are ... my good self and Mr Rankin... i think we should have a coalition at the top of the charts.... for voting and the rest of the list please see....

Or google theakstons 'caro ramsay' and you will get there...eventually. I'll be blogging tonight re the Bristol crime fest ....Peter Guttridge's quiz....What was the name of the dog actor in the original film of the hound of the Baskervilles... and for Caro Ramsay... your question is.. just try and spell 'Scooby doo!'
I paraphrase but i think you get the jist!!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Beware Zombies on Steroids!

Dark Water published 5th August 2010
20-23 May 2010 - Bristol Crimefest
3 June 2010 - Millport Library
22-25 July 2010 - Harrogate Crimefest
You can now get in touch with me on Facebook, or on email at should you want to book me for any events etc.
Hi All,
Well it has been an exciting week - and volcanic ash permitting I think the next two weeks are going to be even better! There has been lots of tooing and froing from publishers to agents and back again. The German publisher of Absolution and Singing to the Dead are buying Dark Water. Indeed the commissioning editor said she wanted to buy it after reading the prologue. Praise indeed. Funny thing is you never know how a book is going to be received until its out there doing the rounds and up for grabs. Penguin, the British publisher, have called me to a meeting in London to discuss the re-packaging and the German publishers are following suit. As long as they don't try and re-package me as Cheryl Cole - far too fond of fried egg rolls to be that thin!
Weegie Wednesday was as interesting as ever ... as usual the speakers provoked much, although unintentional, discussion (we didn't really have a clue what they were going on about so we - at the bar - were just making it up). I think they both have a future career in politics saying a lot and saying nothing at all! But that might be me ... Or maybe just a Glasgow thing - I don't think we do well with words like motivation, action, function, communication, harmonise and facilitate ... much easier just to get on with it. We had a strange little bit at the bar - all to ourselves - it was a bit like middle earth, a weird but glorious sub-culture of extreme violence. Helen Fitzgerald, fab Aussie Glasgow-based crime was telling us about the identity parade of the hacked off penis's (not from personal experience - well I don't THINK from personal experience) while the great 'Will' was talking about mutant babies taking over the world and how this could be prevented. Looking at David Cameron and Nick Clegg I think Will might be too late. There was defo talk of a disembowelled pigeon blowing up St Enoch Centre and should zombies be put on steroids? One for the anti doping lobby there. Seriously though, I had been writing a bit where a female in a forest gets fired at by a sniper. I had her react to something hit the ground beside her... And an ex soldier pulls her into cover - as I thought a normal person would have no idea they were being shot at by a long range sniper - speed of bullet versus speed of sound etc - my editor scribbled - why? Is she deaf? Ex royal marine questioned at bar in middle earth agreed with me and told me technical words like 'bloody scary' and 'shitless'. Maybe the snipers could take on the mutant ninja babies!
Was also at Rutherglen High School -8 pupils decided they wanted to interview me (God help them!) I'm convinced they think I'm related to Gordon Ramsay - at least they asked if I was his sister ... and not if I was his mother! Been asked that before. I explained that I do swear a lot but I'm useless at both football and cooking. I don't think he's too hot at crime writing come to think about it.
The kids are great though. Kids on high octane thought processes with little steering - good on zombies and ideas for body disposal especially for the disposal of the body of the maths teacher sitting at the side of the room. In the end we decided to weight her body down and have her skeletonised by prawns. I used to feel that way about my maths teacher as well.
And last week, we have a new government - mutant shiny people are in charge. Strange thought is that the country was doing very well with nobody in charge. Do you remember Yes Minister - it's all the Sir Humphries that really run things. Personally I always thought Victoria Wood would be rather good at running the country - free duvets for the elderly on the NHS, Hellman's Mayonnaise on prescription and ban anything on the tv with Andrew Lloyd Webber in it or the word celebrity in the title ... apart from celebrity death squad!!
And my pitbull type dog wants to say hello to Figbane! Stripey dogs of the world unite.
So, I am still polishing up on my Desmond Bagley and Duncan Kyle for the crimefest tomorrow - full of plot lines that would not work nowadays with the use of mobile phones.
Going to Bristol means I'm missing Lesley McDowell's launch on Thursday at Waterstones ... all writing women should go!! Google her and see what it is all about. Great stuff.


Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Dark Water published 5th August 2010

20-23 May 2010 - Bristol Crimefest
3 June 2010 - Millport Library
22-25 July 2010 - Harrogate Crimefest

You can now get in touch with me on Facebook, or on email at should you want to book me for any events etc.
And a special hello to Melanie - nice to get your letter and I hope your own writing is going well.

As you can see above I am now on Facebook and I am amazed I have so many friends!! I suppose that's the great thing about Facebook, people can be your friends and you don't actually have to know them... which can be helpful!
Seriously though it is nice to hear from people who talk to me at events and maybe ask my advice on something (misguided but complimentary!). People at events are always genuine, very nice and chatty and sometimes ages afterwards I think... I wonder how they ever got on with that... then they bounce up on Facebook and say... oh hello, remember me I was the one with the poodle at... (Yes I am one of those people that remember the dog rather than the person) and it's great when they take the time to get back in touch and let me know how it went.

Unfortunately the world of publishing is on its knees at the moment and I don't think anybody is buying anything which is a shame as so many people put in such a big effort to make it all work. However, I hope we have weathered the economical storm and that over the next two years it will all pick up again. Just need to tighten the hatches and work a bit harder!
Oh and there has been great initial feedback about Dark Water from people who do have to say they like it! Comments include 'scary', 'very scary', 'your best yet' and the usual comments from my friend in the tourist board requesting a book that has good weather in Glasgow (what fiction). Book four is set during a heat wave, I promise.

Meanwhile, the house dog, a rescue mutt called Emily (a specific breed of dog in this part of the world known to Billy Connolly as a 'BGD', Big Glasgae Dug... they are are kind of brown, ugly and normally found upending a wheelie bin in search of food) has become the enforcer of the street. A rather large and handsome Weimaraner decided to try and chat her up, he was not on a lead and was trying to be rather amorous in his attentions. He was very handsome but I can only compare it to James Bond trying to chat up Miss Marple and getting a very severe slap in the process. Mr Weimaraner has since been more careful in his approaches to lady dogs since Emily had a go! All dog owners in the street think this is good news as he is a bit of a lad with the lady dogs and the street has a few unexplained cross Weimaraner puppies and a few very cross owners.

Meanwhile, for recreation I've been reading the diaries of Gyles Brandreth... an amazing peep into the life of a type of person whose path I would never cross although as I type that I realise I have met him twice and am about to see him again at Bristol. He is totally bonkers in the nice eccentric way he comes across on tv. But his diaries are amazing... boarding school and travelling across Europe on his own at seven years of age! At seven I doubt I could find my way to the bike sheds. His historical stand on prisoners rights and human rights makes amazing reading for those of us who only really know him for wearing funny jumpers on TVAM.
And class has been very interesting. There was a strange topic of conversation at writers' group - foxes are getting very tame:

ME - Yes, they are urban now and live on a diet of chicken tikka masala.

JC - It's only a matter of time before they take a baby.

CR - No, I think that was a dingo and I'm sure the dingo was innocent in the end.

That provoked a discussion that proves it's a common held belief in some parts of the west coast that foxes do kill and eat children!! So of course, I go to class and the lecture is about bodies left outside and who gets there first in a decomposition sense. And then the lecturer said it, 'foxes do not like the taste of human flesh... they do like the bone marrow but not the flesh... and rodents will gnaw away at the long bones of your hands and feet to sharpen their teeth.' Which means of course that you are, in reality, more likely to be eaten by the faithful hound that falls asleep in front of your fire every night than any creature of the forest. I think that was a line in Bridget Jones... something about 'I shall die in my flat alone and be eaten by my Alsation!'

More soon.


Thursday, 22 April 2010

The symptoms of synopsis

NEWS - Dark Water published 5 August 2010
Bristol Crimefest 20 -23 May 2010

Millport Library - 3 June 2010

Harrogate Crimefest - 22 - 25 July 2010

I think the government should put a health warning on the word 'synopsis'. It should be considered a stress related illness and the request for 'synopsis' (or whatever the plural is .... answers on a postcard please, I've asked people with an awful lot of grey matter and they can't agree!!) should be accompanied by prozac and chocolate to deal with the sense of hopelessness and isolation it entails. I remember well having difficulty understanding the T lymphocyte response and it was only when the lecturer said ... think of B lymphocytes as hand to hand combat (Stewart Granger coming down the stairs buckling his swash immediately entered my mind) and the T's as the Indian scouts coming back to base with reports that Big John Wayne and a Hollywood camera crew are about to descend they need to get reinforcements!! This analogy was then taken up by the TB immune response; the cowboys all in a circle and the Indians going round and round... stalemate. And that I understood. I could see it all in my mind, Bernard McLaverty who I so adore, said good writers always see it in their mind, like a film or like reality ... (gives rise to the adage that if you can't see it, you shouldn't film it. We don't really want to know in the last line that the narrator is a cat, or sofa, or the back shock absorber of a Toyota Corolla) the visual aspect of the film would give it away ... instantly.

But the synopsis is dry, methodical, precise and rather grown up and well behaved. There's a Percy Perfect Prefect thing going on about the synopsis and I think you should be able to present synopsis in a variety of ways ... music, song, dance, french mime, finger puppets .... Can you tell it did not go well???

Meanwhile I seem to be a celebrity endorser for a local candidate for the election. I confessed at the time I knew nothing about politics (in fact politicans are probably the precise people that are good on synopsis and therefore not to be trusted). But this candidate is a good friend, and decent human being and on these grounds alone I think he'd be a good egg in parliament ... somebody who is honest, has a nice wife, a very well behaved, polite child and a cute dog. He has job worries and money worries just like the rest of us and lives a very normal life. So I am keeping my fingers crossed for him.

I can reveal exclusively that Gordon Brown was boogying on down at the Showaddywaddy concert in Glasgow recently, shame it was a Gordon Brown and not THAT Gordon Brown ... but somehow I find the latter image rather pleasing.

On pain of death and getting my fingernails pulled out by my editor, I am going back to my synopsis, might just have a look at how that volcano is doing ...

Or maybe walk the dog again

Or make a cup of tea

Or start my sitcom...

Or do my procurator fiscal essay!!


Tuesday, 6 April 2010

News - Dark Water published 5th August 2010


Bristol Crimefest, 20 - 23rd May 2010

Millport Library - 3rd June 2010

Harrogate Crimefest, 22 - 25 July 2010

Sometimes writing is a great life. And sometimes it ain't!

Good times are when a little innocuous looking email pops into your tray, bringing you the glad tidings that the new book has sold to the audio book company and therefore you have made money without typing a word.

Bad times are when you are happily typing away, the words are rolling across the screen, death and violence reign on the keyboard and hours pass with no caffeine or chocolate and the writer doesn't even notice - and then the phone rings and junior practitioner has slid down a mountain in Switzerland without the aid of skis, coming to grief with three limbs pointing one way and the fourth in quite another.... and can you come in and do the clinic. That is like being pulled away from good friends in the pub, just as one is about to relate a really funny joke that you have heard before but you'd really like to hear again. And it can take a wee while to get back in the groove of the story and the mood of the character again.

I've been asked to do an event at a school that shall remain nameless - last time I went there they were convinced I was Gordon Ramsay's sister. One thought I was Gordon Ramsay's mother (that child barely got out alive). So it'll be interesting what they come up with this time. Nice kids who don't have much in life yet let you have it with both barrels and like to get as good as they give. Could do with them running the country actually.

Am having a good time reviewing my Desmond Bagley and Duncan Kyle books. Just reading The Honey Ant... good story but plotholes that my editor would stick pins in your eyes for... people being shot at and not caring all that much and not mentioning it for a few pages. It's also interesting to see how the role of women has changed in novels written by the same author in 1960 then 1980. In the earlier they point and keep quiet a lot. By the 80's they have degrees and kick ass!

So I'm away to study my forensics now. Sufflocation, my word for the week.


Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Hi all,

Well another busy week. The copy edit of Dark Water is away - nice to see it tucked in and put to bed, belt and braces. Very interesting to read through it again, like a proper book. Still find it hard to believe I write them once I see the finished article.

The events are picking up. Was in the great city of Edinburgh last week, very nice crowd - witty and informed. I really enjoy getting chit chat going with the audience - there's nothing worse than listening to a boring author jabbering on about how fascinating they are. Tell them what they want to know and make them laugh in the process and you can only do that if they ask.

They are hoping to ask me back, with Helen Fitzgerald. If you don't know Helen and aren't easily shocked start reading her now. It's the kind of crime fiction that you think you shouldn't laugh at but then do because it's very funny and very well written.

Meanwhile, wrote 6,000 words today. I think that's due to the fact I've tentatively started running again as my lungs have decided to work again - never be Paula Radcliffe - but it's a start. Funny thing about writing - that doing some other meditational activity often really cranks up the word count. The writing goes on in the head - readjusted, edited and rewritten, once back in front of the computer, it's all simply recorded paraphrasing my stable mate Val McDermid (we have the same agent) she said her productivity dropped by one third when she went full time at writing. Thinking time is still thinking time whether you are sitting in a traffic jam, walking the dog, or staring at the computer screen!

Last week was also Weggie Wednesday - get hold of them on their website! - at the end of last year they asked Helen Fitzgerald and I to do a talk on crime writing but it was more like a comedy routine. There should be some photos of both of us on their website - October the 14th my faithful pa has just told me!! - the photo will have both of us with our mouths open no doubt. Weggie Wednesday is a friendly get together in the pub with like-minded creative types ( I am afraid I have a distrust of the word networking as it has visions for me of used car salesmen arse licking) but the Weggie crowd are really great. Good fun, good topics and speakers who get buzzed if they go on for more than ten minutes. So if you are a Glaswegian check the website and come along and say hello. It is the type of place you can turn up and be made to feel welcome.

So in the next week, the week of the really long synopsis... the long synopsis goes on longer than the bubonic plague and is twice as unpleasant but for writers with triple plot devices, it HAS to be done. There you go, that sounded as if I knew what I was talking about. If I survive the long synopsis, you might hear more next week!

Friday, 5 March 2010


Another busy week, one of those busy weeks that ends up achieving not much.

Meanwhile, I have ordered all my Desmond Bagley books - they are re-issuing them in two novels in one book format. I'm looking forward to revisiting them all.

Duncan Kyle is proving a little more difficult, I'm in the process of sending my serfs round secondhand bookshops with a shopping list.

The fourth novel is coming on a storm. I'm trying to learn a bit of Russian pronunciation - which is OK, then trying to learn some Russian spelling - not so OK.

And in the meantime I'm studying hard for my forensics exam. A good piece of advice I received was to practice writing for three hours in order to sit a three hour written exam. The physical art of writing is becoming a thing of the past now. Most information nowadays is 'typed in', no handwritten copy first and doing a three hour writing stint uninterrupted fairly puts some strain on the writing hand when your not used to it.

Or something....


Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Apologise for the late blog but I have been ill - a strange lung condition caused by a potentially fatal mould... for a few weeks over Christmas I thought I was living in a Desmond Bagley thriller. But while I've been lying around attached to oxygen and inhalers my evil little brain has been active. (At this moment I should point out that all crimewriters are prone to exaggeration - but the condition had four names - all Latin - therefore it must have been bad!). Enforced physical rest has pushed the body count of the new book to five.

Strange things happen when writers sit down with a blank screen in front of them and the Waverley paddle steamer seems to have taken centre stage at the start of the novel. Most Glaswegians, especially those who grew up in the shipbuilding centres of Govan and Clydebank, will have deeply ingrained memories of being dragged on the Waverley for a "pleasure" cruise as part of a summer holiday treat. Being Glasgow fair fortnight wind chill factor minus five and the marvellous scenery blotted out by rain laiden clouds, I was always dragged into the bowels of the engine room where it was all explained to me in great detail for hours on end.

I was probably four years old at the time.

But with most memories it's the sound and the smell that remain most clearly in my mind, the sweet almost sooty smell of the engine oil that stayed with me on the train all the way home.

And I think that the publishers are pleased to know that the Waverley is sailing on the Clyde on a summer's day when the sun is splitting a cloudless sky ... see above comment about crimewriters and exaggerations!!

The new book, Dark Water has a pencilled in publication of the fifth of August 2010. The cover is, I think, the best one yet, very atmposheric and threatening.

I have been invited to attend the Harrogate Crime Festival. My panel is called "A Scotsman, an Englishman and an Irishman go into a bar"... Haven't heard yet who else will be participating but I presume it will be an Englishman and an Irishman.

I have also been asked to appear at Bristol where my topic for discussion is "Sex in the Gutter". Why they thought of me for that I have no idea...

The marvellous award winning journalist and crime novelist Tony Black is running a series of workshops in Edinburgh and he has asked me to take a workshop based on my own experiences of the editorial process - so that should be fun. Last time we had the whole audience doing the theme tune to Jaws just to demonstrate the importance of reversal.

I will try to blog again next Tuesday.

Take care. Caro.