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.