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.