Book to Check Out

At the moment this book is down to the low price of 99p in the Kindle Countdown Deal, so if you are looking for a good book to read just now then I suggest that you make it this one as the price can go back up at any time

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Do you believe a house can remember things that have happened in the past?

As D.S Preston and D.C Lang investigate the death of a young girl in an old manor house in Glasgow they ask themselves, who would want to kill an innocent girl in her own home and why? They believe their questions are answered and the case is closed.
Sam Leonard could not be happier, he has an amazing acting career, a loyal best friend and a fantastic girlfriend and after a previous turbulent relationship, what could go wrong?
Patrick McLaughlin’s life is going well. His marriage is stable and with a baby on the way, things can only get better.
But a house that Patrick buys is not all it seems. With a family burial plot in the gardens, visions and messages from the deceased and a fairly recent death in the house, will Patrick and Jodie regret their purchase?

Henderson Manor will bring together the lives of several unsuspecting people…but can a house let go of its past?

Here is the Amazon link to buy this e book for yourselves

August Crime Question – books to look out for in the next few months

30/6/14 Grave Matters at St. Blane`s-Myra Duffy

A contract to write a visitor guide for a theme park, planned for Kingarth on the Isle of Bute, proves to be a dangerous assignment for Alison Cameron. There is fierce local opposition to the proposal; the manager has left suddenly with no explanation and the on-site archaeologists are in no hurry to complete their survey. There is a suspicion that Alexander Crombie, who is financing the project, is about to run out of money and then, when she thinks things can’t get any worse, the first body is found.

14/8/14 Paths of the Dead-Lin Anderson

It was never just a game . . . Paths of the Dead is the next novel in Lin Anderson’s esteemed Rhona Macleod crime series.

When Amy MacKenzie agrees to attend a meeting at a local spiritualist church, the last person she expects to hear calling to her from beyond the grave is her son. The son whom she’d only spoken to an hour before.

Then the body of a young man is found inside a neolithic stone circle high above the city of Glasgow and forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod is soon on the case. The hands have been severed and there is a stone in the victim’s mouth with the number five scratched on it. DI Michael McNab is certain it’s a gangland murder, but Rhona isn’t convinced. When a second body is found in similar circumstances, a pattern begins to emerge, of a killer intent on masterminding a gruesome Druidic game that everyone will be forced to play . . .

14/8/14 The Night the Rich Men Burned-Malcolm Mackay

There’s nothing so terrifying as money. . .

Two friends, Alex Glass and Oliver Peterkinney, look for work and for escape from their lives spent growing up on Glasgow’s most desperate fringes. Soon they will become involved in one of the city’s darkest and most dangerous trades. But while one rises quickly up the ranks, the other will fall prey to the industry’s addictive lifestyle and ever-spiralling debts.

Meanwhile, the three most powerful rivals in the business – Marty Jones, ruthless pimp; Potty Cruickshank, member of the old guard; and Billy Patterson, brutal newcomer – vie for prominence. And now Peterkinney, young and darkly ambitious, is beginning to make himself known . . .

Before long, violence will spill out onto the streets, as those at the top make deadly attempts to out-manoeuvre one another for a bigger share of the spoils. Peterkinney and Glass will find themselves at the very centre of this war; and as the pressure builds, each will find their actions – and inactions – coming back to haunt them. But it is those they love who will suffer most . . .

15/8/14 Crow’s Bait-Douglas Skelton

Davie McCall is nearing the end of a long prison sentence following the events of Blood City. As well as forcing him to grow up fast, prison has introduced him to a new cast of criminals and unfortunates. Fellow inmate Sammy tells him that he knew his father, bringing back painful memories for Davie. Meanwhile, Davie’s old adversaries, detectives Frank Donovan and Jack Bannatyne are investigating the brutal murder of a young female student. Davie’s old flame, reporter Audrey Fraser is putting together a series on the drug trade in the West of Scotland for the Daily Record. It’s soon clear that Davie’s dad, Danny McCall, is back in town and after blood, working his way back into the criminal underworld. He can’t have his son getting in the way of that, at any cost, and he knows exactly how to get to him. The cases begin to link up and the past begins to catch up with Davie McCall in this enthralling tale of violence, corruption and divided loyalties.

4/9/14 Troubled Waters-Gillian Galbraith

A young, disabled girl is lost on a winter’s night in Leith, unable to help herself or find her way home. Someone is combing the streets, frantically searching for her. Within hours of her disappearance, a body is washed up on Beamer Rock, a tiny island in the Forth being used as part of the foundations for the new Queensferry Bridge. No sooner has Detective Inspector Alice Rice managed to discover the identity of that body than another one is washed up on the edge of the estuary, in Belhaven Bay. What is the connection between the two bodies? Has the killer any other victims in their sights and if so, can Alice solve the puzzle before another life is taken? In this novel, the sixth in the series, appearances belie reality, and truths and falsehoods gradually merge, becoming indistinguishable.

11/9/14 Thin Air-Ann Cleeves

A group of old university friends leave the bright lights of London and travel to Unst, Shetland’s most northerly island, to celebrate the marriage of one of their friends to a Shetlander. But late on the night of the wedding party, one of them, Eleanor, disappears – apparently into thin air. It’s mid-summer, a time of light nights and unexpected mists. The following day, Eleanor’s friend Polly receives an email. It reads like a suicide note, saying she’ll never be found alive. And then Eleanor’s body is discovered, lying in a small loch close to the cliff edge.

Detectives Jimmy Perez and Willow Reeves are dispatched to Unst to investigate. Before she went missing, Eleanor claimed to have seen the ghost of a local child who drowned in the 1920s. Her interest in the legend of the ghost had seemed unhealthy – obsessive, even – to her friends: an indication of a troubled mind. But Jimmy and Willow are  convinced that there is more to Eleanor’s death than there first appears.

Is there a secret that lies behind the myth? One so shocking that someone would kill – many years later – to protect?

11/9/14 The Skeleton Road-Val McDermid

When a skeleton is discovered hidden at the top of a crumbling, gothic building in Edinburgh, Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie is faced with the unenviable task of identifying the bones. As Karen’s investigation gathers momentum, she is drawn deeper into a world of intrigue and betrayal, spanning the dark days of the Balkan Wars.

Karen’s search for answers brings her to a small village in Croatia, a place scarred by fear, where people have endured unspeakable acts of violence. Meanwhile, someone is taking the law into their own hands in the name of justice and revenge — but when present resentment collides with secrets of the past, the truth is more shocking than anyone could have imagined . . .

18/9/14 The Meating Room-T.F. Muir

When the body of Thomas Magner’s business partner is found dead in his car on the outskirts of Anstruther, all evidence points to suicide. And Magner himself, a wealthy property developer, is currently under investigation for a series of alleged rapes from thirty years ago.

In total fifteen women are prepared to go to court to testify against Magner but one by one they inexplicably withdraw their complaints until only five remain. With the CPS now reconsidering its case, one of Magner’s accusers is killed in a hit-and-run – and the abandoned car is found to be registered to one T Magner.

DCI Andy Gilchrist is assigned to the hit-and-run case and soon discovers that Magner’s murky past is very much seeping into the present. How did he acquire his wealth? How his first wife die? And why did his business partner commit suicide?

And was Magner a serial rapist in his youth? Or was he something far worse?

28/11/14 Cry Uncle-Russell D MacLean

Dundee-based private investigator J. McNee finds himself way out of his depth in his latest undercover assignment
Working undercover on behalf of the police, McNee’s mission is to get close to aging gangster David Burns and uncover his secrets. In his role as Burns’ new right hand man, he’s expected to follow orders and get his hands dirty. But how far can he go before he crosses the line? With the murder of Burns’ nephew – supposedly under McNee’s protection at the time – the tension ratchets up to breaking point, and McNee finds himself in the midst of a vicious turf war. His cover at risk of being blown at any moment, in this deadly game McNee is beginning to realize he’s expendable. To survive, he’s going to have to change the rules … Dark, violent and psychologically gripping, Cry Uncle blends the grit of classic American hardboiled fiction with a distinctly Scottish voice and attitude.

18/12/14 Runaways-Peter May

In 1965, five teenage friends fled Glasgow for London to pursue their dream of musical stardom. Yet before year’s end three returned, and returned damaged.

In 2015, a brutal murder forces those three men, now in their sixties, to journey back to London and finally confront the dark truth they have run from for five decades.

Runaway is a crime novel covering fifty years of friendships solidified and severed, dreams shared and shattered and passions lit and extinguished; set against the backdrop of two unique and contrasting cities at two unique and contrasting periods of recent history.

August Crime Author of the month interview 2014 with Gillian Galbraith

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1. How did you get started writing
At the grand old age of 42, I had a child. Up until then I had been a full-time Advocate, practising at the Bar in Edinburgh. After, Daisy was born, my thyroid gave out and then a diagnosis of a heart problem was made for Daisy ( now thankfully resolved). Consequently, I could no longer practise law and I had to think of an alternative career. I started writing then and have not really stopped since. The life of a writer suits me well.

2. What drew you to write a crime novel
Basically, I had an idea for a crime novel as opposed to any other sort of literature. At the heart of such a novel is always some sort of transgressive act by somebody, so the kernel of a plot already exists. Having written one, the publishers wanted more with the same central character and so I continued with crime. In any event, I have never had, sadly, an idea for any other kind of novel. I do, however, live in hope.
3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing
Difficult to say who has influenced my style. I have always read a great deal and that must have its effect. If we assume that the most formative years are the teenage ones, I liked both Graham Green and Ernest Hemingway particularly then. However, I no longer do. In truth, I don’t think I’m sufficiently analytical of my writing to know, and wishful thinking would probably cloud the picture anyway.

4. You have also started a new mystery series featuring Father Vincent Ross, What was your inspiration for doing this
I wrote the Father Ross novel because I wanted a change from writing police procedural novels. I also wanted to be able to plot freely without the plotting constraints which modern police forensic techniques impose. Sin is also a much wider field than crime. Finally, I wanted to set a novel in the countryside and, for my own interest, to have a man as the main protagonist. Finally, morality is more nuanced that the Law.

5. What was the inspiration when you first thought of writing the first DS Alice Rice novel Blood in the Water
The inspiration for “Blood In The Water” was an idea for a particular type of injustice combined with sympathy for good people who, for understandable reasons, end up doing bad acts.

6. There are many interesting characters in your Novels, do you have a particular favourite one
I like most of my characters. In some ways, partly because I know her well as she has been in all the Alice Rice novels, my favourite is Elaine Bell. While she’s a terrific hypochondriac, and has an unhappy marriage, I admire her uncompromising nature and forthrightness Everyone knows exactly where they are with her and she, despite her gender, gives orders easily. Real introspection is unknown to her. I am also rather fond of Father Vincent’s cat, Satan, as he is based on my own Siamese cat, Finn.

7. Why did you choose to set your Alice Rice novels in Edinburgh
Because of its extraordinary beauty and because it is the only city that I know. It’s also the capital, with all that that entails, and a good size- large enough for plentiful murders, small enough for word of mouth to retain its power. Its also fragmented into many different areas each with their own distinctive character from Gorgie to Stcokbridge or the Grassmarket to Muirhouse.

8. With the amalgamation of the Scottish Police Force last year, how has it changed your Novels
Not a bit yet. I have an Alice Rice novel coming out this September but it is set before the re-organisation .I plan to begin another one this Autumn and the first thing I will have to do is contact the newly re-organised force in order to research the effect the changes have had on the police detection process. I’m quite looking forward to learning all about it and seeing what changes I’ll have to introduce in order to accommodate the new order.

9. What kind of research have you have to undertake for your Novels
In order to maximise my own interest in the series I always chose an area that I will have to research for each book. In “Where The Shadow Falls” I used my knowledge of wind farms, in “Dying of the Light” I learnt about prostitution and in “The Road to hell” I researched homelessness in Edinburgh. In the new Alice Rice, “Troubled Waters” I looked into religious cults. Equally, every plot raises new forensic science questions, police procedure questions, so I am always having to find out something new. In “The Good Priest” I had to learn about life as a catholic priest and the matters covered in the Murphy report and the Cumberlidge report. I enjoy the research phase of writing a book tremendously.

10. Are the characters in your books based on any real life
Nowadays they tend to be amalgams of the characteristics of people I know. When I started I lifted them more from life but learnt my lesson quickly when someone recognised their godmother in an eccentric old lady and asked me directly if that character had been drawn from life.

11. Since you have started writing have any well known authors given you any advice
At a Crime Writers Association lunch, Mr I Rankin gave me unsolicited tax advice relating to record collections ( sadly, not needed so far) and Alexander McCall Smith has given me general encouragement. That’s the best I can do, I’m afraid!

12. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa
The nearest in personality to me is Alice Rice but she is more elegant, younger and can function within a hierarchy. She and I think in similar fashion, her logical processes are mine, we both love the beauty of the countryside and are, essentially loners. Elaine Bell has, sadly, my impatience. The rest of my vices are shared around fairly evenly.

13. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned
In September, “Troubled Waters” comes out. It is another in the Alice Rice series but has, I think, a slightly different feel to the others. To my mind it is more tense, more worrying, as gradually the reader realises that the life of a child is at stake. I read it after Sarah Water’s “Fingersmith” and that gave me an idea for a plot, something new that I have not used before. I hope next to start another Father Vincent and I think I will be researching madness.

14. Out of all the Novels you have written do you gave a favourite one that stands out to you
The one closest to my heart is always the most recent one that I’ve written as enthusiasm is necessary to sit alone at the kitchen table day after day , in effect, talking to oneself. So, “Troubled Waters” is my current favourite but I will always love “Blood In The Water” as its relative success meant that I could go on writing. Finally, I am also fond of “The Good Priest” as I am not constrained in the way I described earlier by police/forensic matters and the canvas feels wider

15. As a well known crime writer do you have words of advice you can share
To be frank I am always hesitant about these things. Its a bit like when you have a baby and find yourself with books all offering diametrically opposed advice. So, all I’d say is: write what enthuses you, treat it like a job and follow your own instinct.

Series
Alice Rice Mystery
1. Blood in the Water (2007)
2. Where the Shadow Falls (2007)
3. Dying of the Light (2009)
4. No Sorrow to Die (2010)
5. The Road to Hell (2012)
6. Troubled Waters (2014)

Father Vincent Ross Mystery
The Good Priest (2014)

http://www.gilliangalbraith.net/

Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gillian-Galbraith/e/B0034OV65C

August Crime Author of the month 2014 with Karen Campbell

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1. How did you get started writing And 2. What drew you to write a crime novel

I’ll answer these both together, because it’s the same response. I started writing because I wanted to try and show what life is really like for a uniformed cop, having been one myself. It was a chance to throw a light on the cameraderie, the humour and how the job can be sad and lonely and exhilerating & hugely satisying all at once. Because the books were about the police, folk instantly think ‘ thriller/crime’, but the books are much more about the people than what they do. To be honest, you could write a novel about any group of people who have any full-on, often dangerous jobs that impacts on their lives. It just so happens that mine are police officers. I was a uniformed cop; I never worked in CID and haven’t got a clue about post-mortems and forensics and criminal profiling! What I am interested in is people – how we define ourselves, how we protect and present ourselves to the world, and how we react to what life throws at us. I was also really interested to look at how you change & how people change towards you as soon as you don a uniform and become a ‘figure of authority’. Even coming from a police family myself, until I put on the uniform and walked through the street of Glasgow on show to all the word as a ‘polis’, it’s really hard to understand how it feels. So, in a nutshell, I guess the police books are all about that – when you’re in a job where the buck absolutely stops with you, when you’re very visible always, and where that visibility attracts strong responses and assumptions about who you are and what you believe.

3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing

I’m not sure any have influenced my style as such, because I think that’s the one thing you need to hang onto in writing -your own voice. If you let it be influenced too much by other folk – whether it’s your agent, or your tutor, your writing buddy, your mum, other writers, whatever – it stops becoming your book, and then you have to question what it is, why you’re writing it, and who it is you’re writing it for. I absolutely think you have to set out to write the book you want to read, the one that nobody else can write or tell like you can – otherwise, for me, there wouldn;t be a strong enough incentive to write. What did definitely influence me is reading contemporary Scottish writers, folk like James Kelman & Janice Galloway, AL Kennedy & James Robertson – they are all influences in terms of where and what you can write about, how you can find inspiration in small, quiet things, and use language to dig deeper and deeper behind the surface to find another truth, that other perspective that’s always lurking there.

4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest.

Definitely. My difficulty was I’d written something which was an ‘awkward fit’ – a lot about the police, a lot about domesticity, a lot about motherhood, so much of the rejection feedback was ‘we love the writing, but we don’t know what shelf we’d sit this on, how we’d market it…’ Luckily, my agent at the time sent the Twilight Time (my first book) to Hodder, where the editor there loved the fact that the book was a bit different, a bit of an uneasy ride through policing – and they went on the buy four of them, which was great!

5.You started your writing career writing crime novels then took a break and tried something different .

I never saw it as a break , just what felt like a natural transition. The book I have out now is called ‘This Is Where I Am’ and is a story about a Somali refugee living in Glasgow, trying to make a new life – and the Glaswegian woman who befriends him. I don’t think there’s much difference with this book and my others, so hopefully, if you liked the first four, you’ll like the next two as well! They’re all about social issues, all (except for my newest one, out next year) set in Glasgow. Like I said, with my first four books, I was writing about people who just happened to be cops, but the thrust was always about lives behind closed doors, behind facades, behind the uniform – and my new book is a variation on that. Those faces you pass in the street everyday – whoare they? Where are they from? What do they go home to at night? I find all of that fascinating. I think everything I write is about identity – the acts we put on in front of folk, the roles we play in different situations.

6. There are many interesting characters in your Novels, do you have a particular favourite one

I think Abdi – the refugee in my fifth novel. He’s the furthest from me in terms of experience, gender, culture, everything, so was definitely the most challenging character to create and sustain.

7. Why did you choose to set your novels in Glasgow

Well, it’s the city I know best in the world, it’s where I grew up, where I went to uni, where I worked as a cop, so when I was aiming for an authentic edge when writing about the police, it would have been daft not to use my own experiences of walking the beat alone, in a deserted Glasgow at 5 am, of seeing the sun come up over Kelvingrove Park, or chasing neds down manky back lanes thinking, ‘man, what have I just stood in?’ as you’re running! But, more than that, it’s such a beautiful, atmospheric, warm and spiky city, and it’s a joy to view Glasgow as an outsider- everyone should try viewing their home as a tourist would! It really makes you see stuff you might otherwise have taken for granted. For example, in This Is Where I Am, the two characters meet in a different part of the city each month, as a way of helping to integrate Abdi, the refugee in my book. Thinking about where they might go, all the usual places you’d take visitors made me think: somewhere like Kelvingrove Museum. It’s imposing, stunning. But – if you didn’t know it was free & you didn’t know you were ‘allowed’ inside – would you even go up the steps? Again, it’s about digging behind first impressions and assumptions – which you can do with places as well as people.

8. With the amalgamation of the Scottish Police Force last year, how will it change your future Novels

- I’ll just leave this one out if that’s ok, as I’m not writing about the police any more?

9. What kind of research have you have to undertake for your Novels

For the first book The Twilight Time – no research at all really. Although I’d never write about a real life incident or an incident or real people I was involved with as a cop, because it would just feel wrong (and also, it’s not fiction if you copy real life!) – all the feelings and the kind of things that happen, the humour, the police jargon etc, that’s all real. But, with each police book I wrote, I tried to push myself further and further away from what I knew. For example in After the Fire, I write about what happens when a police firearms incident goes wrong. I’ve never been a firearms cop, never even held a gun. So all of that required a huge amount of research. With my new book, I spent time speaking to refugees and people that work with asylum seekers, to try to build up a picture that went beyond what I might imagine it must feel like to be a refugee. The book I’m currently working on (which will be my 7th) is going to involve the biggest amount of research I’ve ever done, as it’s set in Italy during the Second World War. I have a ton of history books I’m reading at the moment. (And a research trip to Italy looming – tough work, but someone’s got to do it!)

10. Are the characters in your books based on any real life No, definitely not. Not worth the risk!

11. Since you have started writing have any well known authors given you any advice

Before I got published, I did a two year Creative Writing Masters at Glasgow University, so I was very fortunate in that we had tutors and lecturers like Alistair Grey, James Kelman, Liz Lochhead who’d all comment on our work – plus give advice on what works for them. But the best thing about doing the course was meeting other writers like me – folk starting out, who all wanted to talk about writing and ideas, set up editorial groups, compile anthologies etc, so it was a really supportive, creative atmosphere. I definitely think you need the company of other writers, whether it’s a writing group, an online group, whatever.

12. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa I don’t , but other folk do. What’s even stranger is that people you know often think they see themselves in your characters, when you’ve never even thought about them when writing (at least, not consciously!)

13. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned.

Yes, I’ve got a new book out next March called ‘Rise’. It’s about a couple moving to a small village to try to fix their marriage, and about a cuckoo in thier nest – girl who ends up working as their au pair – who’s running from a dodgy past, which threatens to catch up on her. Set in a remote corner of Argyll, it’s timeline is right now, where, in Scotland, the whole country is gearing up to the Independence referendum, and each one of us are being asked to think more deeply about who we are and what we want. It’s about love and faith and forgiveness – and about which version of ‘you’ you choose to be. I’m really excited about it coming out – this will be the first time I’ve been published in the USA. Plus I really love the cover: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rise-Karen-Campbell/dp/1408857928/ref=sr_1_1? s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1407159969&sr=1-1&keywords=rise+by+karen+campbell

I’m just starting work on the next one, the one set in Italy in WW2, so I can’t say much more about that at the moment, as it’s all still in my head and embryonic notes…

14. Out of all the Novels you have written do you gave a favourite one that stands out to you

Of the police ones, I think After the Fire, as it’s such a topical subject – what kind of police force do we want, should the police be armed, does that make us safer or is it more dangerous? These questions never get resolved in society, and we often shy away from them, and don’t want to think about the individual police officers who have tomake that split-second decision to fire or not – then live with the consequences for the rest of their lives.

15. As a well known writer do you have words of advice you can share (have taken crime out, so it’s more relevant for all the books)

I’d say, don’t write for ‘the market’ – write the kind of book you like to read, maybe the kind of book you’ve always wanted to read, but never quite found before. Don’t worry about genre or marketing -that’s up to the publishers. Worry about creating compelling characters, people that have real hopes and dreams and fears and adversaries, then the narrative will flow from that.

Series
Anna Cameron
1. The Twilight Time (2008)
2. After The Fire (2009)
3. Shadowplay (2010)
4. Proof of Life (2011)

Novels
This Is Where I Am (2013)
Rise (2015)

http://www.karencampbell.co.uk/

Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Karen-Campbell/e/B001KHPNZE

August Crime Author of the month 2014 with Helen Fitzgerald

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1. How did you get started writing

I wrote a diary as a teenager, short stories as a young adult, poems in my twenties, and screenplays in my thirties. After I’d had my second baby I finally sat down to write a book. It came very quickly, and I wrote ten in seven years.

2. What drew you to write a crime novel
I didn’t really mean to. My screenplays were comedies and the first half of my first book, Dead Lovely, is mostly comedy. At the half way point, I remember coming downstairs and telling my husband that I’d just killed someone (i.e. in the book) and that it felt great. I’ve been killing people ever since.

3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing
Books by women about women.
 
4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest
I’d struggled to get a film made, but those screenwriting years meant I had a screenwriting agent who helped me get a literary agent. He was very good at selling and I had several deals in three months.

5. So far all your Novels have been standalone,if your were given the chance to write a series would you go for it, or do you prefer writing standalone Novels
I tried a second Krissie novel on the advice of my agent (My Last Confession) but I wouldn’t do it again. I like to put my main character through hell, and you can’t do that more than once.

6. There are many interesting characters in your Novels, do you have a particular favourite one

Krissie Donald (Dead Lovely) was my first character and I definitely have a soft spot for her. But I felt most connected with Joanna in The Cry. I couldn’t get out of her head, and it was a hellish place to be.

7. You have set your Novels in many different places and countries, do you have a particular favourite you like to use
I tend to set my books in Glasgow, because I’ve lived here for 23 years and am more familiar with it than anywhere else. But I loved writing about Point Lonsdale in The Cry. It was the first time I’d set a book in Australia and I found myself much more in tune with the landscape than I’ve ever been before.

8. As an author you are based in Glasgow, there are many authors that live in or write about Glasgow, what do you think makes your Novels stand out 
Nothing. All those other Weegie writers are genius.

9. What kind of research have you have to undertake for your Novels
I always find myself reading about three or four different issues/places/events for each book. At the moment I’m reading forums where adopted children from other countries are talking to each other. I’m also reading about South Korea, Magaluf nightclubs, and the laws which apply to online videos.

10. Are the characters in your books based on any real life 
No! (Yes)

11. Since you have started writing have any well known authors given you
any advice
So many! I can’t get over how helpful giants like Denise Mina and Laura Lippman are.

12. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa
Yes. My female characters are usually guilt-ridden. That’s definitely me.

13. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned
The Exit is out in February 2014. Rose, 82, has dementia and is in a care home. No-one will believe her when she says something terrible is going on.

14. Out of all the Novels you have written do you gave a favourite one that stands out to you
The Cry. I felt like everything came together for that one.

15. As a well known crime writer do you have words of advice you can share

The main thing is to write. That’s the fun part and the only thing that matters. Sit on the chair and write.

Novels
Dead Lovely (2007)
My Last Confession (2009)
The Devil’s Staircase (2009)
Bloody Women (2009)
Amelia O’Donohue Is So Not a Virgin (2010)
Hot Flush (2011)
The Donor (2011)
Deviant (2013)
The Cry (2013)
The Exit (2015)

Novellas
The Duplicate (2012)

http://helenfitzgerald.wordpress.com/

Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Helen-Fitzgerald/e/B004MREUS0/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1407683453&sr=1-2

July 2014 coffee cake and Crime Event With Sk Paisley

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A young woman vanishes into the cold Glaswegian night. Nine years later, one man is forced on a journey into his  buried past to reveal the truth behind her mysterious disappearance.

Take a Breath is set in gangster-ridden Glasgow. With razor-sharp pace and authentic urban grit, it charts the relationship of Paul and Lena, mining the darker side of love, as time and again they engage in a grim, obsessive dance. From their first tumultuous meeting, following their reconnections over several years, each encounter is more intense than the last. However, Lena is not the only one entangled with Paul. He has fallen in with notorious crimelord Manny Munroe, a name synonymous with drugs, prostitution and a ruthless lust for violence.

1. How did you get started writing

The first time I read S.E. Hinton’s, “The Outsiders” I wanted to be a writer. I had seen the film and loved it so my parents bought me a copy of the book, the old Macmillan hard back with all the actors on the front. I was eleven or twelve and went on the read all her books over and over again. I used to write my own stories set in her world of Oklahoma in the 60’s about groups of friends hanging outside drug stores, having drag races, smoking cancer sticks, using all this crazy American slang. Those were my first attempts at writing, although I don’t think I ever showed them to anyone. I still have them in a box somewhere in a cupboard.

After school there were a few years when I more or less stopped writing, just the odd paragraph here and there. I was studying Law at University and there wasn’t much room for creative pursuits. Then I started a degree in English and Theatre, and as part of it, I did a short course in playwriting. The final outcome was a one act play, called Lena & Stu which later developed into Take a Breath. When I restarted, I realised how much I missed having it in my life.

2. What drew you to write a crime novel

I didn’t actually set out to write a crime novel. I started out with two characters, Paul and Lena and knew I wanted to have some kind of ill-fated love affair. The crime element came along later. As the stakes rise ever higher, Take a Breath offers a chilling look at the organized crime realm of Glasgow, where everyone is connected and no one leaves unscathed. With searing narrative, complex characters, and the seamy backdrop of Glasgow’s mean streets, this arresting work of fiction will leave you hanging on every tautly written page. many different designs until I got the perfect one that I wanted (Vanessa was very patient!). I’m really proud of the final product because I know how much work went into it. It took about three months in total and every day there was new work delivered. It was a very exciting time.

3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing

I read some of S.E. Hinton’s adult stuff recently and like to flatter myself to think her influence can still be seen in mine. She has a beautiful writing style. There’s a great interview with her at the end of Some of Tim’s Stories, in which she describes how she approaches a story, starting always with the characters. I like to do this too. Some of my favourite writers are William McIlvanney, Louise Welsh, Irvine Welsh, Iain Banks, Bret Easton Ellis, but I wouldn’t necessarily say my style of writing is like theirs.

4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest

I decided quite early on to go down the self publishing route so I didn’t pursue any traditional publishers. I think it’s very difficult for any new writer to get a deal in today’s market, from what I’ve heard. My husband had already published books as a business venture, setting up the independent company “Celandine”, so we followed the same process for my book. We did it through Amazon Create Space and I have to say, it was one of the highlights of writing the book. I got to work with brilliant people, my amazing editor, Lucy Ridout who I found on the Society for Editors and Proofreaders website, and my wonderful proofreader, Jane Hammett. Through Elance, I found Vanessa NoHeart who did the beautiful cover and interior design. I was involved with every element of the book’s production, going through many,
It has allowed the book to get out where people can read it and we are going through the process of getting the book in to retailers in the UK. I have even been approached by an Italian publisher who wants to do a translation. Maybe other publishing deals will follow.

5. What was the inspiration when you first starting writing Take a Breath

I sat with the first 10,000 words for years before I had the courage to show it to anyone. I gave it to my husband and he was so positive about it, I started taking the idea of being a writer seriously. He was my inspiration.

I also took a lot of inspiration from my favourite books, films and TV Shows. When I saw the movie, Villain, and the relationship in between Richard Burton’s and Ian McShane’s characters, I knew what element was missing in my characters’ relationship. I also had a playlist of ten or twenty songs that I used to listen to, to get me into the right mood when I was writing. A lot of the lyrics were relevant to what I was writing that day.

6. There are many interesting characters in your Novel, do you have a particular favourite one

Paul was always the main driving force. I had a clear idea of him from the start. So he was my main character. Maybe because he was male, I found him easier to write. Writing in a different gender gives you a bit more freedom. In the early drafts Lena was really just a shadow reacting to him. It took a lot longer to develop her character. She started out as a kind of vampy, femme fatale but she didn’t end up that way. I ended up making her a lot softer, more vulnerable. The middle chapters told from her point of view were a late addition and I’m really glad they’re in there. I grew to really love her character too.

7. Why did you choose to set your novels in Glasgow

I’m from Glasgow and when I started writing the story I’d never spent any length of time outside Glasgow. It’s an environment I know well and it’s got a long tradition of gritty, urban drama. I don’t think it’s necessarily the real Glasgow but a kind of imagined one in which all the details are exaggerated and the atmospheres are heightened.

8. Take a Breath is already getting positive reviews and comparisons to some of crime fictions big names, how does that make you feel

Getting a positive review of your book is a great feeling. To know that you’ve put your work out there and it has given someone enjoyment is pretty special. Regarding comparisons to other crime fictions big names, I think that might be a bit premature. Those authors usually have multiple works and I need to get my head down and get the next one written.

9. What kind of research have you had to undertake for your Novel

I read books about true crime in Glasgow and gangster biographies. I read a lot of newspaper articles and used public resources from the internet. For the technical aspects I was able to interview a retired police officer and that was very helpful.

10. Are the characters in your books based on any real life

Not really, although there are definitely elements of people I know or have known. A lot of the stories are one’s I’ve been told and exaggerated for effect, other people’s experiences I’ve hijacked. For a while in my early twenties I had a group of friends and we sometimes hung out at one of their flats in the Anderson High Rises. I’m not really in touch with any of them anymore but if any of them do come across my book, they might recognise small parts of themselves. Also, as a kind of placeholder in the early drafts, until I could think of something more suitable for the character, I described Paul with my husband’s tattoos and some other similar physical descriptions which he found very embarrassing, so I had to change them. I think some personality characteristics stayed behind though, but he would disagree. He’s much cooler in real life than Paul.

11. Since you have started writing have any well known authors given you any advice

I am quite lucky to have had advice and encouragement from William McIlvanney, whose own writing I greatly admire. I’ve also corresponded with some well known authors who gave encouragement and some tips on publishing. Most writers are surprisingly approachable and helpful and many have given good advice via interviews and articles.

12. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa

I’m sure there must be. Maybe Annie is closest to me. She has a lot of rage. Lena is the opposite of me, what I would have like to have been like, tall, beautiful, street-wise, confident in her own skin. I think she’s quite loveable.

13. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned

I’ve started my next novel and I’m trying to get a first draft done just now. It’s about a girl who moves to live on an island in Scotland (undecided as yet), with her new boyfriend and his strange mother who is recovering from illness. She starts to find out some quite disturbing secrets about his family history. Isolated, and completely removed from her own life, her mental health begins to deteriorate.

14. There are many crime novels set in Glasgow, what do you think makes your Novel stand out from the rest

I like to think the characters and their love story; the tragic entanglement between the three main characters; Paul, Lena and Manny.

15. As an up and coming crime writer do you have words of advice you can share

If you want to write, you should do it. Have the confidence to start and don’t be afraid to think what you’re writing is good. I think if you have ambitions to write and the drive to take pen to paper, that’s 90% of it. The rest is hard work, perseverance and the energy to polish, polish and re-polish what you’ve written for as long as it takes for you to be satisfied with what you’ve got in front of you.

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http://www.skpaisley.com/

Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.co.uk/S.-K.-Paisley/e/B00J4R9KYM/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

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For only a week from the 21st July to the 28 july the above book will be in the Kindle Countdown Deal for 99p so if you are looking for a great crime book to read for a great price then I suggest that you make it this one.

A young woman vanishes into the cold Glaswegian night. Nine years later, one man is forced on a journey into his buried past to reveal the truth behind her mysterious disappearance.

Take a Breath is set in gangster-ridden Glasgow. With razor-sharp pace and authentic urban grit, it charts the relationship of Paul and Lena, mining the darker side of love, as time and again they engage in a grim, obsessive dance. From their first tumultuous meeting, following their reconnections over several years, each encounter is more intense than the last. However, Lena is not the only one entangled with Paul. He has fallen in with notorious crimelord Manny Munroe, a name synonymous with drugs, prostitution and a ruthless lust for violence.

As the stakes rise ever higher, Take a Breath offers a chilling look at the organized crime realm of Glasgow, where everyone is connected and no one leaves unscathed. With searing narrative, complex characters, and the seamy backdrop of Glasgow’s mean streets, this arresting work of fiction will leave you hanging on every tautly written page. Less

Here is the link to buy this book for yourself

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00J456QGO/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1405531189&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX110_SY165

Book Review the last refuge craig robertson

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***** 5 STARS

You can run from your past but you can never hide from yourself… When John Callum arrives on the wild and desolate Faroe Islands, he vows to sever all ties with his previous life. He desperately wants to make a new start, and is surprised by how quickly he is welcomed into the close-knit community. But still, the terrifying, debilitating nightmares just won’t stop. Then the solitude is shattered by an almost unheard of crime on the islands: murder. A specialist team of detectives arrives from Denmark to help the local police, who seem completely ill-equipped for an investigation of this scale. But as tensions rise, and the community closes rank to protect its own, John has to watch his back.
But far more disquieting than that, John’s nightmares have taken an even more disturbing turn, and he can’t be certain about the one thing he needs to know above all else. Whether he is the killer…

The Last Refuge is a change in direction for author Craig Robertson who is known for his Glasgow based crime series featuring Police Photographer Tony Winter and DS Rachel Narey, to a crime novel set in Faroe Islands which can be found to the northwest of Scotland and halfway between Iceland and Norway, the eighteen islands that make up the Faroe Islands are isolated, windswept and seem a good place for the main character John Callum to leave behind his demons and nightmares which pursue him. This change of setting has not done anything to change the way in which the author Craig Robertson can turn out a truly stunning crime novel, in which the Faroe Islands themselves are used like a major character in the story rather than just a setting.

The best way to describe the Last Refuge is to imagine if Tartan Noir meet Nordic Noir you begin to get a general picture of what you are going to get. A little warning when you begin this novel, then put everything else aside and be willing to immerse yourself in the storyline as it is fast paced, well plotted and with excellent characters that you will not want to put down for anything or anybody. What really stands out is the raw brooding power which runs through the storyline from start to finish, John Callum, the central character is a man on the edge, He’s filled with demons, haunted by past events so he relocates to the Faroes to start again, He’s a lost soul seeking resolution and absolution. From the opening pages where a plane hits turbulence you know you are for a bumpy ride. That combined with the stark and unforgiving landscape, the long winters, little daylight and inhabitants with Viking ancestry, swirling mists and language barriers which delivers a backdrop that underpins conflict and emotional turmoil in the central characters. In conclusion if you have not yet given The Last Refuge a read then I recommend that you do before long, you won’t be disappointed.

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (22 May 2014)
ISBN-10: 1471127737
ISBN-13: 978-1471127731

July 2014 coffee cake and Crime Event With Simon Sylvester

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The island has always seemed such a safe place, such a friendly community. Now the possibility of a killer on Bancree is dangerously close to home.  Nobody moves to the remote Scottish island of Bancree, and few leave – but leaving is exactly what seventeen-year-old Flora intends to do. So when a mysterious man and his daughter move into isolated Dog Cottage, Flo is curious. What could have brought these strangers to the island? The man is seductively handsome but radiates menace; and there’s something about his daughter Ailsa that Flo can’t help but feel drawn towards.
People aren’t only arriving on Bancree – they are disappearing too. Reports of missing islanders fill the press and unnerve the community. When a body washes ashore, suspicion turns to the strange newcomers on Dog Rock.
Convinced of their innocence, Flo is fiercely determined to protect her friend Ailsa. Could the answer to the disappearances, and to the pull of her own heart, lie out there, beyond the waves?

1. How did you get started writing? 3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing? (The author Simon Sylvester has combined Q1 & Q3)
It’s all Hunter S. Thompson’s fault. When I was in my mid-twenties, I was feeling a bit lost. I was working in television as a camera assistant, but the London lifestyle was grinding me down. When I was offered a job on a travel video in Australia, I decided to stay on and wander around for a year. While I was backpacking between hostels, I read pretty much constantly – and one of those books was The Proud Highway, the first collection of letters by Hunter S. Thompson. I already liked Thompson’s work, but The Proud Highway finds him at the same age as I was then, and just as poor, and burning with this righteous outrage about the world. I found his writing addictive. I started keeping a blog about my travels, and copied Thompson’s style pretty much exactly. When I moved back to Britain, that blog was enough to land me a job writing for two magazines, and soon after, I started writing fiction. I wrote short stories, mostly, and then an experimental novel. It wasn’t very good, but it was all part of moving away from writing like Hunter S. Thompson, and towards writing like me. I suspect a lot of writers go through a similar journey of aping and then rejecting their heroes. I have a much healthier relationship with my favourite authors now: Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Sarah Waters, Iain Banks, Roberto Bolano.

2. What drew you to write a crime novel?
It wasn’t a conscious decision. I just knew that The Visitors was a mystery story, and mysteries need to be solved. Everything around that has been quite organic. I simply had an instinct that it was the right genre.

4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest?
I was halfway through the first draft of The Visitors when a friend introduced me to his agent. I sent her a short story and a synopsis of the novel. She asked to see the finished manuscript, which took me another six months. I sent it away, prepared for a rejection, but somehow she loved the book and wanted to take me on. She’s great – quite aside from our 40-minute debates about Game Of Thrones, she knows the publishing business inside-out. She knew which editors at which publishers were looking for what sort of work, and placed The Visitors with Quercus Books in the first round of submissions. I’ve been very lucky to have found such an amazing agaent and such a great publisher.

5. When you first thought about writing The Visitors, what was your inspiration?
I was on holiday in Grogport on the inner coast of Kintyre, looking out across the Kilbrannan Sound to Arran, and the bay in front of us was a mirror. I had an overwhelming sense of all the life boiling below the water, but unseen on the surface, and I started to wonder what that might look like as a story. We saw seals and otters swimming at dawn and dusk, heads above the water for heartbeats and then gone, and the story began to draw together in my head. There were seals everywhere. By the time we left, I’d filled an A4 pad with notes. I started writing almost as soon as we were home.

6. There are many interesting characters in your Novel, do you have a particular favourite one?
I especially like Izzy, the beachcomber. He’s a cheery soul, for the most part, and he’s a great storyteller. The longer I spent with Izzy, the more I came to believe in the power of stories. That in turn has brought me closer to storytelling in my own writing. I know it sounds like that’s back-to-front, but one of the reasons I write is to interpret my world. It’s often through writing about something that I come to understand it.

7. Why did you chose to set your novel on a Fictional Scottish Island? / 8. Is the Island of Bancree based on a real Island in Scotland? (The author Simon Sylvester has combined these questions as well) I knew right away that I wanted to set The Visitors on an island. Kintyre would have been perfect, but it’s a peninsula, and that makes it too easy to access and escape. I fished about for a better place, but couldn’t find anything quite right. Islay was too big, and Gigha was too small. Jura was too desolate. Iona too empty. In the end, I invented my own. I grew up in Inverness, and factored my own experiences in – canoeing on Loch Maree, drinking in Dores, camping in Applecross, bouldering in Torridon. My island, Bancree, is a jigsaw of all those places.

9. What kind of research have you had to undertake for your Novel?
Most of my research was taken up with selkies, which storyteller Izzy brings into the book. I also looked at things like the migration patterns of basking sharks and birds, maps of the Hebrides, ferry timetables, Gaelic words and whiskies. Between completing my first draft and beginning my first redraft, I took a week’s holiday on Islay, and drowned myself in the sights and sounds and smells of the island. When I returned to the manuscript, all those sensations were fresh for the redraft.

10. Are the characters in your book based on any real life?
No more than all people share similar traits. I haven’t based any of the characters on real people, but all people share some universal experiences: love and loneliness, comfort and hate. In knowing real people, and in living my own life, I try to bring those same experiences to my fictional characters. If I ever based a character on a real person, the end result would very, very far removed from the original. I write fiction to get away from real life, not to replicate it.

11. Since you have started writing have any well known authors given you any advice?
I’m good friends with the novelist Ali Shaw (The Girl With Glass Feet, The Man Who Rained), and he’s been incredibly helpful. He doesn’t really give me advice so much as discuss his own experiences. Having gone through a similar journey several years ahead of me, he’s able to share his own highs and lows. I would feel quite isolated to do this entirely alone. Writing thrives on community.

12. Do you see any of your characters’ personality in yourself and vice versa?
Not really. My lead character in The Visitors, Flora, is the kind of teenager I perhaps wish I’d been – a little more courageous, a little less scared of doing her own thing. I think there’s a real danger in trying to write yourself as a character, especially in genre fiction. You’d wind up obsessing over how you presented yourself to the world, rather than how the character reacts to the unfolding story.

13. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned?
I’m well into the first draft of my next novel, which is called The Hollows. It’s another mystery, about a woman returning to her childhood home after years away, and unlocking secrets her father has buried in a huge swamp. After a couple of wrong turns, I’m starting to find my way, and I’m enjoying it. After that, I’ve another three or four novels planned. There’s a murder mystery in an Ullapool retirement home, a road trip in a polluted mountain range, and a ghost story in black-out London. All I need is time to write.

14. The Visitors has already received positive reviews and has already been compared to the writing of some of the well known crime writers, how does that make you feel?
Crikey, has it? I didn’t know that, so I don’t know who those writers are – but it’s very humbling to be compared to anyone. After spending so long inside my head while writing the book, it’s now both petrifying and exhilarating to share it with other people. The good reviews are wonderful. The Visitors plays with genre a little, and it feels like readers are getting what I tried to do. It’s validation, I suppose, and it gives me confidence for writing my next books.

15. As a up and coming crime writer do you have words of advice you can share?
It feels very strange to be up and coming. For whatever it’s worth, my advice is to carry a notebook and pen, all the time. Take public transport and eavesdrop. Work crappy jobs in bars and cafes. Listen to unfamiliar radio stations late at night. Read books about completely new things like sumo wrestling or glassblowing or the history of salt. On the days you don’t feel like writing, research or redraft or go for a walk and a think. Travel. Live out of a suitcase or a backpack for a while. Support indie bookstores. Read your work aloud, even if it’s to an empty room, then have someone read it back to you. Fight like hell for your local library. Go to open mic nights and scare yourself. Talk to strangers. Keep a blog. Stay hungry. Be honest. Be kind.

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http://www.simonsylvester.wordpress.com
www/twitter.com/simonasylvester

Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Simon-Sylvester/e/B00J7C0MV4/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1