October 2014 up and coming crime author of the month with Mason cross

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1. How did you get started writing?

I’ve always liked writing and making up stories, ever since I was a kid. My school reports always praised my imagination and criticised my habit of daydreaming in class – I think the two were closely related. I told a career advisor at school that the job I wanted was to write Batman. I used to write ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ type books on my parents’ computer, which I would then print out and attempt to sell at school. I also created my own comics, which didn’t turn out so well due to a painful lack of artistic ability. So I guess in a very small way, I got some early experience of self-publishing through those ventures.

2. What drew you to write a crime novel

A couple of things: the first one is the fact I just really love to read crime fiction, from the classics like Chandler and Hammett right up to the present day with people like Connelly, Rankin, Child and Reichs. The second thing is that what I write seems to lend itself to crime and mystery more than any other genre. I enjoy horror and sci fi books and movies, but I’m not sure I would know how to write one. Similarly, I’d have no clue how to write a ‘literary’ novel. The elements I enjoy the most: memorable characters, snappy dialogue, mystery and plot twists, all lead me into the crime section, and you know what? I’m fine with that.

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

Stephen King, Ira Levin, Frank Miller, Neil Gaiman, Ian Rankin, John D. Macdonald, Denise Mina, Lee Child, James Ellroy, Elmore Leonard, Raymond Chandler, Kathy Reichs (to name but a few). I don’t consciously try to write like any of them, but I aspire to create work that gives others as much pleasure as the above writers have given me.

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

I didn’t get any publisher interested until I had an agent, but to be fair, I hadn’t submitted work to publishers as often as an aspiring writer probably should do. I tried my luck with various short stories and found it tough to get anything published, but I did have a few successes with small writing magazines and competitions. My biggest early success was to have a story called ‘A Living’ published in one of the Quick Reads books: The Sun Book of Short Stories.

5. There are many interesting characters in your novels, do you have a particular favourite one?

Obviously I have to say Carter Blake is a favourite, because he’s my protagonist, and the only character that’s in all of the novels. Having said that, my favourite characters to write in The Killing Season were Banner, who’s the supporting lead, and Wardell, who’s the villain. Those two are at the two extremes – Banner is a relatively normal person and Wardell is a mass-murdering psychopath. Blake is kind of in the middle.

6. What kind of research have you have to undertake for your novels?

Different types: obviously the internet is an incredible resource, as long as you do a bit of fact checking, but I like to read good old-fashioned books on subjects relevant to what I’m writing. I also incorporate my own personal experiences through travel. One of the biggest helps in writing a US-set thriller series is having American friends I can interrogate to make sure I get the details right as far as possible.

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

No. For one thing, that’s a great way to get sued, for another thing, it’s much easier to simply invent a character than to try and fit a real person into a book. I do take elements here and there from people I’ve encountered, or add memorable snippets of dialogue I’ve heard in real life, but mostly the characters are completely imagined.

8. What do you think makes your novels stand out from all the other Scottish Crime Fiction Novels out there

The fact that it’s a very American Scottish crime novel! I think Glasgow (where I’m from) has a particularly pronounced American influence, probably from having been such a big shipping town historically. You can see that influence in a lot of ways, from the fact we love country music to the number of successful writers of American superhero comics from here. Even the grid plan of the city centre feels more like an American city than a British one.

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

A little bit. Blake likes process – he’s obsessively driven to complete a job once he’s set himself a goal. He’s also a little tunnel-visioned sometimes and has a tendency to infuriate those who spend time with him. My wife will vouch for the fact that that could describe me. He’s much smarter and better in a fight than me, though.

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

The next one’s called The Samaritan. It’s about a serial killer who prays on drivers who have broken down late at night on deserted roads. Blake realises he may know who’s doing the killing, and gets himself involved in the investigation.

11. Out of all the novels you have written do you have a favourite one that stands out to you?

The most recent one is always a favourite, but I’m excited about the next novel I’m about to start, which is going to be called Winterlong, and should be out in 2016.

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

I’m certainly not well-known but am flattered by the suggestion! My best advice for writers is the usual: keep writing and don’t give up. Even if you think something’s rubbish, it might turn out not so bad. Remember: there are a thousand ways to fix a rough draft; there’s only one way to fix a blank sheet of paper.

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The first thing you should know about me is that my name is not Carter Blake.
That name no more belongs to me than the hotel room I was occupying when the call came in.

When Caleb Wardell, the infamous ‘Chicago Sniper’, escapes from death row two weeks before his execution, the FBI calls on the services of Carter Blake, a man with certain specialised talents whose skills lie in finding those who don’t want to be found. A man to whom Wardell is no stranger.

Along with Elaine Banner, an ambitious special agent juggling life as a single mother with her increasingly high-flying career, Blake must track Wardell down as he cuts a swathe across America, apparently killing at random.

But Blake and Banner soon find themselves sidelined from the case. And as they try desperately to second guess a man who kills purely for the thrill of it, they uncover a hornets’ nest of lies and corruption. Now Blake must break the rules and go head to head with the FBI if he is to stop Wardell and expose a deadly conspiracy that will rock the country.

http://carterblake.net/

Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mason-Cross/e/B00FWO52KC/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Crime Authors and Book week Scotland 2014

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Bloody Scotland presents Sam Alexander
Monday 24th November, 7pm. Free, unticketed.
Waterstones, 174 Argyle Street, Glasgow, G2 8BT
After months of online speculation, we unmasked the identity of Sam Alexander as none other than CWA Dagger Award winner Paul Johnston, author of three bestselling series of crime novels, including Greek detective Mavros.  In this exclusive event, we are proud to support an international author from Scotland and his publisher Arcadia Books who have created quite a stir around the author’s mysterious identity.

Paul Johnston is a seasoned hand at crime thriller writing and his first Sam Alexander novel, set in the North of England, represents a new direction in his writing career. Carnal Acts has garnered glowing reviews with a new approach to the police procedural novel.

Join us in Waterstones Argyle Street on Monday 24th November to toast the start of Book Week Scotland with this exciting event.

The event is free and no ticket is required.

Drime Writers’ Mr and Mrs
Thursday 27th November, 7pm. Free, unticketed.
Waterstones, 174 Argyle Street, Glasgow, G2 8BT

Waterstones are hosting a panel event with some of our favourite literary couples: Helen Fitzgerald & Sergio Casci, Craig Robertson & Alexandra Sokoloff and Russel McLean & Lesley McDowell; discussing the pros (of which there must be many!) and cons of living and working together. It should be a great night and hopefully no one will be crying by the end!

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BEER BOOK BURGER CARO RAMSAY AND CHRISTOPHER BROOKMYRE

For a taste of something truly different come along to an evening combining the Scottish loves of eating, drinking and a bit of banter.

Hear acclaimed Scottish novelists, Christopher Brookmyre and Caro Ramsay talk about their work and feed your stomach as well as your soul at our Book, A Beer and a Burger event at Kirkcaldy Galleries. Ward of the winter chill with an evening of lively banter between the two authors accompanied by a pint and a tasty burger.

Address
Kirkcaldy Galleries
Bennochy Road
War Memorial Gardens
Kirkcaldy
KY1 1YT
United Kingdom
Time
19:30 – 21:00
Date
25 November 2014
Telephone number for queries
01592 583204
Region
Fife
Contact email
jennifer.stewart@fife.gov.uk

Is the venue accessible?
Yes
Ticketed?
Paid, Ticketed

QUINTIN JARDINE

Quintin Jardine will be appearing on Saturday 1st November at the following Waterstones Stores to do signings

10.45am-11.15pm
Waterstones, 175 High Street, Kirkcaldy KY1 1JA.

12.30pm-1pm
Waterstones, 101-103 Market Street, Andrews KY16 9NX

2.15pm-2.45pm
Waterstones, St John’s Centre, Perth PH1 5UX

4pm-4.30pm
Waterstones, The Elements, Almondvale Shopping Centre, Livingston EH54 6GS

LIN ANDERSON

An evening with celebrated crime writer Lin Anderson.

Address
Greenock Central Library
75-81 Cathcart Street
GREENOCK
PA15 1DE
United Kingdom
Time
19:00 – 20:30
Date
25 November 2014
Telephone number for queries
01475 712323
Region
Inverclyde
Contact email
library.central@inverclyde.gov.uk

Is the venue accessible?
Yes
Ticketed?
Free, unticketed (turn up on the day before event start)

ANN CLEEVES

Not just for ladies who lunch, this is a fantastic opportunity for all crime fiction fans to join Ann Cleeves, bestselling author of the novels behind BBC’s Shetland series and ITV’s Vera, over lunch in St Andrews Library.

Sit back and enjoy listening to one of the most popular and talented crime writers around, and if you’re at work, what better way to spend your lunch hour than in the company of Ann.

Address
St Andrews Public Library
Church Square
St Andrews
KY16 9NN
United Kingdom
Time
12:30 – 14:00
Date
27 November 2014
Telephone number for queries
01592 583204
Region
Fife
Contact email
jennifer.stewart@onfife.com

Is the venue accessible?
Yes
Ticketed?
Paid, ticketed

Also Appearing at the following events

As part of a celebration of libraries and reading, popular crime-writer Ann Cleeves has created a Shetland-themed grisly murder mystery which will be played out in Midlothian Libraries especially for Book Week Scotland. A woman has been murdered in the Ravenswick hotel library and it’s your task to find the killer.

Address
Newtongrange Library
St Davids
Newtongrange
EH22 4LG
United Kingdom
Time
19:00 – 20:30
Date
25 November 2014
Telephone number for queries
0131 663 1816
Region
Midlothian
Contact email
jacqueline.elliot@midlothian.gov.uk

Is the venue accessible?
Yes
Ticketed?
Free, ticketed

Also being held at

Address
Gorebridge Library
98 Hunterfield Road
Gorebridge
EH23 4TT
United Kingdom
Time
19:00 – 20:30
Date
25 November 2014
Telephone number for queries
01875 820630
Region
Midlothian
Contact email
elaine.robertson@midlothian.gov.uk

Is the venue accessible?
Yes
Ticketed?
Free, ticketed

Address
Loanhead Library
1A George Avenue
Loanhead
EH20 9HD
United Kingdom
Time
19:00 – 20:30
Date
27 November 2014
Telephone number for queries
0131 440 0824
Region
Midlothian
Contact email
annabel.cavaroli@midlothian.gov.uk

Is the venue accessible?
Yes
Ticketed?
Free, ticketed

JAMES OSWALD

About this event
Originally self-published in 2012, (James’ first book in his DI McLean series Natural Causes) , James has now moved on- he’s now a bestselling author of fantasy and crime books, his crime books shifting an extraordinary 250,000 copies, with Penguin as publisher.

Address
Muirhouse Library
15 Pennywell Court
Edinburgh
EH4 4TZ
United Kingdom
Time
15:00 – 16:00
Date
29 November 2014
Telephone number for queries
0131 529 5528
Region
Edinburgh
Contact email
annie.bell@edinburgh.gov.uk

Is the venue accessible?
Yes
Ticketed?
Free, ticketed

RUSSELL MCLEAN

Author of crime novels The Good Son and The Lost Sister, (featuring Scots Private Investigator, J McNee) Russell McLean also writes short stories, one of which, “Pedro Paul”, was singled out by Publisher’s Weekly as “awesomely dark”.

Address
Gilmerton Library
13 Newtoft Street
Edinburgh
EH17 8RG
United Kingdom
Time
19:00 – 20:00
Date
26 November 2014
Telephone number for queries
0131 529 5628
Region
Edinburgh
Contact email
annie.bell@edinburgh.gov.uk

Is the venue accessible?
Yes
Ticketed?
Free, ticketed

For more information about these and other events you can go to the following website

http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/events/event-types/crime

October 2014 up and coming crime author of the month with Tom odgen keenan

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1. How did you get started writing?
Possibly in the days of ‘love and peace man (giving my age away!)’ when everyone was writing poems and songs about war, life, love. I never took it seriously until I had a go at writing a play and was invited to a play writing workshop by 7:84, which was a great experience. I think writing dialogue spurred me to writing fiction (easy, just fill in the gaps between the dialogue!), and when I started I couldn’t stop.

2. What drew you to write a crime novel
I didn’t really think it was a crime novel until a friend mentioned the first chapter of one of my earlier attempts was like a Quentin Tarantino movie. My writing has always been ‘edgy’, dark, with a bit of sardonic humour, possibly influenced by living in Glasgow.

3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?
I like to write what I like to read, i.e. writers that keep you on edge, get your emotions going, stab your consciousness. I loved Dostoevsky and his conscience changing characters, or Luke Rhinehart, the Dice Man, where anything goes; but also been greatly influenced by local ‘noir’ writers like William McIlvanney and his Laidlaw, and of course most stuff from Mr Rankin. I also love Jim Kelman, his fantastic dialogue, and Alasdair Gray’s Lanark.

4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest?
Impossible; although as my writing improved the rejection letters became more personal! I think I rewrote my first version of The Father about fifty times and it still wasn’t right. I got shortlisted for the Debut Dagger which was a real boost; an indication for me and prospective publishers that I was on the right path.

5. There are many interesting characters in your Novel, do you have a particular favourite one?
Not really, I think I like ‘bad’ characters more than the heroes; you can do more with them.

6. What kind of research have you had to undertake for your Novels?
Spending a lot of time in seedy pubs trying to get grasp of the way people talk to each other. The Web is such a cheater’s source of information and I exploit it shamelessly; but you can’t beat ‘walking the walk’. I have also been a social worker in mental health for over thirty years, so lots to draw on.

7. Are the characters in your books based on any real life?
Oh yes, some are a composite of some real life characters I’ve known; but sometimes I try to imagine some famous characters and place them in certain scenes. It’s fun thinking about John Cleese as a psychopath.

8. What do you think makes your novels stand out from all the other Scottish Crime Fiction Novels out there
I think I go deep into the characters minds, mess with their heads and their relationships, transform them from good to bad, from bad to good. My tag line for the Father ‘can a good man be made bad’, gives an idea.

9. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa?
I guess there is a lot of the writer in his main protagonist. I see something of him in me and some things of me in him, but I am not an alcoholic, I don’t have a mental illness, and I don’t have a predilection for serial killers who kill by proxy.

10. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned.
The Father is first in the Sean Rooney series. I’ve started writing the second. I’m playing around with having two antagonists at the start with one become the hero as the story progresses, not sure which one though! It’s fun playing God!

11. What was your favourite scene to write in your Novel and why
I like my prologue, which really sets the scene (of the book). I just let it all go, hitting the reader with a barrage of imagery.

12. As a up and coming crime writer do you have words of advice you can share
Just keep working it; flex that creative muscle in your head and don’t fear criticism, use it to grow; and write every day, whether you feel like it or not.

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Mental illness, alcohol abuse, and the tedium of pursuing typical killers, leave Sean Rooney a pathetic man, a failed forensic profiler, a bit of a loser and definitely retired. DCI Jacqueline Kaminski has other ideas. Faced with a multiple murder – and some headless corpses – she needs Rooney back on the case.

https://www.tom-odgen-keenan.co.uk/

Amazon Author Page

Bloody Scotland stirling Saturday 20th September 2014

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Bloody Scotland 2014 Question Time

Q) What makes your books stand out from the rest

PETER ROBINSON
The Yorkshire Setting that has become like a character in its own right and adds a different flavour

CATRIONA MACPHERSON
The strong balance between hard hitting crime and the light funny comedic timing

EVA DOLAN
The strong attention given to political and social issues that are rising in the UK Society and exposing them

HANIA ALLEN
The strong female lead character with a good heart

MASON CROSS
The American Angle, A Scottish Writer setting his novels in America and the FUN

FRANK MUIR
The Fife Setting, The strong use of Black Humour and the arrival of a different kind of female detective character in Glasgow Born DS Jessie Janes

CRAIG ROBERTSON
The Sense of Place that runs throughout the books be it Glasgow or the Fareo Islands

MICHAEL MALONE
The Banter

September 2014 up and coming crime author of the month with Paul Vincent Lee

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How did you get started writing?
Writing compositions at school; they’re called essays now I believe! It was the few thing at school I was best at….apart from dodging, I was really good at that.

What drew you to write a crime novel
It was always going to be crime, to be honest. I always liked reading crime, so I suppose it was an obvious step. I’d also like to give comedy writing a go.

Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?
I’ve been asked this question a few times, and I suppose, subconsciously, some writers must have; but I am not aware of any influencing me as such. Writers like Michael Connelly of Bosch fame, James Ellroy and a few others, are great American crime writers that I like to read. From UK, William McIlvanney’s Laidlaw got me hooked; and people like Ian Rankin & Denise Mina have moved things along…and recently, of course, Denzil Meryick has burst onto the scene.

When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest?
Not hard…..impossible! All the advice on this says “Be patient”…..I don’t agree. We live in a new age, if you can’t get a deal….Indy Publish…..and even if you do get offered a deal [ like I did ] check first, you might well be signing your life away and could make more money the Indy way. Get advice: contact Sinclair MacLeod at indieauthorsscotland.co.uk are a great starting point.

There are many interesting characters in your Novels, do you have a particular favourite one?
No….I like them all…..but story development is a strange beast….I had a character I really liked…..but killed him off anyway……it was a “shock” I felt the story needed.

What kind of research have you have to undertake for your Novels?
In between writing Defending Joe and The Maltese Orphans, I moved to Malta. there were some non-writing reasons for this, but at the same time I felt I wanted a different setting for my stories. The UK market is saturated with DI this and DC that…..and they all seem to have drink problems!

Are the characters in your books based on any real life?
For Defending Joe, I just looked back on my own life….let’s just leave it at that. Writers Warning: I’ve now lost 2 “friends” who didn’t appreciate aspects of my stories that they felt were describing them in real life…..sad but true. Do I care….no, they are the ones with the issues….not me.

What do you think makes your novels stand out from all the other Scottish Crime Fiction Novels out there
because they’ll all be set in Malta / Gozo from now on !!

Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa?
Very much so…..especially the nut-jobs.

If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned.
Well, The Maltese Orphans only came out on 1st Sept…..but I can say that the whole series will be called The Maltese….{ something }….stay tuned.

Out of all the Novels you have written do you have a favourite one that stands out to you?
Without a doubt, Defending Joe. It was a labour of love as it was a way of me expressing some of my own issues, and dealing with the challenge of just getting a book written. I was completely broke at the time, and my life was at an all time low, which didn’t help. I couldn’t afford to get anything done professionally; so I did the cover design myself { quite well I thought ! } and just formatted and edited as best I could. I wont lie, the rawness of the first edition showed, and was commented on by a couple of Reviewers, and at one point I was a bit embarrassed by some of the mistakes…..but then I just said: No, you’re not going to discourage me; I’m on a journey you know F all about.”…..and, despite it’s flaws, I “built a tribe”, the book sold in the thousands and put me on the map. It was also during this period that I found out who my real friends were.

As a well known crime writer do you have words of advice you can share
Yes…..write the way, and about, what YOU want…..don’t try & write to please an audience you think exists…..develop your own style…..and if you go down the Indy route don’t be afraid or ashamed to say it……I’m sure John Locke isn’t.

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Malta 2014, and Pulizija Inspector, the beautiful but troubled, Thea Spiteri, is at a cross roads in her life, and career. Then a child’s abduction, from a crowded St Julian’s beach, gives her the opportunity to concentrate her mind on what she does best: solve crimes.

Ex Scottish cop, ex drunk, ex lover, ex…….everything. At one time, Matt Healy felt he had it all. He found out differently. Now he is trying to put his life back together, on the idyllic island of Malta.

If they can both overcome their demons, and trust in the enigmatic Fr Marandon, emotional happiness awaits them both. But past sins in Scotland and Malta, mean that for both Healy and Spiteri, future happiness may just be an illusion.

OTHER NOVELS
Defending Joe

http://paulvincentlee.com/

Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Paul-Lee/e/B00ID7XPMC/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

September 2014 up and coming crime author of the month with Steve Christie

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1. How did you get started writing?
Many years ago, when the kids were small, I wrote stories that I would then read to them at bedtime. Jump forward a few years, the kids have grown up, bedtime stories now abandoned, I found myself with a little spare time so, I decided to swap writing bedtime stories for writing crime stories for adults.

2. What drew you to write a crime novel.
I’ve always been interested in crime, especially true crime. It was the obvious way to go!

3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?
Edgar Alan Poe: I love his dark descriptive style of writing. He can paint a real feeling of foreboding using words alone. Jeffrey Deaver: no one writes a twist in the tale like him. You think you have the mystery solved in your head then it usually takes off in a totally different direction. You just didn’t see it coming!

4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest?
It took a while. I think this is a problem experienced my most new writers. The major publishers just don’t seem interested so you have to contact as many publishers as possible. They get a lot of submissions and you have to be patient. I finally got interest from a couple of places.

5. There are many interesting characters in your Novels, do you have a particular favourite one?
It would probably be D.I Buchanan. He has a strange outlook on life, cuts a few corners yet always seems to get the job done.

6. What kind of research have you had to undertake for your novels?
I use the internet a lot but sometimes you do need to talk to experts, they’re usually quite accommodating if you just approach them nicely. My second book. Cold Shot contains a plot that deals with adoption. Its a mine field. Luckily, through Facebook I contacted an expert on this. I had a good many conversations with her through the course of writing the novel.

7. Are the characters in your books based on any real life?
A little bit here and there. I often find my characters develop into an amalgamation of people I know, or have known in the past. I also find a few of my own traits in there especially when it comes to Buchanan.

8. What do you think makes your novels stand out from all the other Scottish Crime Fiction Novels out there?
The pace of the plot. There’s always something going on. I also think Buchanan is quite unique. A good many detectives in crime fiction novels seem very similar at times.

9. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa?
Yes. I would think all authors put a bit of themselves into their characters. It’s very hard not to.

10. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned.
Sure! Here’s the prologue to Cold Shot. Eight am Monday morning. Mary approached the snow encrusted car that had just stopped in front of her at the side of the road. “Excuse me Miss, any idea where Westburn Road is.” Mary leaned over passenger window and pointed to the location on the drivers map. His face was hidden way back in his hood she couldn’t tell if he was young or old. “If you go straight on and take the second road on the left then…” Before she could finish her sentence she was pulled violently into the car her muffled screams quickly stifled by the closing of the car door. She felt a sharp pain on the inside of her left wrist. Then, through her rapidly blurring vision she watched as the syringe that had appeared from nowhere fell to the floor as if in slow motion. The fast acting sedative took over Mary’s body as the hooded strangers vehicle took off at great speed along the quiet suburban road.

11. Out of all the Novels you have written do you have a favourite one that stands out to you?
Hard to say…obviously I have a soft spot for Good Deed, It was my first novel and I’m quite proud of the fact that it lead to me becoming a published author, but I have to say I’m quite fond of Cold Shot, it’s a good deal longer and introduces some good new characters so….I’d probably go for that.

12. As a up and coming crime writer do you have words of advice you can share
Yes….Grow a thick skin. Not everyone’s going to like your books.

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Good Deed by Steve Christie is a fast paced crime novel that introduces a new Scottish detective hero, DI Ronnie Buchanan. Events take Buchanan from his base in Aberdeen on a frantic journey around all the major Scottish cities as his increasingly deadly pursuit of a mysterious criminal master mind known only as Vince comes to a breath-taking climax back in Aberdeen.
“The pace of Good Deed is exceptional and unremitting. It is the kind of book that demands to be read in one sitting, but most readers will be so breathless as the saga unfolds without pause that they will need occasional rests before eagerly returning for more.”

http://about.me/stevechristieauthor

Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Steve-Christie/e/B00926A0EY/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

September 2014 up and coming crime author of the month with Emma Salisbury

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1. How did you get started writing?
I loved English Literature at school but coming from a working class family on a poor estate I couldn’t see any future where pursuing that was a possibility.  I started putting pen to paper about eight years ago when I overheard two women on the bus talking about a friend of theirs and although I didn’t know anything about this person I found myself thinking up a description for them and because they sounded so feisty I thought up some scenarios to go with the image I had in my mind – she later became Detective Alex Moreton.

2. What drew you to write a crime novel
I’m crap at sex! I mean writing about it of course! I have great respect for writers of romance and tomfoolery but I think if I tried to write something lovey dovey or steamy I’d die of embarrassment or fall about laughing.  Crime suits my personality.  I’m a sensitive soul guilty of over thinking things in general which comes in handy when you’re trying to write about the cause and effect of murder.
On a serious note a girl in my class was murdered the week we left school and a friend was convicted of killing her. It made me realise that you can’t ever really know someone, and that’s scary.

3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?
I read all the classics as a child, who couldn’t be moved by Jane Eyre? But it was the mad aunt and Rochester’s initial darkness that drew me in, rather than the romance.
I love gritty fiction, the darker the better for with darkness comes humour.  For me, Denise Mina and Stuart MacBride nail it, along with Mark Billingham and John Harvey.

4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest?
My first manuscript, a novel about a psychic detective, attracted attention from three agents.  I signed with Teresa Chris in 2007 but publishers were reluctant to commission it as a couple had been burned from previous encounters of the genre and didn’t want to go there again. I tried a couple of re-writes but the story was getting so far removed from the original it didn’t work. 
My second novel, Fragile Cord, attracted attention from Polygon but after a couple of weeks they declined on the basis they were looking for a Scottish based novel (Fragile Cord is set in Salford, in the north west of England). It was then that a friend suggested publishing on Amazon and in 2013 I decided to give it a try!

5. There are many interesting characters in your Novels, do you have a particular favourite one?
Well, I love ex-con Davy in my latest novel, Truth Lies Waiting, which is based in Leith and Craigmillar in Edinburgh. He goes about with a guy called Brad and they are a real pair of scallies with absolutely no airs or graces about them. I like the fact that they think they’re streetwise but they’re not really.

6. What kind of research have you had to undertake for your Novels?
Readers are so well informed these days that you have to do your homework! I did a lot of research into parental homicide, particularly Resnick who back in the sixties designed the system which classifies the different categories of child murders by their mothers or fathers.  Sadly, there are still reports every week of new cases which continue to shock and fascinate the public in equal measure.
For the police corruption in Truth Lies Waiting, Hillsborough, Stephen Lawrence, Plebgate, need I go on..?

7. Are the characters in your books based on any real life?
That would be telling! No one character has been lifted from someone in real life but there are certainly many characteristics or phrases that people I know or have met use which tickled my fancy enough to include.

8. What do you think makes your novels stand out from all the other Scottish Crime Fiction Novels out there
Rather than whodunit I focus on the why.  It’s the why that unsettles people, makes them think there but for the Grace of…. 

9. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa?
Good question.  I’m not aware that I do this consciously, but I know my mood can impact how my characters behave.  For example, my Dad passed away in June, when I came to write the final chapters of Truth Lies Waiting I was hurting pretty bad, and I had to pass this hurt on somehow. 

10. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned.
The detectives in Fragile Cord were very popular so I am currently writing a follow up novel due out next month. Also, I have already penned the outline for the follow up to Truth Lies Waiting (released 1 September) as there are still some scores left to be settled!

11. Out of all the Novels you have written do you have a favourite one that stands out to you?Maybe it’s because the birth was so very recent but Truth Lies Waiting really resonates with me on a personal level.

12. As a well known crime writer do you have words of advice you can share
Well, I’m still an unknown on the crime circuit but it’s gratifying when someone contacts me and said they enjoy my stories.  The best advice I was given was from Marian Keyes about eight years ago. I like the fact she tackles very serious issues in her novels in an accessible way and I wrote to her for advice: “Make sure your novel is the best it can be.” She wrote back.  She’s not wrong.

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Introducing Scottish anti-hero Davy Johnson as he takes on the Edinburgh establishment to clear his name.
Davy Johnson is a young man from the wrong side of the tracks with a target on his back. After a spell in prison he is trying to make a life for himself but one cop won’t leave him alone, following him around and carting him off to the station just for the fun of it.
The harassment turns sinister when Davy witnesses his nemesis overstep the mark with a local junkie – and makes the mistake of telling him he’s been seen. What happens next sees Davy framed for a string of murders with no one to help him but the cronies he promised he’d turn his back on when he got out of jail – but what will they want in return?
With the help of an ex con and a local cabbie Davy goes on the run to prove his innocence but as the body count rises he discovers a connection between what’s happening now and a tragedy involving his father many years before.
Will he be able to work out the truth from the lie in time to save the killer’s next victim?

OTHER NOVELS
FRAGILE CORD

http://www.emmasalisbury.com

Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Emma-Salisbury/e/B00KY71FFS/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Second There’s Been a Murder Crime Blog Book of the Year Award 2014

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And the winner is

THE VISITORS – SIMON SYLVESTER

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?

Well done to all the other nominee’s
DEAT BEAT – DOUG JOHNSTONE
BETRAYED – ANNA SMITH
FALLING FAST – NEIL BROADFOOT
EMMA L CLAPPERTON –  HENDERSON MANOR
THE DEATH GAME – CHRIS LONGMUIR
THE GOOD PRIEST- GILLIAN GALBRAITH

THROWAWAYS – JENNY THOMSON
BOTTLENECK – ED JAMES
SEVEN EIGHT PLAY IT STRAIGHT – EJ LAMPREY

2013 WINNER . MARK DOUGLAS-HOME – THE WOMAN WHO WALKED INTO THE SEA

Book to Check Out

At the moment this book is down to a low price, so if you are looking for a good book to read just now then I suggest that you make it this one

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Malta 2014, and Pulizija Inspector, the beautiful but troubled, Thea Spiteri, is at a cross roads in her life, and career. Then a child’s abduction, from a crowded St Julian’s beach, gives her the opportunity to concentrate her mind on what she does best: solve crimes.

Ex Scottish cop, ex drunk, ex lover, ex…….everything. At one time, Matt Healy felt he had it all. He found out differently. Now he is trying to put his life back together, on the idyllic island of Malta.

If they can both overcome their demons, and trust in the enigmatic Fr Marandon, emotional happiness awaits them both. But past sins in Scotland and Malta, mean that for both Healy and Spiteri, future happiness may just be an illusion.

This story of intrigue and murder in Maltese society; encompassing politics, the Church and the pain of loss, will take the reader through the full gambit of human emotions.

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