Emma L Clapperton Launch of Beyond Evidence


Pop along to the Second Floor of Waterstones in Argyle Street, Glasgow tonight at 6.30pm for the launch of Beyond Evidence and a couple of hours of tales of Criminally Good Humour, wicked repartee between Crime writer Denzil Meyrick and author Emma L Clapperton.

No stone will be left unturned to investigate goings on of the streets of Glasgow, where Psychic Medium Patrick McLaughlin aids and abets DS Preston and DC Lang in the search for the killer in this great debut in Tartan Crime Noir.

Crime author of the month interview with Stacy Margaret Allan

1. How did you get started writing?

My mum and dad bought me a computer for Christmas when I was a seven years old and I was more interested in the blank word document than the computer games I got with it, though I loved Terminator. I started to write stories a lot but I didn’t know how to save them or even if I could.

2. What drew you to write a crime novel?

I read The Know and Two Women by Martina Cole when I was a teenager and I loved them so much that I started to collect crime books and read them whenever I could.

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

Martina Cole, Mandasue Heller, Kimberly Chambers and Kevin Lewis for the pace of their books, the underlying threat that there’s always something exciting just about to happen and spin the story on its head. Ian Rankin and Val McDermid for not only their stories, but their links to Fife and the way they described places that I know and have been to. Also Jane Austen because when I studied her books at high school I liked the way she used subtle hints of body language to get her point across instead of always using conversations.

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

I found out about Createspace very early on and I decided straight away that I’d like to self-publish and have total control over my writing.

5. There are many interesting characters in your Novel. Do you have a particular favourite one?

Marie is my favourite. She’s definitely the most like me, or how I’d like to see myself. She doesn’t take any nonsense and she’s quick to defend herself and her family. She has a strong bond with her family and they see each other a lot, despite everyone having their faults. She drinks, smokes and swears a lot, neither of which I get to do very much any more!

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

It was easy to write about working inside the bookies and the council office because I’ve worked in both of them myself. One of the hardest jobs was finding out the pub décor in the Minto Lounge in Lochgelly because I don’t drink at home or visit pubs. I eventually managed to find out how it looked after seeing someone’s Facebook photos. I wanted a very important scene to happen just outside that pub because of its prime location in Lochgelly, right in the middle of the busiest street. I looked on estate agent websites to find how the inside of houses in Earn Road in Kirkcaldy look so I could describe Nicole’s flat correctly. I checked with the police about using certain names for my police officers and I had to change one because a real policeman has the name I was going to use. I also asked a policewoman about which job titles my police officers should have.

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

Many of them are based on people that I knew in my teenage years and early twenties, which is a time that I found myself missing when I started to write the book. My wild, carefree days were over, as I was pregnant with my first child at twenty three and I’d already been helping to look after my stepson for three years, since he was a baby. I was in the college canteen where my daughter’s dad was studying and I was too scared to leave his side for too long in case I went into labour. I had a pad of paper and a pen in front of me and I’d always wanted to write a book, so I started there and then and never looked back.

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

I’ve never read a book that is set in Fife in Scotland that describes my generation, our teenage years and how we felt. There was nothing to do unless you came from a family with lots of money, apart from very scarce clubs where you could go for an hour on certain days of the week, so we used to roam the streets and spend time together, eventually smoking and drinking alcohol and being moved on by the police. I’ve never read a fiction novel set in the streets of Lochgelly, which is the town where I grew up.

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

Dawn’s strength and fear for her children’s future comes from me. I have been through a lot in my life, most of which nobody else knows about because I keep it to myself. I bleed it out on to the paper when I write. I can understand Dawn’s fears for her children and how protective she is of them. I definitely see myself in Marie’s determination to grab hold of her dreams and her need for isolation to feel safe, staying in her flat most of the time and getting on with writing. She has to focus on herself and how she feels because if she loses sight of that, she’ll lose control over everything. Darren and Sean’s recklessness is a reflection of how I used to behave as a teenager, always looking for the next thrill and not paying too much attention to what was going on around me. Kayla’s strong feelings towards keeping her sisters safe echo the protective streak I had towards my little brother. We fought constantly but if anybody else was to touch a hair on his head I would lose the plot and want to kill them. Maggie’s need to let no one walk all over her and Max’s need to be in constant control also come from me personally.

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

I’m writing Broken Dreams, which is the sequel to Sorrow Dreams. I’m following the same characters and moving the story onwards, but I’m also giving more focus to those who surrounded the main characters from Sorrow Dreams. They get much more attention in this book. In the direction it’s going just now, some old arguments will be settled and put to bed but new ones will spring up and explode. I can’t wait to write the ending because it’s such a dramatic scene.

11. In your novel which scene was your favourite to write and why?

I loved writing the scene where Maggie found out about her only having a short time left to live. While it’s sad, the way she handled it was really brave and actually quite funny. She decided not to take any more nonsense from her daughters and spat her biscuit out on to the floor, determined not to eat another one unless it was a posh one from the shop with her cup of tea. She set out exactly what she wanted to happen after her death and she managed to laugh at herself and her situation while pulling one daughter closer and pushing the other one away. She was determined to make her shy daughter braver and stand up to the one who had always pushed everybody around.

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

Put lots of details into your book that people can relate to. Give them sights, sounds, smells and things to touch and taste that your readers will recognise and feel a connection with. It will draw them further into the story. Don’t tell the readers that a character feels a certain emotion unless you are willing to show them too. If they are nervous or angry, what body language would they display? Describe things in detail. Always take a step back from your work for a few weeks and review it with fresh eyes. You miss points that need editing otherwise. Most importantly, don’t give up. If you don’t like something you’ve written, scrap it and try again.


When she is seven years old, Dawn Napier is forced to live with strict adoptive parents in the desolate ex-mining community of Shinewater, situated on the outskirts of Lochgelly in Fife. Catherine and Michael Napier are very wealthy and they forbid her to make friends with the local children, so she has a heartbreakingly lonely upbringing. When she is nineteen she decides to bend the rules and has the time of her life getting to know a group of friends from the town. She suddenly becomes one of the in-crowd, has to deal with confusion over her sexuality, and then discovers that she has been lied to all along about her real parents’ history. After being sexually attacked by a gang of men, she faces the agonizing reality that nothing will ever be the same again. She struggles to decide who she should turn to and where this journey will ultimately lead her. After going down the destructive path of sex, alcohol, drugs and murder will she finally be able to gain the freedom from her own life that she craves so badly? Nicole Grieve chases dreams of rainbows, fights and teenage delights. But on the inside she’s screaming. She’s crying out for someone to come and take her away from her harsh life. She doesn’t realise that the one person who she really needs to make her forget about all of her pain and mistakes is the baby she created from her own body. Her daughter, Alexa, is being raised by her teenage dad. Luke Harvey has done his best and he’s waiting patiently for Nicole to start to care, but how long can this last? Dawn and Nicole discover a link between them that threatens to open up an even wider rift between both their families.

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Most wanted Author Interview Number One with Ian Rankin


  Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first Rebus novel was published in 1987, and the Rebus books are now translated into thirty-six languages and are bestsellers worldwide.
Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He is the recipient of four Crime Writers’ Association Dagger Awards including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005. In 2004, Ian won America’s celebrated Edgar Award for Resurrection Men. He has also been shortlisted for the Anthony Award in the USA, won Denmark’s Palle Rosenkrantz Prize, the French Grand Prix du Roman Noir and the Deutscher Krimipreis. Ian Rankin is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Abertay, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Hull, the Open University and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
A contributor to BBC2’s Newsnight Review, he also presented his own TV series, Ian Rankin’s Evil Thoughts. Rankin is a number one bestseller in the UK and has received the OBE for services to literature, opting to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh.

1. How did you get started writing

I always wrote. I loved comics and cartoons as a kid so tried drawing those. When pop music entered my life I started writing lyrics. Then stories and poems. Just for fun. It should always be fun.
2. What drew you to write a crime thriller novel, when you first started writing

I wanted to write about all the different strata in society, from top to bottom, and sensed that a police detective would allow me access to more layers than any other kind of character. Maybe I also wanted to be a bestseller and thought crime fiction was the best route.
3. Which authors past or present have influenced your style of writing

I did read a lot of crime writers and learned from many of them: Lawrence Block and James Ellroy in the U.S., Ruth Rendell and William McIlvanney in the UK.

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

My first novel was turned down everywhere. Same went for most of the short stories I sent out to magazines, competitions and radio. My second novel The Flood was accepted by a small press in Edinburgh. They printed 200 hardbacks and 800 paperbacks. Neither run sold out, but an agent got interested and found me a bigger publisher for my next book, which was the first Inspector Rebus adventure.
5. There are many interesting characters in your Novels,do you have a particular favourite one?

Well. They’re all my children, so don’t ask me for favourites. Even the bad guys can be enjoyable to write about or spend time with. Rebus is the readers’ favourite, of course.
6. What kind of research have you have to undertake for your Novels?

I read a lot of newspapers and often take inspiration from real life stories. I might do some internet research but I prefer to do it the hard way: asking experts if I can ask them a few questions, heading off to explore possible settings. One tip: I wait until after the first draft before doing the bulk of the research – saves time, as by then I know what I really need to find out about.
7. Are the characters in your books based on any real life?

I do sometimes use real people in my books. Charities sometimes auction off the right to become a character in one of my books, so then I will try to use the winner as best I can, whether they want to be hero or villain.
8. What do you think makes your novels stand out from all the others out there?

Edinburgh, my setting, is a fascinating city. Then there’s Rebus, who seems also to fascinate fans. The plots are intricate, and I hope I’ve learned how to write well, so the reader keeps reading!
9. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa?

Where else do characters come from? They all must exhibit tiny parts of my personality or my subconscious. They all live inside me, so are parts of me.

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

New book out in November. Rebus trying to find out who tried to assassinate a local gangster. After that, all I know is that I need to start writing another book in January. I don’t know anything about that yet though – no story, no title, nothing

11. Which of your novels so far has stood out to you as your favourite to write and why?

Black and Blue was my first really successful book. It won the Gold Dagger prize for the best crime novel of the year. It gave me confidence and sold four times as many copies as my previous books. Everything before it was like my apprenticeship.

12. Why did you decide after retiring Rebus in the The exit music, to bring him back for Standing in another man’s grave?

I suppose I felt there was some unfinished business between us. Plus I got an idea for a story that would revolve around an old unsolved crime, so I needed a retired cop to be the main character – I thought Rebus would be perfect for the role

13. As a Well know crime author, do you have words of advice you can share

My advice would include things like: read a lot, write a lot, keep at it, maybe get a bit of luck, but the harder you work the luckier you’ll get. Learn from rejection, learn what criticism is useful to you. Trust your instincts. Keep your antennae twitching for good stories, settings and characters – they are all around us at all times.



Retirement doesn’t suit John Rebus. He wasn’t made for hobbies, holidays or home improvements. Being a cop is in his blood.
So when DI Siobhan Clarke asks for his help on a case, Rebus doesn’t need long to consider his options.
Clarke’s been investigating the death of a senior lawyer whose body was found along with a threatening note. On the other side of Edinburgh, Big Ger Cafferty – Rebus’s long-time nemesis – has received an identical note and a bullet through his window.
Now it’s up to Clarke and Rebus to connect the dots and stop a killer.
Meanwhile, DI Malcolm Fox joins forces with a covert team from Glasgow who are tailing a notorious crime family. There’s something they want, and they’ll stop at nothing to get i
Inspector Rebus

1. Knots and Crosses (1987)

2. Hide and Seek (1990)

3. Tooth and Nail (1992)

     aka Wolfman

4. Strip Jack (1992)

5. The Black Book (1993)

6. Mortal Causes (1994)

7. Let It Bleed (1995)

8. Black and Blue (1997)

9. The Hanging Garden (1998)

10. Dead Souls (1999)

11. Set in Darkness (2000)

12. The Falls (2001)

13. Resurrection Men (2002)

14. A Question of Blood (2003)

15. Fleshmarket Close (2004)

     aka Fleshmarket Alley

16. The Naming Of The Dead (2006)

17. Exit Music (2007)

18. Standing in Another Man’s Grave (2012)

19. Saints of the Shadow Bible (2013)

20. Even Dogs in the Wild (2015)

A Good Hanging (1992)

Death Is Not the End (1998)

Rebus: The Early Years (omnibus) (1999)

Rebus: The St Leonard’s Years (omnibus) (2001)

Three Great Novels: Strip Jack / The Black Book / Mortal Causes (omnibus) (2001)

Rebus: The Lost Years (omnibus) (2003)

Capital Crimes (omnibus) (2004)

The Complete Rebus Collection: 18 Great Novels (omnibus) (2011)

10 Great Rebus Novels (omnibus) (2013)

The Beat Goes On (2014)
Jack Harvey Novels (as by Jack Harvey)

1. Witch Hunt (1993)

2. Bleeding Hearts (1994)

3. Blood Hunt (1995)

The Jack Harvey Novels (omnibus) (2000)
Malcolm Fox

1. The Complaints (2009)

2. The Impossible Dead (2011)

The Flood (1986)

Watchman (1988)

Westwind (1990)

Doors Open (2007)

Herbert in Motion (1997)

Beggars Banquet (2002)

Complete Short Stories (2005)

One City (2005) (with Alexander McCall Smith and Irvine Welsh)

Crimespotting (2009) (with Lin Anderson, Kate Atkinson, Margaret Atwood, Chris Brookmyre, John Burnside, Isla Dewar, A L Kennedy, Denise Mina and James Robertson)

Ox-Tales: Earth (2009) (with Kate Atkinson, Jonathan Buckley, Jonathan Coe, Hanif Kureishi, Marti Leimbach, Marina Lewycka, Vikram Seth, Nicholas Shakespeare and Rose Tremain)

Dark Road (2014) (with Mark Thomson)
Graphic Novels

Dark Entries (2009) (with Werther Dell’Edera)

In the Nick of Time (2014) (with Peter James)

A Cool Head (2009)
Non fiction

Jackie Leven Said (2005) (with Jackie Leven)

Rebus’ Scotland (2005)

@beathhigh – Twitter


Amazon Author Page

Book to check out

If you are looking for a good e book to buy and you don’t want to spend to much money and you love crime fiction, then this is the book for you and it’s only £1.00 on Amazon Kindle today.

A violent drunk with a broken heart, Mackie looks for love in all the wrong places. When two hit men catch him with his pants down, he barely makes it out alive. Worse still, his ex-gangster uncle, Rab, has vanished, leaving him an empty house and a dead dog.
Reluctant PI Sam Ireland is hired by hotshot lawyers to track Rab but is getting nothing except blank stares and slammed doors. As she scours the dive bars, the dregs of Glasgow start to take notice.
DI Andy Lambert is a cop in the middle of an endless shift. A body washes up, and the city seems to shiver in fear; looks like it’s up to Lambert to clean up after the lowlifes again.
As a rampaging Mackie hunts his uncle, the scum of the city come out to play. And they play dirty. It seems that everyone has either a dark secret or a death wish. In Mackie’s case, it might just be both.

To buy the ebook for yourself, you can go to the Amazon link below 


Free book

If you are looking for a good e book to buy and you don’t want to spend to much money and you love crime fiction, then this is the book for you and it’s free on Amazon Kindle today.


Still reeling from the death of a colleague on his watch, DC Scott Cullen finds himself caught in the cross-fire of competitive police politics when the body of Mandy Gibson, a young disabled girl, turns up in the affluent East Lothian town of Garleton. 

The heartbroken parents don’t hesitate to point the finger of suspicion at young Jamie Cook, a tearaway teen with a long history of run-ins with the police. But where is he now? When the victim’s and the suspect’s families are revealed to belong to an offshoot group of the Catholic Church run by an excommunicated priest, Cullen quickly realises that the key to catching the killer is finding out the darkest secrets of this close-knit community, one family at a time. 

To buy the ebook for yourself, you can go to the Amazon link below 


Book to Check out

If you are looking for a good e book to buy and you don’t want to spend to much money and you love crime fiction, then this is the book for you and it’s only 99p on Amazon Kindle in the Autumn Deal.


He spots the two girls through the cracked screen of beech, sycamore and leg-scratching gorse: a flash of red skirt and a unison of giggles . . . The smaller girl sees him first and she lets out a strange little squeak and jumps back, grabbing onto the other girl’s T-shirt, revealing a flash of milky white shoulder.
He grins.

Something happened to Claire and Jo in Black Wood: something that left Claire paralysed and Jo with deep mental scars. But with Claire suffering memory loss and no evidence to be found, nobody believes Jo’s story.

Twenty-three years later, a familiar face walks into the bookshop where Jo works, dredging up painful memories and rekindling her desire for vengeance. And at the same time, Sergeant David Gray is investigating a balaclava-clad man who is attacking women on a disused railway, shocking the sleepy village of Banktoun. But what is the connection between Jo’s visitor and the masked man?

To catch the assailant, and to give Jo her long-awaited justice, Gray must unravel a tangled web of past secrets, broken friendship and tainted love. But can he crack the case before Jo finds herself with blood on her hands?

To buy the book for yourself, go to the link below


Crime Author of the month interview with Philip Miller


1. How did you get started writing?

I started writing stories when I was a child, really, and wrote some (poor) poetry in my teens and twenties. I began writing short stories in earnest about 15 years ago, and I completed a first novel, too. It’s a story (called Black Metal) I am proud of, but I could not find a publisher for it. That’s when I immediately started writing The Blue Horse: I was spurred on by that rejection a little bit. I am still fond of my short stories: a handful have been published but more importantly I learned a lot by writing them. They are also a good source for character and situations which I mine for the novels. My next book has a character called John Fallon, for example, who appeared in a few short stories. I still write poetry and have had a few poems published now.

2. What drew you to write a thriller novel?

The Blue Horse has been called ‘literary noir’ and the honest answer is I did not intend to write a novel with thriller elements. I wanted to tell the tale of George Newhouse, a heartbroken, troubled man moving to Edinburgh in search of a lost painting and repairing his lost life. The hunt for the painting, and the events surrounding it, grew in the telling. But I found I quite enjoyed adding and developing the ‘thriller’ or gothic, supernatural elements (if you consider them to be supernatural and not psychological) as I wrote the book. And that element of the plot – the hunt – hopefully drives the reader to the end of the book, and Newhouse’s story.

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

I should mention Charles Bukowski, Margaret Atwood, Raymond Carver, Iain M Banks, Richard Ford, Alan Garner, AL Kennedy, Louise Welsh, Irvine Welsh of course…and a lot of poets too. I love John Berryman, TS Eliot, Don Paterson, Alice Oswald, many others. I read a lot of poetry. Don DeLillo, too. As far as specifically crime or thriller writing, I haven’t read much actually, although I have read Henning Mankell quite a bit, and Jim Thompson. But I have watched a fair bit of crime TV: The Wire series remains one of my favourites. It is masterful. I was brought up on Inspector Morse, Agatha Christie and so on, and crime and thriller movies such as The Godfather trilogy, Heat (among my favourites), Goodfellas, The Bourne series, The Conversation, the first Dirty Harry, the Ipcress File, John Le Carre films. Also David Peace and his Red Riding series and GB84 in particular.

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

Yes, it was hard. But I was lucky too. I am the Arts Correspondent for The Herald newspaper and through my work I knew of a few names and publishers and so on – it didn’t help me get published as such (I think…), but it helped me draw up a few lists of addresses, contacts and so on. In the end, Adrian Searle, of Freight Books of Glasgow, took a chance on me and my novel, as he knew my short stories and poetry from the literary magazine they publish, Gutter. I was published in Gutter and that led to Adrian being interested in my manuscript for The Blue Horse.

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

I feel quite attached to the main character, of course, but Rudi, his best friend, was more fun to write. He is rude and outrageous and a little unhinged. There is a character called Ivy who I like also…and Tyler became a character I wanted to write more about. She’s interesting. The artist, Brick Macpherson, although completely fictional, was interesting to create. Some readers have said he is a parody, but I think he is a hero in some ways.

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

I didn’t set aside much time for actual research: I was restricted to my own mind and knowledge for much of the book, but I read several books on Dutch art, as well as Goya and so on. I used a lot of my experience from being an arts correspondent for many years, too. There were other elements too: I wrote a small blog about the research for the book here, if readers are interested: http://necessaryfiction.com/blog/ResearchNotesTheBlueHorse

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

I would say all the characters are made-up. But some involve elements of character from people I know or have met. Some characters, and scenes, are closer to reality than others.

8. What do you think makes your Novel stand out from all the other Thriller Fiction Novels out there

I might say, if pushed, there are few dark thrillers set in the contemporary Scottish art world.

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

I think it would be hard to say there isn’t elements of myself in some of the characters. Newhouse isn’t much like me: he is better looking, for starters, and more despairing. I don’t spend my daily life wreathed in existential angst, it is quite hard to live that way. But we all have our moments. Life is often grim and baffling.

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

I am writing a new one right now actually. I am about a quarter through the first draft: I write quite slowly. It is again set in a modern albeit mirror-image of Scotland. It involves the newspaper industry and also deep space.

11. In your novel which scene was your favourite to write and why?

There is a chapter called Flight, which is quite abstract and poetic, but it poured out of me and remains on the page essentially as I wrote it. I love that chapter, even though it doesn’t strictly advance the plot. For me it is a key chapter in the book. It both does and does not make sense. And I enjoyed some of the exchanges between Rudi and George, too, especially the strange encounter in the Venetian bar near the end.

12. As a up and coming thriller writer, do you have words of advice you can share?

I am not sure I am a thriller writer yet…I think it takes great skill to be a thriller writer. I am not there yet. I would always say: never give up, and keep writing. Someone said to me: You can’t call yourself a writer if you don’t write, which is harsh but true. Also, try not to take rejections personally (of course I do….so maybe that’s poor advice) and always persevere. I am always very aware of the shortness of our lives on this earth: a day that goes without writing or at least thinking about it, or reading something, feels like a day wasted.


Recently bereaved, George Newhouse, is an art historian and newly appointed curator at the National Gallery who becomes increasingly obsessed with a lost minor Dutch masterpiece, The Blue Horse by Van Doelenstraat. The painting’s provenance is disputed and many doubt its existence at all. But Newhouse has uncovered a letter by Rembrandt where the master states, ‘That damned painting vexes my mind’s eye’.
As Newhouse struggles with his grief, his grip of reality slowly loosening, he embarks on surreal journey of loss and self-discovery, fuelled by alcohol, drugs and self-destructive behaviour. As the lines between reality and imagination blur, will George lose himself in his obsession or return from the brink of destruction in time?
Highly atmospheric and exploiting many of the tropes of art appreciation, this is a compelling literary noir and remarkable debut by one of Scotland’s leading art correspondents.