One To Watch June Crime Author Interview – Emma L Clapperton

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1.How did you get started writing

I have always wanted to become a writer, however I never got around to doing it. I suppose I was busy studying for my qualification in childcare and working. It wasn’t until I was having a conversation with a colleague and she told me that her partner has been writing a novel for eight years. So I thought I would just go for it. I went home that evening, opened my laptop and began typing up notes and ideas. I always thought that I wouldn’t get very far and for a while I classed it as a hobby. I am so glad it has gone further than that.

2. What drew you to crime fiction

I love to read crime fiction so I thought that the best thing to do is write what I love. However, I also love paranormal in books- James Herbert’s David Ash series particularly comes to mind. So I decided I would combine all of these genres and write a story that would reflect my interests and hopefully draw the reader into a world that brings together real life situations and the paranormal.

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

I would definitely say that James Herbert is one of my
biggest inspirations. I love his books and he is a wonderful writer. Other writers that have inspired me and continue to inspire me are; Mandasue Heller, Kimberley Chambers, D. a Meyrick, Denise Mina… I could go on. I love the gritty crime from Mandasueand Kimberley’s books and D. a Meyrick’s book Whisky from Small Glasses was so well written and very descriptive, it almost showed me how a book should be written. No detail is too big or small for a book. Every character should have a story to tell, even if they have the smallest of parts.

4. What was the inspiration behind the storyline of Beyond Evidence

The inspiration behind Beyond Evidence came from my
interest in the paranormal. I love to watch films and read books where there are ghostly encounters so I decided that I would be best to write about that. My first idea for the book was to have the police ask for voluntary DNA samples to narrow down their search for a killer in the Glasgow area and my story just went on from there. I have had immense support from my friends and family and I am grateful for that because it pushed my determination forward. I have attended psychic meetings and observed readings and found that I could write from watching these people experience mediumship.

5. Did you find it hard to get publisher interest for Beyond Evidence

Yes and to this day I still struggle. I decided to self
publish Beyond Evidence as I continued to look for interest. I am in correspondence with an agent at the moment however absolutely nothing is set in stone. I think that self publishing is a fantastic platform for people like me to get started and get their work out there. I think it helps writers to build up an audience and a ‘portfolio’ for agents and publishers so that they can see that there is a market for the authors work.

6. Did you find the experience of writing your first novel an easy task or a quite daunting one

I wouldn’t say that it was an easy task however I wouldn’t say that it was daunting either. Somewhere in between perhaps. I found that as long as I had done my research then I could write a scene without any hiccups. They thing I did find daunting about the whole writing process was the editing part. However, it all comes with the territory and the book wouldn’t be where it is, if it wasn’t for the whole process

7. Why did you decide to set your books in Glasgow

Why not? I guessed the best place to set it would be in Glasgow, I know the area like the back of my hand and the city has some beautiful sights. I think that if a writer picks a subject to write about which is close to their hearts and interests then it’s best partnered with an area that they know about just as much. Glasgow has some great and not so great areas and I believe that readers from all over the country should know about it.

8. Do you think that with the amalgamation in April of the Scottish police force in to one organization could effect your books in the future

Absolutely, as a writer it is important to make your book believable and if there are changes in the world we live in that may affect my characters and their lives then these changes should be in the book. Even though crime fiction is indeed fiction, there has got to be an element of truth and fact within the stories.

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

I attended psychic meetings, watched a lot of Taggart and used Google. To be a writer these days, information is just a click away. Taggart has helped me a lot with the police work, especially with writing my next book.

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

To be honest, no. I did not base any characters on real life people, however I see a lot of myself in Patrick. I am a believer of the spirit world however, I never push it on anyone and I would never take offense to anyone else’s views. In fact I have a friend who believes that there is an explanation for everything and think’s that psychics are all fakes. I respect her beliefs and she respects mine. She read the book and still enjoyed it.

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

Yes, Mandasue Heller has been fantastic with advice and has encouraged me to keep going with my writing and search for a publishing deal. She has been very kind. D. a Meyrick has been very helpful and I had the pleasure of meeting him recently where I offered a signed copy of my book to say thank you for all of his help.

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

like I mentioned earlier, I see a lot of myself in Patrick McLaughlin, the psychic medium in the book. He is a very calm person who loves his work in the spiritualist church in his book. I am by no means psychic but I share his passion for the gift he has. He is quite family orientated, which I am too. Apart from that, I don’t see myself in any of the other characters.

13. Why did you decide to make a medium the principal character in your book

I don’t think it has been done before, so why not put
something new out there? It has had good response and because I believe in mediumship I thought I would try it. I did think it was important to include a sceptic too and I have had comments that the readers believed it to be a good balance. Without it, it would be like I was trying to push my beliefs on to my readers and that was not my aim at all, so I am glad I did it.

14. What do you see for the future of Patrick McLaughlin in your books

He will definitely make a return to future books. He has the potential to grow and develop as a character so I think that he will feature in at least one other book. In fact he is in my new novel, which I am still writing.

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

Write, write, write. If it is what you want to do, the only thing stopping you is you. You have nothing to lose in trying it, so go for it. If you are a social networker, look for writing groups on Facebook and find other authors to share experience and advice with. I have found so many other new and not so new authors and everyone has been so fantastic. So, if you have that idea in your head, get it down on paper and start writing. If it’s meant to be, you’ll produce a book at the end. Don’t give up.

Information and prices about Beyond Evidence can be found here at Amazon

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beyond-Evidence-ebook/dp/B0099789OE/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1371819698&sr=1-1&keywords=beyond+evidence

Book to Check Out

The Women Who Walked Into The Sea – Mark Douglas-Home

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Until midnight tonight this book is available for 99p as a kindle ebook as part of the kindle daily deal, At that price I recommend that you buy it now people. I bought the paperback version and I love it, it is so good, then I recommend that you buy the first book in this series The Sea Detective.

Here is a little taster of what the book is about

McGill watches the young woman through the dirty windscreen of his Toyota. There’s something compelling about her stillness, about the length of time she has been standing square-shouldered, erect, staring out to sea, like an Antony Gormley statue waiting for another of its cast-iron tribe to emerge from the deep. What has brought her to this remote beach, he asks himself. Is she a kindred spirit who finds refuge by the shore? Idle curiosity soon turns into another investigation for oceanographer and loner McGill as he embarks on a quest to discover why, 26 years earlier, another young woman stood on the same beach before walking into the waves. According to the police, she killed herself and her unborn baby. McGill, the Sea Detective, questions this version of events and confronts the jealousies, tensions and threats of a coastal community determined to hold on to its secrets.

Here is the link if you want to buy the book

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00CISRNDE/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=center-4&pf_rd_r=1VVBHAPS9BPANTV57R3T&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=358549367&pf_rd_i=468294

R.I.P Iain Banks

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Iain Banks (16 February 1954 – 9 June 2013) was a Scottish writer. He wrote mainstream fiction under the name Iain Banks, and science fiction as Iain M. Banks, including the initial of his adopted middle name Menzies.
Following the publication and success of The Wasp Factory (1984), Banks began to write on a full-time basis. His first science fiction book, Consider Phlebas, was released in 1987, marking the start of the popular The Culture series. His books have also been adapted for theatre, radio and television. In 2008, The Times named Banks in their list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”. In April 2013, Banks announced that he had inoperable cancer and was unlikely to live beyond a year.
He was a brilliant author and I am sure will missed by all who knew him
So let’s raise a toast or read one of his books in memory of him

June Author Interview – Chris Longmuir

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Q – How did you get started writing?
A – I’d always wanted to write, even as a child, but I didn’t do anything about it for a long time because I regarded it as one of those impossible dreams. I started to write seriously round about 1989, but didn’t get anything published until 1991, when I received my first acceptance from People’s Friend. Over the next few years I had stories and articles published in small press anthologies and professional magazines. However, it was 1997 before I again published anything in commercial magazines, such as My Weekly, they accepted several of my short stories. The only problem was it was an effort for me to write for women’s magazines, because my brain doesn’t work in that way. I prefer darker stories. On the other hand, I published quite a lot of articles, mainly historical, in a variety of magazines in the UK and the US. But I had to wait until 2009 to publish my first novel, although by that time I’d written four novels.

Q – What drew you to crime fiction?
A – I suppose it’s because I like to read crime fiction. I started off with Agatha Christie, when I was in my teens. Doesn’t everyone? Took a slight detour into horror fiction after reading Bram Stoker’s, Dracula. During this phase I read James Herbert, Stephen King, and Dean Koontz, among several others. I still like Koontz. So, on my return to crime fiction I started to prefer the darker stuff. Books written by Mo Hayder and Val McDermid among many others. But I’ve written a historical saga, A Salt Splashed Cradle, as well as my slightly darker, Dundee Crime Series. There are two in the series at the moment and a third one due to be published in July.

Q – Which crime writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?
A – I think I may have answered this in the previous question, although I’m not too sure they influenced my style of writing. I like to think my style is my own.

Q – What was the inspiration behind the story lines of the Dundee crime series?
A – I’m not sure about this question, although I’m sure my experiences as a social worker in Dundee must have some bearing on it. I’m afraid I start with one scene in my mind and build the story from there. Everything comes from that dark place that is my mind!

Q – Did you find it hard to get a publisher interested in your books?
A – Extremely hard. It’s not easy to get published in today’s climate, and if you do get one interested, you’re very lucky. I had four books in my bottom drawer before I struck lucky by winning the Dundee International Book Prize, with my breakthrough book, Dead Wood. But that book had done the rounds of publishers and agents, and attracted its fair share of rejections. In fact I got a rejection from a publisher – who incidentally had kept the book for four years – a week before it was published as the Dundee prize winning novel. I had an intense urge to thumb my nose at them and say ‘Yah, boo sucks’, but of course, I didn’t.

Q – Did you find the experience of writing your third book more or less difficult than the first two?
A – Again this is a difficult question to answer, because every book is difficult to write. Unless you’re a writer yourself it’s not easy to imagine the work involved in writing a novel. Beginners tend to be satisfied with the first draft they write and don’t want to delete or change anything. They do say that until you learn to ‘throw your babies out with the bathwater’, that is edit, change, delete and rewrite, then you haven’t yet become a professional writer. For myself, I tend to distrust my writing if it comes too easily. Believe me, it’s hard graft.

Q – Why did you decide to set your series of books in Dundee?
A – I worked in Dundee as a social worker. I know the city, and I know its dark underbelly, so the settings are relatively easy. I find it difficult to write about places I don’t know. That’s because I like to walk the streets, smell the smells, and feel the atmosphere.

Q – When you started writing Dead Wood did you have any idea the series would become popular with readers?
A – I don’t think that was something I considered when I was writing it. I’m just really glad that readers like the series.

Q – What kind of research did you have to undertake for your books?
A – I’ve worked with the police on joint social work/police investigations, so I suppose I had a head start. However, I do research police procedures and forensics. The internet is good but you do have to double check any facts gained from the web, so I have a large library of reference books as well, plus one or two police contacts. The research for my historical saga was mostly acquired from the research I did for my historical articles and was gained from written reference books.

Q – Are the characters in your books based on any real life people.
A – No. I find it impossible to use real people as characters. One of my friends wanted me to put her into my new book as the police inspector. I tried, couldn’t do it, and had to revert to a fictional character. The problem is that the real person’s character gets in the way of the fictional character’s development.

Q – Since you started writing crime novels have any known authors given you any advice?
A – Crime writers are extremely generous with their time and advice, however, in order to write books it’s important to rely on your own story development, not someone else’s.

Q – Do you see any of your characters’ personality in yourself and vice versa?
A – Not really. All my characters do things I would never do! For example, I don’t swear (except in readings), don’t drink, don’t commit crimes, and don’t do nasty things. I’ve been described as ‘that nice, gentle wee lady, who writes the most horrible dark crime’! Oh, and my characters are probably all younger, and better looking than me.

Q –You touch on some harrowing moments in your books. Did you feel it was quite hard to write about?
A – No harder than writing in general. I told you my mind was a dark place!

Q – What do you see for the future of your Dundee crime series books?
A – I’ve written three books in the series now, and I suppose it will depend on when the inspiration comes for another one. In the meantime I want to develop my historical crime series, inspired by the first Dundee policewoman in 1919.

Q – As a blossoming crime writer do you have any words of advice you can share.
A – The most important thing is to keep reading contemporary crime fiction. You need to keep up to date. The classics won’t cut it, because today’s readers can be impatient with writing styles that have become dated. Then you need to write, and keep writing. The name of the game is perseverance, because most writers get loads of knock-backs. You have to be able to rise above them. If I had let rejections discourage me, I would have stopped writing twenty years ago.

http://www.chrislongmuir.co.uk/
http://chrislongmuir.blogspot.co.uk/

http://www.amazon.com/Chris-Longmuir/e/B003VMURAW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0″ Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Chris-Longmuir/e/B003VMURAW/ref=sr_tc_2_0? qid=1359039402&sr=1-2-ent” Amazon UK

Books
Dead Wood
Night Watcher
A Salt Splashed Cradle
Ghost train & Other Stories
Obsession & Other Stories

June Crime Question

The question this month is to see if you can guess from the pictures below that each represent a book in a Crime Series, so can you

A, Tell me the Author
B, Tell me the Book Titles
C, Tell me the Name of the Series of Books

Picture One

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Picture Two


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Picture Three

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And if any of you can think of any more examples, would love to hear from you
Lynseyxx

Bloody Scotland 2013 programme launch

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The official launch of the  programme for the 2013 Bloody Scotland Festival  this was unveiled this morning, with a line up that includes

Alan Gillespie Alan Riach Ann Cleeves Barry Forshaw Calum Macleod Cathy MacPhail Catriona McPherson Charles Cumming Chris Carter Chris Morgan Jones Christopher Brookmyre Colin Vaines Craig Robertson David Ashton Denise Mina Gillian Philip Gordon Brown Gordon Ferris Helen FitzGerald Ian Rankin Jade Chandler Jason Webster Jenny Brown Joe Knobbs Karen Campbell Karin Fossum Kirsty Logan Lin Anderson Liz Small Malcolm Mackay Mark Leggatt Maxine Hitchcock Michael J Malone Nick Barley Peter Guttridge Peter James Quintin Jardine Rachel Rayner Sharon Birch Stuart Kelly Stuart MacBride Val McDermid William McIlvanney Willy Maley Yrsa Sigurðardóttir

For more information and to buy tickets go to their website

http://www.bloodyscotland.com/