Neil Broadfoot has worked as a journalist for 15 years at both national and local newspapers, including The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday and the Evening News, covering some of the biggest stories of the day. A poacher turned gamekeeper, he has since moved into communications providing media relations advice for a variety of organisations in Scotland
Falling Fast, which was shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize, is his first novel.
Try as I might, I can’t identify one single book that I could call my out and out favourite- got too many! I suppose it’s a cliché, but I’ve always loved A Study in Scarlet- found it in the school library years and years ago and was captivated from the first page. I love the language in all the Holmes stories, the sense of place and time, and love to go back to them. From a story-tellnig point of view the stories are masterpieces, short, tight pieces of first-class prose.
In more contemporary books, I love Complicity by Iain Banks. It’s a crime novel that strays into graphic violence much like I do, and I think it brings together crime and elements of horror in a really effective way. It was definitely and influence on Falling Fast- a brilliant story with a visceral undercurrent of dread and violence just below the surface.
Another writer who was and is a huge influence on me is Stephen King. I grew up reading King’s books, and what stuck with me was the sheer power of the storytelling. You can almost feel the heat coming off the pages in his early works like Carrie and the Dead Zone, see him hammering away at the keyboard as he tries to get the story onto the page. And, again, his power of description, especially in the horror and visiting it on the most mundane situations, is brilliant.