Book Week Scotland is Scotland’s Annual Celebration of all things bookish and reading. I’m hosting my own celebration here on ChapterinMyLife and will be celebrating all things Scottish Crime Fiction from 21st to 27th Nov 2016.
I am over the moon, jumping up and down with excitement, hyper and delighted to say that I have guest posts from some of my favourite Scottish Crime Friction authors out there! Thanks to them all for agreeing to take part! As well as guest posts each blog will feature one of my reviews of their books and I’m sure that when you have had a look you will want to get clicking!
I have a great line up over the next week including: Q&A from Michael J Malone, Mark Leggatt and Theresa Talbot; Neil Broadfoot; Owen Mullen is going to talk about Scotland as a backdrop to murder, while Alison Baillie will be discussing the significance of place in her book; Alan Jones will be giving consideration to the use of slang in the genre and Douglas Skelton will be giving his views on the “Tartan Noir” label.
Kicking us off for the week, however, is the one and only Graham Smith – a gentleman and a writer! Graham is going to be treating us to his views on the brilliant events that are book festivals – hoping he spills the beans on his green room riders!
Graham Smith is married with a young son. A time served joiner he has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. For the last eleven years he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.
An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer for the well-respected review site Crimesquad.com for over two years.
As well as reviewing for Crimesquad.com Graham has also interviewed such stellar names as David Baldacci, Jeffrey Deaver, Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, Matt Hilton, current CWA Chair Peter James, Mark Billingham and many others.
When not working, his time is spent reading, writing and playing games with his son. He enjoys socialising and spending time with friends and family.
Crime Festivals and Me – Graham Smith
Since 2009 I have been a regular attendee at the Harrogate Crime Festival and have also visited Stirling every year for Bloody Scotland.
The reason I go? The reason I make sure the festival dates are booked off work before family holidays? Simple. They are awesome in every way.
Every festival I attend is somehow better than the last. I put it down to a growing social circle which expands with every passing festival.
The first time I attended Harrogate I arrived by myself not knowing a single person. By the time I left I’d been taken on as a reviewer for Crimesquad.com, had met lots of my writing heroes and made new friends. (I’d also kicked the living shit out of my liver but that’s another story)
Over the years, I’ve interviewed huge names such as Lee Child & David Baldacci as well as making the connections which have enabled me to put together my own weekend of crime-writing master-classes.
This year at Harrogate I hung out with friends old and new and was blown away by the number of people who complimented me on my writing. The transition from fan to reviewer to author has been a fantastic one and when strangers come up and tell you they loved your book and ask for a picture it’s truly humbling. I mean, #TheyKnewWhoIWas
At Stirling I was doing the usual hanging out when I got an email from an author friend who has been a huge influence on my own writing and before I knew it I was embarking on an epic day out which included chatting with readers, bloggers, friends and authors at all ends of the success chart. (There may have been the odd pint involved but the matter is being handled by my lawyers and I’m forbidden from discussing it in public)
For me, crime-writing festivals are like a family wedding, you know at least half the people there and the other half are there for the same happy reason you are. The whole weekend is spent chatting and laughing with friends, catching up on news (I never gossip, but if you ask me later I’ll tell you about …) both personal and industry related.
There’s a lot of networking goes on but it’s informal and is done over a pint or a lunch rather than the dreaded business networking event. Never have I attended a festival and not made a new connection and for the record, I absolutely (Insert sweary word of choice) hate networking, but at Harrogate and Stirling it’s just so easy to do. There was a festival at Carlisle and I was also lucky enough to appear at Newcastle Noir this year.
If you haven’t been to a crime festival but read crime fiction you’re the kind of person who’d love it. Take the plunge, I did and I’ve never regretted it.
Thank you Graham – that was brilliant! However, cannot believe you didn’t mention bumping into #Twinnie and I as one of your reasons for attending festivals, I mean #DoYouKnowWhoWe are 😉
And I completely agree – if you have never been to a festival then make it your ambition for next year! I’ve already got 2 booked in for 2017 and I cannot wait!
Now for any of you out there who haven’t read Graham’s books then what on earth are you waiting for – what planet are you even on! Chapterinmylife is #TeamEvans all the way! Seriously what a bad boy Harry is but he will melt your heart at the same time!
Here’s a wee throwback to my review for “I Know Your Secret” which was a bloody good read!
To get your mitts on Graham’s books then hop on over to Amazon and get your fingers clicking!