Day four in a row at the #AyeWrite festival for me and I’m not getting weary of it at all! Everything about this festival from the grandeur of the Mitchell Library in the best wee town in the world, to the crowds of #peoplelikeme (OK well maybe not quite as weirdly obsessional as me!) to the author panels gives me such a massive buzz! Tire of it – never – if only I could spend all day, every day of the festival here, then I’d be truly in my element!
So tonight’s panel was #GrippingThrillers with the bloody brilliant Michael J Malone, Louise Beech and Doug Johnstone and chaired by Russell D McLean and I was absolutely buzzing for this one! Let’s just say I was not disappointed!
After introductions (who knew that Michael was a resident poet in a sex shop in Ayr!) all three gave a reading from their latest books; Doug from Crash Land, a psychological thriller set against the brutal landscape of Orkney which explores guilt, shame, deception, lust and murder; Louise from Mountain in My Shoe, a gripping psychological thriller which will leave readers emotionally wrecked and Michael from A Suitable Lie, which was one of my top reads of 2016 – an intense novel exploring domestic abuse from a different angle. You could not have heard a pin drop during these readings!
We discovered that Louise had been delighted when fitting into the psychological thriller genre as she told her publisher that all the crime/thriller book festivals looked great fun (and she isn’t wrong there! Hope to see you make an appearance at Bloody Scotland this year Louise!) She also has a burning desire to pen some erotic fiction – however her publisher has banned her from doing so (watch out for those naughty chapters slipping their way into her next novel!)
Doug was close to having palpitations when discussion focused on that age-old topic of “planner or panster” – with Michael and Louise clearly fitting into the flying by the seat of your pants category, Doug started rocking back and forth on his chair mumbling “what the f…” We got a small glimpse into his family road trips as he confessed that he tends to ruin scenic family days out by pointing out ideal dump sites! I have to confess that I have not read any of Doug’s books before (although I do have The Jump on my kindle to read) but I promise you I will be remedying that very soon! Uh Oh Doug, you may have a new stalke….oops fan now! Don’t listen to the others wittering on about injunctions…it’s all lies!
Michael told the audience of his journey into writing – after a few rejections he turned his hand to his other love, poetry – but he didn’t expand on his career in the sex trade – I’m guessing that is for post watershed panel Michael! He also confessed to being a bit of a wimp when it comes to pain which led him to a few winces when researching his latest novel (advanced copies were made available for this even #EEEEEEK), Dog Fight which highlights the vicious underground fight scene…Mason Cross has described it as “Pitch Black Glasgow noir with a conclusion that hits you like an express train” – is that not one of the best one liner reviews EVER!
As per usual an hour was not long enough by a long shot! Despite the brilliant humour that we come to expect from these events, the discussion at times was also poignant and reflective and really did highlight the impact of true life experiences on the lives of the writers whose books we all read and love! As Michael so eloquently said on Facebook after the event “If ye wurnae there, ye missed yursel” and that sums it up perfectly!
My book haul from the event! Yeah and I wasn’t going to buy anymore books…says no blogger ever! Thanks for the tits from Louise Beech (my first time meeting you Louise and you were exactly like I thought you would be, crazy in the best possible way! ❤ Ya!)
But I’m not going to lie – this last picture is the one I’m #Fangirling over the most! Thank you to the lovely Karen Sullivan of Orenda books for inviting me out for a wee drink with you guys before the event!