Welcome to #TimeForCrime a new series here at Chapterinmylife.
I am inviting bloggers and authors talk about their favourite subject crime, with a set of quick-fire Q&As taking you to the dark heart of the person behind the book or the blog!
This week I am delighted to welcome author Gordon Bickerstaff.
Name: Gordon Bickerstaff
About you: Born and raised in Glasgow but spent my student years in Edinburgh. On summer vacations, I learned plumbing, garden maintenance and I cut the grass in the Meadows. If I ran the lawnmower over your toes – sorry.
I learned some biochemistry and taught it for a while before I retired to write fiction. I like DIY and I do some bits moderately well and other bits not so well. I live with my wife in Scotland where corrupt academics, mystery, murder and intrigue exists mostly in my mind. I enjoy walking in the hills, 60s & 70s music, reading and travel.
So let’s get inside Gordon’s head:
Why crime fiction?
Like many, I’m fascinated by crime. I want to understand how and why it comes about so that I can best avoid it. I think it’s an innate survival mechanism, a deep-seated need from ancient times to avoid capture, avoid being a victim and the best way to do that is observe and note from a distance. In terms of my writing, I grew up reading Ian Fleming and watching the excellent 70s thriller series ‘Doomwatch’. So my stories focus on national and international crimes that will affect the many as well as a few along the way.
Favourite book you have written (reviewed)
All of my books are favourite for different reasons but the I’ve had praise for main character Zoe Tampsin as a kick-ass protagonist and ‘The Black Fox’ is where she put her stamp on the series. Favourite books non-crime books I’ve recently reviewed are ‘The Day I Saw The Hummingbird’ by Paulette Mahurtin and ‘The Scattered Flock’ by Jan Petkin. In terms of crime reading, I’m a big fan of Lee Child and Tess Gerritsen.
You are stranded on a desert island, you can take one book, what will it be?
Either ‘War and Peace’ by Tolstoy or ‘Game of Thrones’ by George RR Martin. Both are big books with lots going on and plenty of characters to imagine. Great scope for using my imagination to go off at a tangent. Either would keep me entertained for a long time. Probably GOT would be my choice.
Do you have a kill list and who is on it?
A long list of baddies, baddies mates, baddies relatives who aid and abet baddies. Those who were on the kill list and who are no more can be found, named and shamed, in my published books. Those currently on the list and who are about to expire in my next book ‘Tears of Fire’, cannot be named for reasons of national security!
Top fictional detective
I’m a huge fan of Ann Cleeves DI Vera Stanhope for her unorthodox, gritty, down-to-earth, nippy sweetie character, played by Brenda Blethryn on TV. I’ve only read one book as I love Brenda’s portrayal but I intend to read more now that Brenda’s voice is firmly stuck in my head speaking for Vera. I love a voice in my head when I’m reading and when I read James Patterson’s Alex Cross books, I had actor Morgan Freeman speaking for Cross.
Planner or pantser/organised or beautifully chaotic
Having a research background, I plan. I can’t begin writing a book until I’ve planned out the beginning and the end. Then I know where the story is coming from and where it’s going. I like to leave a message for the reader to think about and planning is needed to seamlessly integrate the message into the story.
Favourite method of murder
I’ve had a few methods in my books but my favourite is coming in the next book ‘Tears Of Fire’. The perfect method of murder that defeats police and forensic services. The killer is making money but not enough so he develops another method to generate even more cash. No-one can work out how he does it and it’s going to take an illegal procedure to find out.
Best place to dispose a body
A crematorium. No body, no forensics, nothing to assist an investigation.
Where can we find you? (Oh your blog details, dafty, any personal haunts send them to me privately!)
You can find me on
(Free PDF samples of first 8 chapters of each book)
Thank you for joining me Gordon! Will be watching to see if you are hanging around any crematoriums!