With just over five weeks to go until Bloody Scotland 2018, THE Crime Writing Festival, my excitement levels are rising! As a huge fan of crime fiction with a special obsession with Scottish crime fiction, this festival is the most important date in my calendar every year! I am delighted today to welcome one of the founders of the festival and my all time favourite crime writer, Lin Anderson, along to the blog to answer some questions in my hot seat!
First of all, for all you Bloody Scotland virgins, what’s it all about?
Bloody Scotland established itself as the leading Scottish International Crime Writing Festival in 2012 with acclaimed writers Lin Anderson and Alex Gray at the helm, then joined by Craig Robertson and Gordon Brown. Based in Stirling, Bloody Scotland has brought hundreds of crime writers new and established to the stage with always enthusiastic attendees who make the festival every bit as much as the writers do.
This year it takes place from 21st – 23rd of September in the beautiful Scottish city of Stirling, the perfect backdrop for a weekend of crime and shenanigans!
Hi Lin, I’m delighted to have you visit Chapterinmylife today in the run-up to Bloody Scotland! First of all, I’d like to congratulate you on “Follow the Dead” making the long list for the McIlvanney Prize!
Thank you –I’m in great company.
- Can you tell me how you came to be involved in setting up Bloody Scotland?
Alex Gray and I were attending a CWA conference in Lincoln. Sitting with Alanna Knight and a bottle of prosecco (or maybe two) we started to wonder why there were no crime festivals in Scotland, especially with the wealth of crime writing talent we had. From that question (and the prosecco) Bloody Scotland was born.
- What is so special about the festival?
Firstly, it puts Scottish crime writing on the world stage. As Ian Rankin said at our inaugural launch, Scandinavia doesn’t have better crime writers than Scotland, it has better PR. Secondly, it offers a platform to help establish and encourage new writing through our pitch perfect event and our unique Spotlighter events.
And last but not least, we welcome writers and readers from all over the world. In 2018 we have fourteen different nationalities appearing (our last one before Brexit).
- What have been your highlights as a member of the Bloody Scotland Board?
I’ve served on committees before, but never with such a group of like-minded individuals whose sole desire is to make Bloody Scotland the best it can be. I love when we hear the great news that those we have singled out to invite come back with a Yes!
- For anyone who hasn’t attended Bloody Scotland before I want you to convince them to attend the festival in one sentence…
Want to laugh, cry, be intrigued, examined, even interrogated, carry a torch for Scotland, dance in the aisles to the rocking Crimewriters – then come to Bloody Scotland!
- What can you tell me about your latest book, “Sins of the Dead”?
Aviemore, which is next door to my home village, Carrbridge, is the location of the current largest Harley Davidson chapter rally in Europe which has its 21st birthday this year. Last year while there, I had an idea which became Sins of the Dead. Four female HD riders racing illegally in underground Glasgow find a body and think the killer may have seen them. The book features a major scene set at Thunder in the Glens, the research for which I have to thank Alex Glen, director of the Dunedin chapter, plus Fran and Jim Anderson, chapter members based in Aviemore. The book is dedicated to the Dunedin Chapter of Harley Davidson, so where better to have my home area launch than at Thunder in the Glens where I’m meeting the real Ladies of Harley on 25th August.
- What would your main protagonist, Dr Rhona MacLeod make of Bloody Scotland and which character would she bring along to the festival with her?
She would, without doubt, bring DS McNab. They would arrive on his Harley. He would want to be on stage with Rhona, where there would be plenty of disagreements as to how to respond to the questions posed by the audience. After their appearance, they would head for Crime at the Coo or alternatively dance in the aisles to the Fun Loving Crimewriters. Or Rhona would… I don’t see McNab as a dancer, but you can never tell.
Ohhhh I can actually just imagine Rhona and McNab at the festival and I’m pretty sure McNab would have a long list of potential partners waiting to ask “Are ye dancin…” I’d be first in the queue!
To buy tickets or check out the weekend of events at Bloody Scotland click the link here! And if you are at the event and see me, pop over and say hello!