#BloodyScotland #MeetTheAuthors Alexandra Sokoloff @AlexSokoloff @BloodyScotland

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With the countdown well and truly on to 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! And today I am absolutely buzzin’ to be bringing you an interview with author and screenwriter, Alexandra Sokoloff! I LOVE Alex’s Huntress series with a passion and this author is a woman with a passion and a drive like no other!

Photo by Paul Reich

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!

Bloody Scotland Graphic
Copyright: S Bairden

Image may contain: Mason Cross, Sharon Bairden and Alexandra Sokoloff, people smiling, people standing

Hi Alex, I’m delighted to have you visit Chapterinmylife today in the run up to Bloody Scotland!
I’m thrilled to be here! 
1.     Alex, you are a longstanding supporter of Bloody Scotland, what makes the festival so special for you?
I go to genre festivals all over the world, and for such a huge festival, Bloody Scotland is also an extremely intimate one and has a completely Scottish energy and iconoclasm. The torchlight parade from the castle down through the medieval town center is unforgettable pageantry. Authors performing turns for our readers in a lock-in pub night (Crime in the Coo) is hilarious and fantastically bonding. I love the Scotland vs. England rivalry, not just in the football match. We get to dance the night away to the dark tunes of the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers all-author band. I could go on and on!
2.     Do you have any particular highlights from attending the festival?
I always love performing bloody cabaret with the Slice Girls at Crime in the Coo. The crime-themed plays are great – one about serial killer Peter Manuel was staged in the Sheriff’s Court, and this year I’m really looking forward to Sophie Hannah’s mystery musical, The General. Of course there’s the heart- stopping spectacle of watching crime writers who should never be allowed on a football pitch working themselves into aneurysms in the annual Scotland/England match. And the Bloody Scotland organizers really go out of their way to create panel line ups that we haven’t seen a million times before.
3.     Can you tell us a little bit more about the panel (Time’s Up For Violence against Women) that you are appearing on this year?
This is the zeitgeist and the panel that everyone wants at festivals this year – I just did an amazing one at the Bute Noir festival in Rothesay and I’ve never seen an audience so fired up. Women have had enough of being objectified, harassed, abused, raped, tortured and murdered on the page, on-screen – and oh yeah – in real life. These panels are highlighting how authors can portray the huge, pervasive societal problem of violence against women without being exploitive, how to write in real-life solutions, and open up a dialogue about how all of us, authors and readers, can be part of these solutions. So bring your questions, your stories, and your anger. 
4.      For anyone who hasn’t attended Bloody Scotland before I want you to convince them to attend the festival in one sentence…
Come see your favorite crime writers singing, dancing, and flashing those great legs in football shorts. (Did I mention there is whisky?)
5.     I love The Huntress series, it is completely different from anything I’ve ever read before, and it delivers a powerful and indeed topical social commentary on a number of issues. Is this something that you set out to do or did it just happen?
Thank you! It was completely deliberate. The premise of a female serial killer is a vehicle for me to lure readers in… and then turn the tables on violence against women and shine a light on some of the worst atrocities in society. What I didn’t anticipate was the whole of US government taking such a dark turn with the election of a sexual predator, racist, serial liar and con man to the White House, and having to incorporate that horrific turn of events into the books. I would really rather be writing about anything else – but not to deal with it would be betraying the books and characters.
6.     What would your main protagonist, Cara Lindstrom make of Bloody Scotland and which character would she bring along to the festival with her?
Cara has a secret soft spot for festivals of any kind, especially arty ones. Unfortunately she could never make it over to Scotland because she won’t fly and take the risk of going through security. And she travels alone. All that being said, if she did end up at Bloody Scotland somehow, I suspect Special Agent Roarke would end up there, too… 
Wow, thank you Alex, you have me all fired up for your panel now! I can’t wait! Thank you for joining me today and looking forward to catching up at Bloody Scotland!
If you want to buy Alex’s books before the festival you can get them on Amazon or Waterstones 
If, like me, you are now desperate to see Alex at Bloody Scotland, tickets for her event are available here  Alex is appearing with Sophie Hannah and Jo Jakeman on Sunday 23rd Sept.
To find out what other criminal delights are taking place at Bloody Scotland check out their website here  for full details and booking!
If you are in Stirling for the festival then please come and say hello! I’d love to see you all!
Alexandra Sokoloff - eoin carey.jpg
Photo by Eoin Carey

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