After a long day at a conference in Glasgow I needed some twisted excitement in my life! I jumped on the train through to Edinburgh for the joint launch of SJI Holliday and Mason Cross’s latest novels, Violet and What She Saw Last Night.
Anyone who has read these books knows that train journeys feature highly and while I might not have been on the Caledonian Sleeper or the Trans-Siberian Express, my anxiety levels were rising as I realised that mid November in my Scottish home is pitch black from about 3.30pm onwards! Added to that was the knowledge that I had a 20minute changeover at a very quiet unmanned station on my return journey! But hey I’m a crime thriller addict so I’ll be fine, right?
There’s something inherently creepy about travelling, you never quite know who you may end up sharing a carriage with or even worse a berth in an overnight train! Mason and Susi certainly brought that experience alive in their books and you have to wonder just how much they base on fact…did Susi kill that Chinese man who snores all night and who was the old woman in the berth that Mason had hoped he wasn’t going to be sharing! You might want to think again about your travel plans after an evening listening to them both!
It was a dark dreich night but Waterstones in Edinburgh’s Princes Street was packed with crime fiction addicts just like me!
We learned so much – Susi’s top tip is to carry vanilla essence and soy sauce to flavour your mutton tea should you ever travel to Mongolia and Mason told us that the British Transport Police do way more than catch ticket dodgers; they are faced with a 90 minute window for any initial investigations as pressure to get the trains running again is high!
Train travel also provides writers with intriguing body dump sites and apparently the 8.57am Oban to Glasgow train on a Saturday morning is probably the rowdiest one you can catch!
They talked about settings with Mason travelling to San Francisco for his next novel and Susi heading off to the Scilly Isles…both sound intriguing!
Lots of audience questions in a quest to win the two goodie bags and I was delighted to win one for my suggestion of an overnight launch event on the Caledonian sleeper with both authors…now that WOULD be an event not to miss…if you dare!
Anyway I’m now on my train home and I write this as I’m so not panicking at the person sat across from me suggesting we travel together…see you on the other side!
The books are available to buy: