Just a week ago today, I was travelling to Stirling full of anticipation and nerves! Anticipation because Bloody Scotland – in person – was making it’s grand return after being forced to go fully digital in 2020 because of…well you all know why, no need to labour the point! Nerves, because after ten years of attending the festival, I was making my debut appearing on a panel as an author!
There are crime writing festivals galore across the UK and the world but Bloody Scotland holds a special place in my heart. Taking place in one of Scotland’s most beautiful city’s and one of my favourite places in the world, I spent many a weekend here with my dad as a child and visits to Stirling Castle were the highlight of my visits…not to mention my dad’s love of tall tales – for years he had me convinced that we were direct descendants of William Wallace and as a Bairden I had the right to climb to the top and pull Wallace’s sword from the stone! He knew he would get away with that one as we both had a fear of heights and I’d never be asking him to take me to the top and try!
Sadly this year, I was missing two of my partners in crime, Noelle Holten and Sarah Hardy which meant I was reliant on my third partner in crime, Alan Jones to be my responsible adult! He bailed out of that duty after only one night! What a coward eh! Despite this, I was determined to enjoy myself and I knew that going along to the festival meant I’d never be alone, with so many friends to catch up with after a long 18 months of no book events!
My panel was at 4pm on the Friday, Crimes of Many Colours. Hosted by freelance journalist, Louise Fairbairn, I was joined on stage by authors Alan Parks, Ewan Morrison and William McIntyre. Despite my initial nerves, I had an absolute ball! The hour flew by and Louise was very gentle in her grilling of us all! From discussions on the label Tartan Noir to the dark gothic Scottish culture and humour in crime fiction, it was a panel that spanned many themes.
The next highlight of Friday night was The Fun Loving Crime Writers in the Albert Halls. Not only is this a staple highlight of the festival but this year it felt just a little bit more special. Real live music, real people, singing and dancing, all in one room and all together! WOW just WOW!
Saturday saw me rise bright and early (and surprisingly not too wobbly after the night before and I gorged on events: Forensic Investigations with Lin Anderson and Elly Griffiths; Searching for a Home with Sarah Hilary, Imran Mahmood and Tim Sullivan; And Then There Were Three with Elle Connel; Susi Holiday and CL Taylor; Pitch Black Humour with Doug Johnstone, Antti Tuomainen and JD Kirk and Nordic Noir with Eva Björg Ægisdóttir, Heidi Amsinck’s and Lilja Sigurðardóttir.
The night was rounded off with some drinks in the bar! And CHIPS!
And all too soon Sunday had arrived and the last day of the festival was here! I popped along to From Cradle to Grave with Liz Nugent and Stuart MacBride and then to Bloody Scottish History with Denise Mina, Ambrose Parry and Craig Russell.
I then caught up with Angela who had been volunteering at the event, for coffee and cake to round off a perfect weekend. My heart was heavy that the weekend was over but light at the memories I had made; meeting with the friends I had missed and knowing that 2022 Bloody Scotland is going to be even bigger and better!
A massive thanks to EVERYONE involved in Bloody Scotland 2021, the passion and enthusiasm and all the hard work that goes into making this happen, in the strangest of circumstances is appreciated by every single one of us! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Until 2022 Sláinte!
You can still purchase a Digital Pass which will allow you to catch up on events up until the 30th Sept.
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