I caught up with co-organiser and author Donna Moore.
published in various anthologies, including Damn Near Dead, Hell Of A Woman (both Busted Flush Press), Discount Noir, Pulp Press and online at Pulp Pusher. She has also been anthologised twice in the annual
Best British Mysteries.
Currently studying for a Masters Degree in Gender Studies, Donna also works full time as an adult literacies tutor at Glasgow Women’s Library.
Lizzie: Your first book Go to Helena Handbasket was published in April 2006. It won the Lefty Award in 2007 for the most humorous crime fiction novel. What inspired you to write a spoof PI novel? Was it prompted by any particular person or event?
Lizzie: Go to Helena Handbasket was followed in 2010 by Old Dogs, can you tell us the background to the birth of Old Dogs, rather than a second case for Helena Handbasket ?
gallery. I often amused myself wondering how someone could break in (if any law enforcement people are reading this, when I say ‘someone’ I don’t mean ‘me’, obviously). One day, as I passed, I was reading a newspaper article about a pair of elderly Australian women who conned lots of people out of lots of money and lived the high life on other people’s cash and a lot of brass neck. I thought they would be the ideal candidates to break into the museum. So, of course, I had to go and see just how possible it would be. The museum in question is a lovely grand old building and one of the features inside, in some of the interior walls, are these big, fancy metal grilles. On my...ahem… ‘research’ visit...I was peering through one of the grilles into the dark tunnel beyond when there was a cough behind me. I turned round and a security guard stood there. “Can I help you...madam?” There was a pause pregnant with suspicion before the heavily inflected madam. I’m sure he what he actually wanted to say was “Can I help you...you maniac?”
“I was just looking through the grille. Why is it there?”
“It’s where all the pipes are. There’s enough room for the workmen to walk through.”
“Really?” I said. “That’s fascinating. And how, exactly, would a person get in?”
Again the suspicious look. “I’m not sure I should tell you.”
So you see, when you have no skills or talents that would actually fit you for being a crime writer, it’s tough. Many of the writers I know have walked the walk -- police, FBI agents, lawyers, PIs, bodyguards, criminals and, in one case, possibly a spy (even though he doesn’t admit to it). They tell you to write what you know. At the time, I was a pensions consultant, which doesn’t quite make the grade, does it? What am I going to do...kill someone
Donna: ‘I’m an old punk with a large collection of Doc Martens, a love of film noir, screwball comedies, 1940s and 50s pulp fiction.’
Sadly, the thing that goes is the writing. Although I have recently written a rather fascinating essay on Mary Wollstonecraft, Simone de Beauvoir, intersectionality and ontological arguments. It has best seller written all over it.
Donna, thank you for taking the time to chat with me, it has been an utter delight.