Jake Kerridge, crime fiction reviewer for The Daily Telegraph discovered His Bloody Project (later shortlisted for the Man Booker) ‘In the Spotlight’ when he visited Bloody Scotland. Recently he was on Open Book, BBC Radio 4 praising Bloody Scotland for taking such an innovative approach:
‘they have really tried to find new ways of doing things… if we’re going to attract more people to literary festivals, maybe you can’t fundamentally change the idea of the author turning up and talking and meeting the readers because that’s what people want, but you can have more enticing things happening around the festival as a sort of fringe. Another thing Bloody Scotland did, which seems obvious when you think of it but is very clever, is that if they had an event with someone huge like Ian Rankin or Val McDermid they would begin by offering an unknown writer the chance to read from their work for five minutes at the beginning of the session so that people were introduced to them…it’s that sort of innovation, they’re really thinking about ways of doing things differently.’
BBC Radio 4, July 2018
The Open University continues its support as sponsor and authors ‘In the Spotlight’ this year include Andy Muir, a former scriptwriter for Home & Away and Neighbours who is paired with Irvine Welsh and published by Australian indie Affirm Press (interestingly run by the brother of the Irish comedian Sean Hughes) and the wonderfully named Mysti Berry from the US who has been paired with MC Beaton (author of Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin books) and actress Ashley Jensen (who plays Agatha Raisin on TV)
The full list includes authors published by Scottish, Australian and English independents, large London conglomerates and some self-published authors with a mix of male and female crime writers. One, The Hunter (Headline), has been longlisted for The McIlvanney Prize 2018 and author Andrew Reid will be appearing ‘In the Spotlight’ immediately before Frank Gardner takes the stage.