Following the ceremony guests formed a torchlight procession (with Bloody Scotland branded umbrellas at the ready) through the streets of Stirling led by Val McDermid, Denise Mina and Liam McIlvanney.
As there were three panels running concurrently throughout the day, it was a tough choice. I started with Above the Law.
Steve Cavanagh and Tony Kent. Chairing the event was Neil Broadfoot. It was advertised as:
Defence, The Plea, The Liar, and Thirteen, featuring Eddie Flynn, ex-lawyer and ex-conman. Steve says he has written every evening for the last 5 years. He has always wanted to be a writer and said he is a lawyer by
mistake. It was at age 36 that that he started to write in earnest. His next book Twisted Book is scheduled to be published in January 2019.
Tony Kent is the author of Killer Intent, featuring barrister Michael Devlin, who comes from a criminal family. His second book Marked for Death will be published in February 2019. He is currently working on book three.
speak, he is an incredible raconteur, being both interesting and amusing. He has now written 12 books his latest being Crisis, which I can attest is very good.
started by the late great Ngaio Marsh, also from New Zealand, who wrote 32 first class thrillers. As Stella puts it, ‘A huge wonderful scary challenge’. She said there were four bits of chapters, written, a tiny outline but no whodunit, in all about 5000 words, which gave her scope to write. The book is entitled Money in the Morgue. Needless to say, I bought both books immediately after the event. The meeting was chaired by Craig
family series US v UK. She said in in America they have Little House in the Prairie, The Waltons, The Brady Bunch and the Simpsons. We, she said, have Eastenders!
Mel McGrath is the founder of that wonderful group Killer Women. Mel said that all families have secrets and lies. Her book Give Me the Child is billed as compulsive, dark and devastating. She talked also about criminalising kids. She told one story of a kid she visits in prison who started out dealing dope and is now serving 8 years for
Caroline Mitchell is originally from Ireland, but now lives in Essex. She is an ex police detective. She said of all the things she dealt with, the worst was domestic abuse. She said that she is very nosy and used to live in Camden where her window overlooked her neighbours’ 2-bed flat in which lived a criminal family. My notes say she said they had 11 rottweilers, but I think I must have got that wrong. Caroline writes three series. There are three books available in two of the series, featuring DC Jennifer Knight, and Detective Ruby Preston. And one book so far featuring Detective Amy White, although there is a new book in this series Secret Child due out in 2019. Alexander Snkolaff chaired the meeting, observing that in the UK it seems that a woman’s most
dangerous place is in her own home. Stark words!
Meanwhile back in the Golden Lion Ballroom we were witness to The Kiwis are Coming, with Fiona Sussman winner of the 2017 Ngaio Marsh award, New Zealand’s top crime fiction honour, for her novel The Last Time We Spoke. Also there was fellow Kiwi Paul Cleave, three-times winner of the same award. His latest book is A Killer Harvest. Liam Mclivanney this year’s winner of the Mclivanney prize, and Denise Mina, last years
fascinating discussion on this panel and my notes are sketchy to say the least. A few observations stand out.
Liam said that each novel he writes addresses a social issue. Responding to discussion on Denise Mina’s novel on real-life killer Peter Mandal he asked, ‘How do you deal with real crime and incorporate it into crime fiction?’ He went onto say that he found it difficult to write about real crime as entertainment. Paul Cleave said ‘Do the issues naturally emerge as you write?’ and added ‘I never do anything but entertain. I like revenge writing best’.
written differently again. Lots of writers take their stories from true crime.