What I’m looking forward to…
There is so much to choose from at this year’s Bloody Scotland, and you never know which gems you might be missing, so we asked our festival committee what they are looking forward to – here are some of the events that Jenny Brown, Festival Chair, and Alex Gray, author and co-founder of Bloody Scotland, are excited about this year.
Jenny Brown, Festival Chair
“I’m much looking forward to hearing Parker Bilal and William McIlvanney, two outstanding literary novelists who have turned to crime fiction. I discovered Parker’s novels last year, and have been recommending them ever since. He sets his series in Cairo, and portrays the violence and corruption in Egypt after 9/11, and the blind eye turned by the authorities. And Willie will be talking about his seminal novel Laidlaw,the inspiration for so many contemporary crime writers, and the portrait of a Glasgow which is rapidly changing. In the chair is fellow literary novelist now crime writer James Runcie, whose Grantchester mysteries will be on our screens next month.
I’m also looking forward to Nele Neuhaus and Danielle Ramsay. Nele is one of Germany’s top crime writers who took the UK by storm last year with Snow White Must Die. She’s followed it with Big Bad Wolf, an equally compelling thriller which had me up reading into the small hours. She’s on with Danielle who sets her gritty and powerful series featuring DI Jack Brady in Whitley Bay. Their fast paced novels have in common the human frailties of their detectives, an exploration of violence towards women, and a fascination with the impact of crime on small communities.
I love our Pitch Perfect session on Sunday morning, a must for all new writers. Seven brave emerging writers will be pitching their novels in front of a crack team of editors and crime fiction experts. It’s an illuminating hour, full of insights about what editors are looking for, the pitfalls to avoid and the best way to polish and present work. One new writer will be picked as the winner – see if you agree with our panel, and be amongst the first to discover the bestselling writers of the future!”
Alex Gray- Author and Festival founder
“My top picks of the festival include the Scotland v England crime writers’ football match. Cannot wait to see all these writers knocking bits out of the turf! (And hopefully not each other!) I think this will be a lot of fun. (Note to self. Must remember to bring oranges for half time.)
As a big Agatha Christie fan I am also looking forward to chairing Sophie Hannah and asking her all about her Poirot book, The Monogram Murders, which is garnering great reviews.
Another top pick will be the Saturday morning panel with Gary Mulgrew and David Wilson. Gary’s book Gang of One is a remarkable account of his time in a hellhole Texan prison while eminent criminologist, David Wilson’s latest book is A Short History of British Prisons. Some great material there to get the audiences asking questions.”