A blog by Bloody Scotland committee member Gordon Brown on Crime in the Spotlight.

An author reading on stageNow that the dust has settled on Bloody Scotland for another year I thought I’d reflect on a small but significant debut amongst the wealth of talent and events that we showcased over the three days. Spread across the Saturday and the Sunday five new authors were given the opportunity to read from their work in front of the audiences of Martina Cole, Ian Rankin and Chris Brookmyre, amongst others. In each case they walked onto stage before the main event and, after a deep breath, read. We called this little gem ‘Crime in the Spotlight’ and it’s now penciled in for reappearance for 2016. It’s part of the DNA of Bloody Scotland that we give new and aspiring authors a spotlight and ‘Crime in the Spotlight’ is another notch in our bedpost. My thanks go to the star authors who made the ‘Crime in the Spotlight’ team so welcome. Everyone of them was welcoming and supportive and more than happy to give up a little of the limelight to support our new authors.

I was privileged to run the initiative and prouder still to be the one that asked them on stage. I wish them all well in the future and thought I would leave the last word to each of them (in no particular order of course).

Gordon Brown


“Being chosen to be one of the speakers at Crime in the Spotlight was a wonderful opportunity for emerging crime writers and I am truly honoured to have been selected by my peers. I hope Crime in the Spotlight is repeated in future years so other new authors can also benefit from the festival committee’s forward thinking.”

Graham Smith – author of ‘Snatched From Home.’


“It was a great thrill to be part of Crime in the Spotlight, to have the attention of a big audience for two minutes to read from The Blue Horse and hopefully introduce them to my debut novel. It was a great chance to not only read in public but perhaps create more interest in my writing. I applaud the festival, also, for introducing the scheme and I am grateful it chose me to read from my book. It is a great gift for a debut writer.”

Phil Miller – author of ‘The Blue Horse.’


‘Now that the knees have stopped knocking and the heart-rate has eased, I can look back clearly at how I was welcomed so warmly by Gordon, Dom, Craig and the rest of the committee. I can’t thank you all enough for this amazing opportunity. Didn’t think I stood a chance of winning a slot on ‘Crime in the Spotlight’, since I’m English – although there is a Scottish police dog-man who plays an integral role in My Kind of Justice! ‘

Col Bury – author of ‘My Kind of Justice.’


“Crime in the Spotlight was a fantastic opportunity for me to introduce my work to the Bloody Scotland audience. It was a great experience to be involved in such an important festival, and to meet and chat to readers and more battle-hardened authors.”

Graeme Macrae Burnet – author of ‘His Bloody Project: Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae.


‘Crime in the Spotlight’ is a fantastic initiative and I thoroughly appreciate the opportunity I had to showcase myself and my writing. Despite having had good success in international book prizes it has been incredibly difficult to attract interest from agents and reviewers and a festival appearance, with an opportunity to engage with audiences directly, has been but a distant dream. However, the Bloody Scotland initiative was bloody brilliant in generating publicity, giving me a chance to flaunt my narrative drive and speak to audience members directly who didn’t just buy my book but asked me to sign it!(HURRAH!)

Margot McCuaig – author of ‘The Birds That Never Flew’