Crime in the Spotlight 2016 (part one)

Every year Bloody Scotland supports new writers by pairing established authors with ‘support’ acts just starting out on their career - Crime in the Spotlight.

Last year, Jake Kerridge, crime fiction reviewer for The Daily Telegraph discovered current Man Booker long-listed title His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet ‘In the Spotlight’ when he visited Bloody Scotland. Kerridge described the initiative as:

'Such a simple and effective idea that nobody seems to have thought of before. I was able to get a flavour of the work of writers new to me such as Philip Miller, Margot McCuig and the now celebrated Graeme Macrae Burnet. A lot of people I spoke to enjoyed these brief bursts from unfamiliar writers before hearing from the superstars they had travelled to see.’

We thought we'd introduce you to six of the selected Spotlighters. The next six will come tomorrow.

Lesley Kelly - A Fine House in Trinity - Sandstone

Lesley-KellyLonglisted for the McIlvanney Prize 2016 Lesley Kelly will be reading from her book A Fine House in Trinity. She has worked in the public and voluntary sectors for the past twenty years, dabbling in poetry and stand-up comedy along the way. She has won a number of writing competitions, including the Scotsman’s Short Story award in 2008.


Stephen Watt - Optograms - Wild Word Press

Stephen WattBorn in Dumbarton, Stephen Watt is a Scottish poet and spoken word artist. He is the author of the poetry collection Spit (Bonacia, 2012) and was crowned the Poetry Rivals Slam Champion in Peterborough in 2011. His online video Rubik was awarded the StAnza Digital International Poetry Prize and the Tartan Treasures Award. He has performed widely across the UK, including at Doune The Rabbit Hole, Eden, Wickerman and the Edinburgh Festival.

In 2015, Stephen made his debut in Ireland as part of the unofficial Cuirt Literature Festival fringe show Far From Literature, We Were Reared at the Roisin Dubh in Galway. Optograms was published by Wild Word Press in 2016.

Sandra Ireland - Beneath the Skin - Polygon/Birlinn

Sandra IrelandSandra Ireland was born in Yorkshire, lived for many years in Limerick, and is now based in Carnoustie. She began her writing career as a correspondent on a local newspaper but quickly realised that fiction is much more intriguing than fact. In 2013 Sandra was awarded a Carnegie- Cameron scholarship to study for an MLitt in Writing Practice and Study at the University of Dundee, graduating with a distinction in 2014. Her work has appeared in various publications and women’s magazines. She is currently writing her second novel, another psychological thriller.

Daniel Pembrey - The Harbour Master - No Exit Press

Daniel PembreyDANIEL PEMBREY grew up in Nottinghamshire beside Sherwood Forest. He studied history at Edinburgh University and received an MBA from INSEAD business school. Daniel then spent over a decade working in America and more recently Luxembourg, coming to rest in Amsterdam and London — dividing his time now between these two great maritime cities.   He is the author of the Henk van der Pol detective series and several short thriller stories, and he occasionally contributes non-fiction articles to publications including The Financial Times and The Times.

Shelley Day - The Confession of Stella Moon - Saraband

Shelley DayShelley has been a litigation lawyer, a psychology lecturer and a research professor. These days she mainly writes fiction. Her debut The Confession of Stella Moon won the Andrea Badenoch Award, was long-listed for the Bath Novel Award, and shortlisted for the Charles Pick Fellowship and the Dundee International Book Prize. 

Her short stories have also won prizes and have appeared in magazines, newspapers, anthologies and online. She has read at the Hexham Book Festival and the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and on the Edinburgh Fringe. In 2013 she was named as one of Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature’s emerging writers. In 2015 she won a Northern Writers’ Award.

Michael Grothaus - Epiphany Jones - Orenda

Michael GrothausNovelist and journalist Michael Grothaus was born in Saint Louis, Missouri in 1977. He spent his twenties in Chicago where he earned his degree in filmmaking from Columbia and got his start in journalism writing for Screen. After working for institutions including The Art Institute of Chicago, Twentieth Century Fox, and Apple he moved to the United Kingdom where he earned his postgraduate degree in creative writing. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, Litro Magazine, Fast Company, VICE, The Irish Times,Screen, Quartz, and others. His debut novel is EPIPHANY JONES, a story about sex trafficking among the Hollywood elite, based on his experiences at the Cannes Film Festival. It is out now from Orenda Books. Michael is represented worldwide by The Hanbury Agency in London, where he lives when not traveling. His writing is read by millions of people each month.

For full details on the Crime in the Spotlight and Pitch Perfect initiatives you can view our press release.