Every day we will have Authors from different genres answering my exclusive questionnaire.
Today on the blog, is Ian Skewis ~ Author of ‘A Murder Of Crows’
Ian Skewis ~ Crime Fiction TakeOver Interview
Which crime novel stayed with you long after you had finished?
Probably Kate Atkinson’s Human Croquet, though not strictly speaking a crime novel, it’s the murder in the woods that lingers in the mind because it reminds me of that eerie quality that is often prevalent in the countryside and which is certainly prevalent in my own book.
If you had, to sum up, Edinburgh in four words, what would they be?
Monumental. Panoramic. Romantic. Touristy.
Who is your favourite fictional crime character and why?
Probably Moriarty. The description of him is powerful, almost supernatural at times. ‘He sits motionless, like a spider in the centre of its web, but that web has a thousand radiations and he knows well every quiver of each of them.’
What is your favourite part of Edinburgh and why?
Most likely Stockbridge. I only discovered it recently when I was part of a writers panel at a local bookshop there. It is beautiful and relatively quiet – a good place to write books!
If you could have dinner with four fictional crime characters who would they be?
Sherlock Holmes, for his perfectly, pitched wit and wisdom. DCI Jayne Tennison because we all need a woman to keep the men in check, don’t we? My own Jack Russell because I trust and respect him. And Hannibal Lector for the danger element! Perhaps he might even cook dinner…
About your own work, where do you find inspiration for your books?
My inspiration comes from various different places, depending on the demands of the story. Inkling, which was published as part of The Speculative Book anthology, came from a strange dream I had about a deceased friend. A Murder Of Crows stemmed from a dark childhood experience (more on that later).
If your current book had a theme song what would it be?
La Carne, La Norte, e il Diavolo by Propaganda. This is a very atmospheric and somewhat poignant piece of music by a band who had a couple of hits in the 1980s. Their lead singer, Claudia Brucken, had left to pursue a solo career by this point and the resulting album was less inspired than their previous efforts but this track still stands out I think.
Write the scene of a crime for us, set in Edinburgh, one paragraph long. Include these three items ~ Banana, Greyfriars Bobby and The Wash Bar.
‘She watched from the cobblestone alley with a wry smile as the detective inspected the body. The victim was lying beside the statue of Greyfriars Bobby, but there was something not quite right about it. She wondered if the detective could guess. Cocking her head to one side, she observed the detective do the same and it made her giggle. For a brief moment they seemed as one. She tried to think what it must be like to be in his shoes, all suited and self important, but she knew that she could never be like him. He was too squeaky clean, too law abiding. She munched on her banana noisily, enjoying the squelching sound it made against her palate. It provided a hilarious soundtrack to the event taking place before her. When the detective bent down to take a closer look at the body she chewed hard on the soft fruit, sucking it through her teeth and packing it into her cheeks, and the resulting sound made it seem like the detective had farted. She did it again when he stood up and she snorted with amusement. She wondered if he had guessed yet. How staged the body was, the pose an exact replica of her previous undertaking. Just then he turned in her direction and she ducked back into the shadows. Her foot slid against something smooth. A leaflet advertising the Wash Bar. She picked it up, stared at it intently for a moment, and then discarded it. It spiralled down and landed at her feet. The top left hand corner of the leaflet was covered in red, bloody fingerprints…
Do you have any events lined up either online or in person that my readers could attend?
I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be appearing with Alex Gray, Felicia Yap, Mark Hill and Rob Ewing at Bloody Scotland on Saturday 9th September at the Allan Park South Church at 2 pm. It would be nice to see you all there!
Could you tell us about your current novel and how you got inspired to write it?
In 1979 my family and I were returning from a walk in the countryside when we discovered a dead body of a man hanging from a tree. He had committed suicide it seems. My father phoned the police and my mother kept me away from the scene. Soon, all the local kids began telling ghost stories about the place and that’s how it all began really. Ever since then the countryside has taken on a somewhat dark aspect…
A Murder Of Crows By Ian Skewis
Published By @Unbound_Digital
The most violent thunderstorm in living memory occurs above a sleepy village on the West Coast of Scotland.
A young couple takes shelter in the woods, never to be seen again…
DCI Jack Russell is brought in to investigate. Nearing retirement, he agrees to undertake one last case, which he believes can be solved as a matter of routine.
But what Jack discovers in the forest leads him to the conclusion that he is following in the footsteps of a psychopath who is just getting started. Jack is flung headlong into a race against time to prevent the evolution of a serial killer…
Buy your copy here ~ Amazon UK
Many thanks to Ian Skewis for taking part in my Crime Fiction Blog Takeover I really appreciate it, such fabulous answers!!
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