Every day we will have Authors from different genres answering my exclusive questionnaire.
Today on the blog, is
Claire MacLeary ~ Crime Fiction Takeover Interview
Which crime novel stayed with you long after you had finished?
- That’s a hard one. There have been a number: from the USA, Scandinavia, UK. Of contemporary crime novels, Louise Welsh’s The Bullet Trick is memorable.
If you had, to sum up, Edinburgh in four words, what would they be?
- Georgian, elegant, historic, atmospheric.
Who is your favourite fictional crime character and why?
- William McIlvanney’s Laidlaw. He set the benchmark for the tortured male detective and was the founding father of Tartan Noir.
What is your favourite part of Edinburgh and why?
- For me, Stockbridge is hard to beat. It combines a wealth of quirky shops and restaurants with open spaces and the Water of Leith, feels like a village, yet is within walking distance of Princes Street.
If you could have dinner with four fictional crime characters who would they be?
- Laidlaw and Rebus for their experience and wealth of stories, Jack Reacher to add machismo, Kay Scarpetta to throw a hard-nosed female into the mix.
About your own work, where do you find inspiration for your books?
- I find inspiration in all sorts of things: past experience, newspapers, TV, conversations overheard. It’s all about close observation, listening, always keeping a notebook to hand. Even the tiniest snippet can generate an idea.
If your current book had a theme song what would it be?
- My current novel, Cross Purpose, has been described as “Tartan Noir Meets Happy Valley” in that it features two women of a certain age, so the theme tune from the television series would be perfect. It would have to be tweaked, of course, so as not to infringe copyright!
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 was sitting, head bowed, in a corner of The Wash Bar when a shadow loomed over her.‘Wilma?’Her head jerked up. ‘Huh?’He was tall, six four at least. Jeans, leather jacket, builders’ boots. Wilma had a thing for boots, brought her out in a lather. Jet black hair, square jaw, the merest hint of dark stubble.‘You’re needed,’ he said.‘What? Now?’ Wilma eyed the banana split in its shallow glass boat. The ice cream was already beginning to melt and she’d hardly made a dent.
‘Aye. There’s been a…’ For a moment he hesitated. ‘Incident.’ Wilma looked longingly at the slick of chocolate sauce. Looked up. ‘Where?’‘Up the road. Greyfriars Bobby.’
‘What sort of incident?’ If she kept him talking she could mebbe sneak another spoonful.He scowled. ‘Not for me to say. You’ll find out soon enough.’
Do you have any events lined up either online or in person that my readers could attend?
- Harrogate Book Festival on 20 July. Details on my website. I also have a blog tour in the offing via Gordon McGhie @grabthisbook. Watch out for it on Twitter.
Could you tell us about your current novel and how you got inspired to write it?
- I’m currently finishing the first draft of the second in the Harcus & Laird series. It’s called Burnout, again features the unlikely PI combo of Maggie and Big Wilma, and is about domestic abuse.
How can my readers connect with you?
CROSS PURPOSE BY CLAIRE MACLEARY
When Maggie Laird’s disgraced ex-cop husband suddenly dies, her humdrum suburban life is turned upside down. With the bills mounting, she takes on his struggling detective agency, enlisting the help of neighbour Big Wilma . And so an unlikely partnership is born. . But the discovery of a crudely mutilated body soon raises the stakes… and Maggie and Wilma are drawn into an unknown world of Aberdeen’s sink estates, clandestine childminding and dodgy dealers.. Cross Purpose is surprising, gritty, sometimes darkly humorous a tale combining police corruption, gangs and murder with a paean to friendship, loyalty and how women of a certain age can beat the odds.
Thank you so much to Claire MacLeary for taking the time to be on my blog today. Claire was one of the first people I went to see at a book festival in Linlithgow, when my blog was just a wee dream. Claire is so approachable and very generous with her time. When I hear that she is going to be at any events I attend I get goosebumps. A genuine, talented and friendly lady. I am most definitely in the Claire MacLeary fan club!