Have you booked your tickets yet for this fabulous event? We caught up with author Jackie McLean to find out how excited she is for the event.
Crime at the Castle By Jackie Mclean
I was delighted last year when I was asked to take part in Scotland’s newest crime festival. A haunted castle, book signings in the crypt…I mean, what self-respecting crime writer wouldn’t jump at that? But more seriously, taking part in this sort of event is hugely important if, like me, you’re a “baby” crime writer trying to raise your profile and get your books out to a wider audience. As a less well-known writer, you tend to aim modest with events like this, so I was bowled over when I saw the line-up that I’m in amongst – crime fiction greats such as Denise Mina, Chris Brookmyre, Val McDermid and Lin Anderson!
On the day, I’ll be hosting a session of my own, and I’ll also be interviewing Denise Mina at hers.
As to my own session, it’s a fairly daunting thought having to keep an audience interested for the best part of an hour. But it helps to remember that the people who will be there are all fans of crime fiction, and that’s a big thing to have in common. We’re all interested in things such as where our ideas come from, how we do our research, who our key influences have been, and what our writing habits are. I hope to provide an insight into something of what it’s like to write a book and have it published, as well as some of the ropey situations our writing and research get us into…
Beyond talking about the writing experience, I also hope to raise awareness of the issues that my books are based on. For instance, my first book (Toxic) was inspired by the Bhopal disaster in 1984. More than three decades on from what is still the world’s worst industrial accident, the people of Bhopal continue to live with its devastating effects, while the perpetrators have yet to face justice. The substance that caused the deaths in Bhopal is still used today, and because of pressure to produce things as cheaply as possible, the incentives for manufacturers to cut corners means we all live with the threat of another Bhopal – which is the nightmare scenario facing the fictional Tayside Police in Toxic.
I’m fairly used to talking in front of audiences, and I’m a big fan of the visual effect (beware), so I’m looking forward to putting together a session that people will enjoy and remember.
When it comes to interviewing Denise Mina, however, I have to admit to being a little more nervous. Denise is my favourite crime writer (I mean, EVER) and she’s such a lovely person, I want to make sure I’m as prepared as possible to allow her to talk about the things that matter to her. It’s a good excuse for me to revisit her earlier works, although the focus will be on her new book (The Long Drop). For that, I’ll be looking into what she’s already been asked at other events, and trying to find new angles to cover. Also, I hope to come up with questions that will allow Denise to explore some of the social issues that she’s keen on, as well as to inject plenty of humour into the event.
When I was first invited to take part in Crime at the Castle it seemed like a long time to go. I can hardly believe how soon it is now!
Connect with Jackie McLean
Chance Encounters of the Fortuitous Kind By Wendy Jones
What happens when a Crime Writer visits a Haunted Castle? Chance meetings, and a brand new Scottish Crime Festival, that’s what happens.
On a recent visit to Glamis Castle, I had an idea for a unique event called Crime at the Castle. My head never stops spinning when it comes to murder and mayhem. Not knowing who I should talk to I asked one of the staff at the castle who I should approach. The lovely American lady, Pauline Cowdery, turned out to be the very person I needed, hence chance encounters of the fortuitous kind.
The castle has been amazing and I cannot thank the staff enough for how they have embraced this and worked together with me. As the castle has not yet opened for the season, we will be using many of the rooms such as The Dining Room, Drawing Room, Chapel, Queen Mother’s Sitting Room, and the small and large 16th Century Chambers. Some of these are not generally open to the public. Bookshop and book signing in a Crypt anyone? Waterstones, Dundee, will be providing the bookshop. I think their staff are trembling.
Michael J Malone
Wendy H. Jones
Ghosts, Scotland’s top Crime Writers and a historic castle, what’s not to love. See you there, if you dare.
To book your spot, please visit Glamis Castle Website
BOOK NOW: 01307 840393
SATURDAY the 24th FEBRUARY 2018