Showing posts from August, 2013

Arvon Crime Writing Course in Inverness with Val McDermid and Andrew Taylor - Review

Arvon Crime Writing Course Tutors: Val McDermid  and Andrew TaylorGuest Tutor: Allan GuthrieJuly 2013 This course was brilliant.  After a personally difficult year the combination of expert guidance from the tutors, the relaxing environment and the support and stimulus of being with other aspiring crime writer's, was uplifting.  As a result, barely a day has gone by when I haven't written, edited, reread or scribbled down an idea (even when on holiday) - Thanks Val and Andrew and fellow Arvon Criminalites!
 Moniack Mhor Our home for the week was a
beautiful rustic cottage with an extension to the kitchen and bedrooms.  This shows the Kitchen annex and the upstairs bedrooms and part of the living room.  Below is a separate cottage that housed the tutors, computers and a few of the course members.
As you can see the weather was fantastic for the entire week and the sunsets were amazing!!! 

On Arvon courses Tuesday to Friday mornings are spent at workshops led by the tutors.  The af…

Book Review : Watching You by Michael Robotham

Watching You by Michael RobothamIf you haven't read Michael Robotham's books yet, you really should.   He is a master of suspense, great, believable characters and a seemingly unending imagination.
Watching you is a scary psychological thriller.  I enjoyed it so much I read it overnight - don't do this - you feel rubbish the next day.   

Marnie's husband disappeared without trace a year ago leaving her with their two children and his gambling debts.  The Insurance company won't pay out as he's not considered dead and so Marnie is forced to work as a prostitute to pay her debts.  Meanwhile she is receiving counselling from psychologist Joe O'Loughlin, so when she is suspected of the murder of her pimp she asks Joe for help.  This naturally leads to the involvement of Joe's friend retired cop Vince Ruiz.

Robotham paints his characters in vivid colours and weaves  his plot intricately  linking characters and events from the past  in a story that made me quest…

Book Review - The Gilded Edge by Danny Miller: An atmospheric novel showing the Swinging Sixties wasn't all peace and love.


William McIlvanney in conversation with Ian Rankin at Harrogate Crime Writer's Festival

William McIlvanney In Conversation with Ian RankinAt Harrogate Crime Writing Festival 2013 When Val McDermid introduced William McIlvanney she described him as 'the most charming man'... she could have added humble, funny, intelligent, philosophical, talented, charismatic... but we only had an hour.  In many ways this conversation was the meeting of the Titans: Ian Rankin in the Edinburgh corner and Willie McIlvanney in the Glasgow corner and, for me, it was a privilege.  The atmosphere was relaxed, with plenty of  banter between the two and an obvious mutual respect.  Willie's sense of humour was evident in his many stories : from... meetings with Sean Connery in Edinburgh zoo ... to requests to read manuscripts in the pub.
William McIlvanney is the author of the Laidlaw trilogy set in Glasgow in the 1970's.  He classes it as historic crime fiction.  This year has seen the re- issue of these novels and they're selling like hot cakes - better grab your copies soon!…