Press Release: #BloodyScotland @BloodyScotland @Brownlee_Donald

bloody scotland logo vectorised-01-1


Described by William McIlvanney as one of the friendliest festivals around, Bloody Scotland, which opens in Stirling on Friday 21 September with a torchlight procession, was recently praised on BBC Radio 4 for creative initiatives which push the boundaries of traditional book festivals. One of those initiatives is Crime in the Spotlight which supports new writers by pairing established authors with ‘support’ acts just starting out on their career.

Jake Kerridge, crime fiction reviewer for The Daily Telegraph discovered His Bloody Project (later shortlisted for the Man Booker) ‘In the Spotlight’ when he visited Bloody Scotland. Recently he was on Open Book, BBC Radio 4 praising Bloody Scotland for taking such an innovative approach:

‘they have really tried to find new ways of doing things… if we’re going to attract more people to literary festivals, maybe you can’t fundamentally change the idea of the author turning up and talking and meeting the readers because that’s what people want, but you can have more enticing things happening around the festival as a sort of fringe. Another thing Bloody Scotland did, which seems obvious when you think of it but is very clever, is that if they had an event with someone huge like Ian Rankin or Val McDermid they would begin by offering an unknown writer the chance to read from their work for five minutes at the beginning of the session so that people were introduced to them…it’s that sort of innovation, they’re really thinking about ways of doing things differently.’
BBC Radio 4, July 2018

The Open University continues its support as sponsor and authors ‘In the Spotlight’this year include Andy Muir, a former scriptwriter for Home & Away and Neighbours who is paired with Irvine Welsh and published by Australian indie Affirm Press (interestingly run by the brother of the Irish comedian Sean Hughes) and the wonderfully named Mysti Berry from the US who has been paired with MC Beaton (author of Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin books) and actress Ashley Jensen (who plays Agatha Raisin on TV)

The full list includes authors published by Scottish, Australian and English independents, large London conglomerates and some self-published authors with a mix of male and female crime writers. One, The Hunter (Headline), has been longlisted for The McIlvanney Prize 2018 and author Andrew Reid will be appearing‘In the Spotlight’ immediately before Frank Gardner takes the stage.

For a full list of selected authors – including where they are from, who they are published by and who they are supporting – please see below:

Crime in the Spotlight collage.jpg

Ian Patrick was educated in Nottingham, Ian left school at sixteen. After three years in the Civil Service he moved to London for a career in the Metropolitan Police. He spent twenty-five years as a police officer, the majority as a detective within the Specialist Operations Command. Rubicon is his debut novel published by Fahrenheit Press. The BBC has also optioned Rubicon for TV and is currently in development. He now lives in rural Scotland where he divides his time between family, writing, reading and photography. He is the support act for Val McDermid and Denise Mina.
Tickets and event information:

Heleen Kist is a Dutch quintilingual Stanford-educated globetrotting career woman who fell in love with a Scotsman and his country, and now writes about its (sometimes scary) people from her garden office in Glasgow. In Servitude is her debut which is self-published and will be out this month. She is the support act for Lin Anderson, Craig Robertson and Dr Kathy Charles.
Tickets and event information:

Andrew Reid worked as a research scientist for almost a decade, on projects including DNA synthesis, forensics, and drug development. He now lives inStockholm. The Hunter is his debut novel and has been longlisted for the 2018 McIlvanney Prize. He is the support act for Frank Gardner.
Tickets and event information:

Chris Curran is half Scottish and half English and now lives by the sea in Hastings East Sussex. Her first psychological thriller was published by Harper Collins Killer Reads in 2015. She has just completed her fourth novel, Her Deadly Secret, which will also be published by Harper Collins. She is the support act for Stuart Macbride.
Tickets and event information:

Allan Watson is a Glasgow writer whose work leans towards the dark end of the fiction spectrum. He is the author of Heart Swarm which is published by Caffeine Nights.  Allan has also written extensively for BBC Radio Scotland, churning out hundreds of comedy sketches, in addition to being a regular contributor for the world famous ‘Herald Diary’. He is the support act for Ambrose Parry aka Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman.
Tickets and event information:

GB Williams specialises in complex, fast-paced crime novels. Locked Up, was released in 2017, Locked In in Feb 2018, published by Bloodhound Books.  GB was shortlisted for the 2014 CWA Margery Allingham Short Story Competition with the story Last Shakes, now available in Last Cut Casebook. As well as crime, she also writes steampunk and horror, and hates every photo ever taken of her. Born and bred in Kent, she moved to South Wales as a first step on a year around the world and never left. She is the support act for Peter James.
Tickets and event information:

Mysti Berry’s short stories are published in the U.S. in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (2018) and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine (2019). She edited and published Low Down Dirty Vote, a charity anthology raising money to help fight voter suppression in the U.S., featuring a short story by Catriona McPherson and 10 other award-winning writers. She’s just finished her first novel about financial fraud and murder in San Francisco and Las Vegas. She lives in San Francisco, California, and loves visiting Scotland. She is the support act for MC Beaton and Ashley Jensen.
Tickets and event information:

C S McLean is a writer currently living in St Albans.  He was a finalist in the 2016 Bloody Scotland Pitch Perfect competition, in which he pitched his idea to a largely bewildered group of panelists. Having completed the novel earlier this year he decided to take the plunge and self-publish, unleashing his brand of Zombie Noir into an unsuspecting world, in a novel titled, They Shoot Corpses, Don’t They? He is the support act for the fabulous podcast, Two Crime Writers and a Microphone featuring Luca Veste and Steve Cavanagh with Val McDermid, Abir Mukherjee and Stuart Neville.
Tickets and event information:

Daniel Smith is a non-fiction author and editor living in London who has written across a range of subjects, including politics, economics and social history. He is the author of the ‘How to Think Like …’ series for Michael O’Mara Books, which has been published in 20 languages and sold over 413,000 copies worldwide. In May 2018 he published The Ardlamont Mystery: The Real-Life Story Behind the Creation of Sherlock Holmes, also published by Michael O’Mara, his first foray into true crime writing. He is the support act for Professor Sue Black and Dr Richard Shepherd.
Tickets and event information:

William Graham was born in and has lived most of his life in Dundee. William took early retirement after spending the last 34 years as an editor at DC Thompson. After hearing him continually saying that he was going to write a novel, his family got fed up hearing about it and bought him an iPad and told him to get on with it. His first novel Vermin is published by Black and White on July 19th. He is the support act for Quintin Jardine and Denzil Meyrick.
Tickets and event information:

Claire Askew is a poet, novelist and the current Writer in Residence at the University of Edinburgh. Her debut novel in progress was the winner of the 2016 Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, and longlisted for the 2014 Peggy Chapman-Andrews (Bridport) Novel Award. All the Hidden Truths is her debut novel which will be published by Hodder. She is the support act for Ann Cleeves and Louise Penny.
Tickets and event information:

C S Duffy writes psychological suspense thrillers with a healthy dose of black humour. She lives in Glasgow and her background is in film and TV. She has several projects in development in Sweden and the UK, and her thriller feature Guilty will be shot in 2018 in Canada. She is the author of Life is Swede, a psychological thriller that was originally written as a blog – Dark of Night is her first novel which is self-published. She will be the support act for The Real CSI featuring Kate Bendelow with Mark Billingham.
Tickets and event information:

Andy Muir brings all his experience as a screenwriter and story researcher on some of Australia’s biggest television drama series, including Neighbours, Home and Away, and the hugely successful Underbelly franchise to his crime writing. He lives inSydney and in 2017, Affirm Press published the first novel in Andy’s new crime series, Something for Nothing. He will be the support act for Irvine Welsh.
Tickets and event information:

About Bloody Scotland

Bloody Scotland is Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival, providing a showcase for the best crime writing from Scotland and the world, unique in that it was set up by a group of Scottish crime writers in 2012. The festival uses a number of atmospheric, historic venues in Stirling’s Old Town setting it apart from other literary festivals. Full information at

Bloody Scotland is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Funding, Stirling Council, Stirling University and the Open University Scotland who are the official sponsors of Crime In the Spotlight.  Stirling Gin have remained a sponsor for a second year running and are kindly providing Bloody Scotland cocktails at both programme launches. Waterstone’s will once again be our festival bookseller and other sponsors include The Faculty of Advocates, The Sunday Times Crime Club, Headline Publishing and The Crime Vault We have also secured a number of new sponsors including H W Fisher who are specifically sponsoring the London launch and the green room during the Festival.

This year Bloody Scotland coincides with a number of other Scottish literary festivals, why not take the opportunity to move on from Stirling to the infamous Wigtown Book Festival which runs until 30 September.