Bloody Scotland is quite possibly my favourite event in the crime festival calendar and I am thrilled to be heading back to Stirling later this week to attend my third consecutive festival. If you have never been then I would definitely recommend attending as you get a wonderful blend of author panels, completely funny events such as Craig Robertson’s not to be missed quiz with the worst games of charades known to humankind, The Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers who are a musical act like no other, and all set in the wonderful city of Stirling, which in itself is a beautiful place to visit. This year I shall once again be attempting not to set fire to myself whilst walking/falling/rolling downhill with the torchlight procession. We managed to turn it into an impromptu walk-by for a wedding party last year so lord knows what this year will bring.
It gives me great pleasure to once again be joining in the blog tour for the festival, celebrating some of the many fabulous authors who will be in attendance at this years festival. I am super excited today as I have the one and only, exceptionally talented Ann Cleeves on the blog to answer one or two questions. Ann’s latest book, Wild Fire, the very last in the Shetland series, was released on 6th September, so before we hear from Ann, let’s take a look at what it’s all about.
About the Book
Wild Fire is the eighth, and final book, in Ann Cleeves’ bestselling Shetland series – a major BBC One drama starring Douglas Henshall as Jimmy Perez.
Shetland: Welcoming. Wild. Remote.
Drawn in by the reputation of the islands, an English family move to the area, eager to give their autistic son a better life.
But when a young nanny’s body is found hanging in the barn of their home, rumours of her affair with the husband begin to spread like wild fire.
With suspicion raining down on the family, DI Jimmy Perez is called in to investigate, knowing that it will mean the return to the islands of his on-off lover and boss Willow Reeves, who will run the case.
Perez is facing the most disturbing investigation of his career. Is he ready for what is to come?
Wild Fire is available from the following retailers:
Ann, welcome to Jen Med’s Book Reviews and thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I have a few ice breaker questions to start and then hopefully a few more sensible ones to follow.
Favourite childhood book?
Anything by Malcolm Saville. I was a member of his Lone Pine Club.
Best compliment you’ve had for your work?
An American reviewer said I write Village Noir. I like that.
Coffee or tea?
Plotter or pantser?
Handwritten notes or typed?
Favourite place to write? Alone or in public?
What prompted you to begin writing? Did you ever expect to have the kind of success and acclaim you’ve achieved?
I don’t think anyone writes in the hope of success. We write because we have stories to tell or ideas to explore. And commercial success took a long time to come. I was writing for twenty years before it happened for me.
What do you feel has been your proudest moment in your career so far?
Getting the Diamond Dagger, awarded by my colleagues in the CWA was pretty special. My family was there and lots of friends.
Who would you say is the best character you have ever created?
That’s like asking me to choose between my children. Impossible to do.
Your work focuses on some very beautiful parts of the country and your love for them shines through in the writing. Where is your absolute favourite place to visit or write about?
I live in North East England and I love the variety of the landscape, the friendliness of the people, which like many clichés is true. My favourite place to visit? Fair Isle has so many memories that I’ll go for that.
Thinking back to when it all started, if there was one piece of advice you could give yourself as a novice writer at the start of your journey, what would it be?
Get to the end. It’s so tempting to keep polishing the first few chapters.
When we spoke (very) briefly at Harrogate we talked about the lack of consideration for the impact of crime upon the victims and their wider family, is often lacking in a lot of writing. Is there anything in particular you think that needs to change in the way the genre is developing and representing crime as whole?
I think the genre is developing very well. There’s a much greater range of crime fiction than when I started writing and lots of interesting younger writers exploring new ideas. We’re more open to writers from overseas, whether the books are written in English or come to us in translation.
What is next on your writing planner? Will we hear more from Vera or do you have something new planned?
There will be more Vera but I’m writing a new series too. Watch this space.
Thanks so much for taking part Ann. Looking forward to hearing more about the new series and to be able to read more from Vera too. I hope you enjoy Bloody Scotland.
About the Author
Ann Cleeves is the author of over thirty critically acclaimed novels, and in 2017 was awarded the highest accolade in crime writing, the CWA Diamond Dagger. She is the creator of popular detectives Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez who can now be found on television in ITVs Vera and BBC Ones Shetland. The TV series and the books they are based on have become international sensations, capturing the minds of millions worldwide. ” “Ann worked as a probation officer, bird observatory cook, and auxiliary coastguard before she started writing. She is a member of Murder Squad, working with other British northern writers to promote crime fiction. Ann is also a passionate champion for libraries and was a National Libraries Day Ambassador in 2016. Ann lives in North Tyneside near where the Vera books are set.
You can check out all of the events and find out more about the festival in the Bloody Scotland brochure which can be found here.
About Bloody Scotland
Bloody Scotland established itself as the leading Scottish International Crime Writing Festival in 2012 with acclaimed writers Lin Anderson and Alex Gray at the helm, then joined by Craig Robertson and Gordon Brown. Based in Stirling, Bloody Scotland has brought hundreds of crime writers new and established to the stage with always enthusiastic attendees who make the festival every bit as much as the writers do.
Priding ourselves as the literary festival where you can let down your hair and enjoy a drink at the bar with your favourite crime writer, we strive to put on entertaining as well as informative events during a weekend in September, covering a range of criminal subjects from fictional forensics, psychological thrillers, tartan noir, cosy crime and many more. With an international focus at the heart of Bloody Scotland, we are always looking to bring in crime writing talent from outside of Scotland whom you may not have heard about. You might, however, knows us for our annual Scotland vs England football cup which always draws a crowd and inevitably ends in tears for someone…
The Bloody Scotland Team 2018: Lin Anderson, Gordon Brown, Craig Robertson, Jenny Brown, Muriel Binnie, Catriona Reynolds, Bob McDevitt, Laura Jones, Abir Mukherjee, Fiona Brownlee & Tim Donald