March 2016


I quote directly from Caro Ramsay’s talk at the Scottish Association of Writers conference where she was Keynote Speaker. After I picked myself up off the floor, where I’d landed when I fell off my chair convulsed with laughter, I wondered what on earth I had done to Caro to deserve such treatment. But it was all in good fun and she drew a brilliant mind picture of a Dundee filled with zombies after ‘Chris went hybrid’. So, if you find any zombies in Dundee, just remember, it’s all my fault.

 But to get back to the conference, it was a brilliant weekend, which started on the Friday night with a special reception for the adjudicators and speakers to get to know each other. And guess who I met there? None other than the legendary Frances Gay (in his most recent incarnation), from the Sunday Post. He’s been writing as long as I’ve been living, and probably longer. In addition, I chatted to Catherine Czerkawska, Helen Forbes, Linda Strachan, Douglas Skelton, Alex Gray, Alanna Knight, and a host of others.

My first task came after a lovely meal, when all I wanted to do was put my head down and have a nap. 

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February 2016

anatomy banner
Membership of the SOA (Society of Authors) brings many perks, one of which is the events and talks they arrange throughout the year. The English events are a tad too far for me to travel, but the SOAiS (Society of Authors in Scotland) is equally energetic in creating events.

 A recent one was our visit to the Anatomical Museum which is part of Edinburgh University’s School of Biomedical Science which has a history of 300 years of anatomical teaching.

 This was preceded by an excellent lunch at a local restaurant for those who wished to partake. And, of course, there was no way I was going to miss a lovely lunch, and the chance to chat with other writers while we worked our way through the menu.

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February 2016

Join 4 crime writers for an evening of crimechat 2
How do you like your crime fiction?

 Do you like the dead bodies piling up as an intrepid hero or heroine faces ever increasing dangers which make you shout “Don’t go in there” or “Turn the light on” or “He’s waiting to kill you” or even the famed pantomime shout “He’s behind you?”

Or maybe you like an international thriller with a Bond type hero.

 Or maybe something a little bit cosier like romantic suspense.

 And let’s not forget the mystery and suspense thriller.

 Well, if you accept the invitation you can chat with four authors who are expert in all these fields. You can ask them anything you like, such as: “How many people have you killed?” “What kind of weapon do you prefer?” “Who mops up the blood?” “What do you do when you’re face to face with a killer?” “Will your hero/heroine ever meet the man/woman of their dreams?” Then there are the writerly questions, such as “Where do you write?” “When do you write?” or after you’ve killed someone (on paper) “Do you sleep at night?” I’m sure you’re capable of thinking up any number of questions, and we’ll do our best to answer them.

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