Touching Evil, Dark Days, Dark Deeds, Bad Boys, Wild Girls. With a title like Bloody Scotland it was to be expected that the themes of the various sessions in Scotland’s first Crime Writing Festival would send shivers down the backs of those taking part. What I hadn’t quite expected was that it would be so much fun.
There was McIlvanney reading from his writings about a man found electrocuted in lodgings in Glasgow, then reading from his old writer’s notebook about what actually happened in a Kelvin Dr flat while he had a room there. Top that, you might think. A voice rang out from the audience. “Hello Willie, remember me? I was your landlady in that flat!”
It was at times hilarious listening to forensic specialist Dave Barclay talking about the realities of how experts deal with a crime scene. It was fun exchanging views and reactions with other participants over coffee and at bus stops.
It was fascinating and at times scary, hearing writers reading from their works. I was pulled into the nightmare of the Glasgow Airport Terrorist attack as Karen Campbell read from the first pages of her new novel Proof of Life.
The Crime Writing classes at Stirling University were enjoyable, but a little above me, as most of those taking part seemed to have an M.Lit. in Creative writing and at least one novel under their belt. I should have noticed that it said Master Classes in Creative Writing!
It was a great weekend in great venues. So congratulations to Alex Gray and Lin Anderson for having the idea…and for making it happen!
Photos from Bloody Scotland (taken by Iain McLean)