Write-up by Lou of Interview of How To Catch A Killer @DrCJMerritt @KatRamsland #BloodyScotland @Brownlee_Donald

How To Catch A Killer
With
Dr. Chris Merritt and Dr. Katherine Ramsland

Bloody Scotland Online Event

This was a rather fasinating and yet chilling interview between Dr. Chris Merritt and
Dr. Katherine Ramsland about forensics and the psychology of those who kill or to be more precise – psychopaths.

Dr. Chris Merritt started proceedings with an introduction:

Dr. Chris Merritt
Author of the Boateng and Jones series and the Lockhart and Green series; Dr. Chris Merritt is also Clinical Psychologist. He has produced a lot of research papers on mental health, which he has researched and also studies the impact technology has on our lives.

He has practiced clinical psychology in the UK National Health Service. Now, he consults on psychology for businesses and write.

Dr Katherine Ramsland

Dr Katherine Ramslet teaches forensics psychology and has appeared in 200 documentaries, consulted on The Alienist (now on Netflix). She has an article about her in Psychology Today. She has spent 25 years, specialising in serial killers.
She is a Professor at  DeSales University  specifically to teach forensic psychology, focusing on her field of expertise—extreme offenders.

She has worked on a book called How To Catch A Killer about Dennis Radar, one of the most notorious serial killers of all time.

A Notorious Killer

She has known Dennis Radar for 10 years and seemed fascinated by him and in writing about him, although 85% is his work, with some suggestions etc being made. She shown an interesting slide show, which can be seen when the recording is shown of the event.

Finally, caught in 2004, he didn’t come across as a totally stereotypical guy who would be a serial killer. He was a president of a church group and a public figure.
He, however started with a family of 4, so was a mass murderer before he became a serial killer, with more victims outwith the family.
His thing was binding, torturing and killing people. He killed 6 more people. You’ll get a bit more about it in Mindhunter.
What is described is chilling, but there certainly seems a clever way of catching him.  
Katherine talked about how he was manipulative and how she seemed to pay attention to what he said and how he said it. She said that they played chess and she was watching how he played. She talked about the layers of him; which was fascinating to hear about.

She talked of compartmentalising or cubing, which describes the behaviour and she learnt how to talk to him and she reckons it all allowed her to do an indepth study of him.

The Effect

Dr. Chris Merritt asked about the psychological effect that her work could have on her.

Dr Katherine Ramsland talked about how she approaches the case with a clinical perspective and says it hasn’t really effected her. She did however, talk a bit to some of her friends about a few of the more disturbing things. She said she had studied so much and reckoned her approach made the difference in coping.

How she came to start working on this

She was curious as a child, when in Michegan and became fascinated by the process. She worked with John Hunter and started to write for the Crime Library and wasn’t intending on becoming an expert on serial killers. She teaches forensics at universities. She talked about how there is so much diversity in serial killers in certain traits and backgrounds.
She is interested in many unique cases these days and less so, than those that hit the main news headlines.

The History of Serial Killing

Interestingly, she talked about how serial killers can be traced way back in history.
The earliest was 2nd BC in China and says it is of interest to psychologists in what leads them to study that. She also wrote about serial killers that go back to Ancient Rome.

She also talked of many different types of seriel killers and of all the different manifestations of murder.

Debunking Myths

Dr. Chris Merritt talked about there being myths around serial killers and one being single white men.

She says that women are also seriel killers and are mostly quiet around it with poisonings, but not always. She says that she is past the whole women are all nurturers and can’t possibly do this. She talked of some women being in teams as they go about their killing. They talked of some in England and the manipulation that presents itself in their behaviours.

They both talked about the psychology of team killers and used the Moors Murderers as a prime example and how she sees how much females in a male/female team can be involved.

Traits

All serial killers are not psychopaths, it would seem. It is fascinating to hear that there is so much work that is going into studying the traits really early on and kids who are maybe at risk of becoming a psychopath. Sometimes, however there isn’t a childhood history. She studies the case histories and looks into what arouses a person and their perspective on the world.

Most Like To Interview

Dr. Katherine Ramsland would most want to interview Jack the Ripper.

Dr. Chris Merritt’s and Dr. Katherine Ramsland’s books are available to buy.

Pics of their latest….

 

Desert Island Crooks – Crime Authors Desert Island Books @BloodyScotland @cbrookmyre @lizzienugent @harriet_tyce @RuthWareWriter

Desert Island Crooks
Bloody Scotland Online

The chair of this panel, Jonathan Whitelaw has dumped fellow crime authors on a desert island and asked them which books they would take with them.

Chris Brookmyre was a journalist before becoming an author and has written many successful books, including Quite Ugly One Morning and his latest is Fallen Angel.

Liz Nugent worked in Irish TV and radio dramas and is now also a novelist of many books, including Our Little Cruelties.

Harriet Tyce was a Criminal Barrister before becoming a writer, with her debut being Blood Orange and her second is – The Lies You Told.

Ruth Ware published in 40 languages and has written many books recently had even more success with The Turn of the Key and  her latest is One By One

 

The 3 books they would each have with them if they were stranded on a desert island.

Chris Brookmyre

The Alienist by Caleb Carr
Reason unsual and absorbing – takes place in US and Laszlo is a pioneer of psychological pioneer. Has Theodore Roosevelt as the protaganist.
Sense of political events and corruption and is like reading history as it takes place.
Hugely atmospheric, rollicking Tale.

The Alienist: Book 1 (Laszlo Kreizler & John Schuyler Moore)

The Crow Road by Iain Banks,
Reason – He wants to relive it over and over. It’s quinessentially Scottish book. It takes place in Glasgow and there is a road there in that. It is in urban and rural Scotland. It’s about complex relationships and he told of a great opening line. There’s the rights of passage and the jealousy. There is crime within it as an uncle goes missing. He reckons they would be his surrogate family whilst he was on the desert island.

The Crow Road: 'One of the best opening lines of any novel' (Guardian)

 Holistic Detective Agency series by Douglas Adams
Reason there’s a fantasy/sci-fi/crime fiction book with Dirk Gently as the detective. It deals with time travel, but brings humour and you can read it a second time straight after to get something different out of it. It shows people can seem nicer than what’s really lying beneath. He says you can always find something new in it.

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently Series Book 1)

Liz Nugent

The Collector

Reason: About a butterfly collector has decided to collect a woman instead. Average loner who suddenly wins the pools and he buys a house and has creates a basement where Miranda is kidnapped and wants to pin her to the wall with his butterfly collection
The story is told from both points of view.

The Lost Man by Jane Harper.
Reason Set in Australia, she was taken by the deadly landscapes and how stranded you can become in the harsh elements and poisonous snakes.
She talked of so many people having skin cancer too and it sounded so routine.
The lethal landscape attracted her. The story is of 3 brothers and one who is presumed to have committed suicide and another who is estranged. It’s about families and redemption, she says how it is a terrific read.

The Lost Man: the gripping, page-turning crime classic

The Book of Evidence By John Banville

Reason: Freddy Montgomery has come back from living in the med where he squandered his money and has decided he will steal a painting. He ends up murdering a maid by accident and is about the horror of knowing you’ve done something really bad and can’t escape from himself. It’s based on a harrowing true story.
She says it’s an outstanding read and there’s so much in it to unpick.

The Book of Evidence by John Banville (2010-03-05)

Harriet Tyce

Brighton Rock by Graham Greene

ReasonPublished in 1938, who has a 17 year old psychopath is the protagonist, with Ida being the antagonist. It’s about good and evil and nicely forgives Greene for how he describes Ida.
She seems to like the atmosphere and the ending.

It was interesting that she started a small division about the view of Brighton.

A-Level Notes on Graham Greene's Brighton Rock

Endless Night for Agatha Christie.

Reason: She wants to unpick it for the ending. Michael has a dream of the perfect house and marries an heiress. There’s a curse and lots of bad things happen and it all builds up before the reveal at the end. You think it might be one thing, but a great twist at the end as it becomes another.

Endless Night

In A Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes

Reason: Written in 1948 – Set during war times and the protagonist strangles women and there is feminism and evil.

In a Lonely Place (Penguin Modern Classics)

Ruth Ware

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier

Reason – It’s a psychological thriller, but not categorised as such. A poisoning takes place

Says it’s really well-plotted and the characterisation and it being told through Phillips eyes and swings that takes place. Du Maurier takes you into agreeing, but also mistrusting him.

It’s poisoning in its state, but also is Phillip actually poisoned for his thoughts of women.

My Cousin Rachel (Virago Modern Classics)

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Reason: She suddenly realised that it is about a bunch of strangers killing each other. She thought, if things went bad, she would know what to look out for.

The Talented Mr Ripley and The Secret History by Donna Tartt were in a tie as they both have compelling characters, with her plumping for The Secret History for its faintly horrible characters and the settings.

The Secret History: From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Goldfinch

 

 

A write up of some of the Never Ending Panel – Authors, Writing, Books and Food @BloodyScotland @Lin_Anderson @StuartMacBride #SandraIreland @SirBenfro @NlBro

The Never-Ending Panel

The Never Ending Panel consisted of 27 authors having a chat about books and writing and plenty of food, especially Stovies to begin with. Lin Anderson, Gordon Brown and others took it in turns to chair.  I have written about a handful of them here. I could not write about everyone as I had other things to tend to part way through, but I listened in and they were all great! The full event will be put up on social media, You Tube at a later date. Here is a bit of what you can expect:

Lin Anderson chaired first from her home in Carrbridge in the Highlands of Scotland.

Stuart MacBride was located in Aberdeen, North East Scotland, with Grendle and a whole lot of other animals and seems to have brought some good luck in publishing. Gherkin came with the house. He has Onion and Beetroot, who are kittens, who he, along with a vet, has saved from near death.
There was a thread that started here, about Stovies. You will be able to find Stuart MacBride’s recipe on his website.

His take on surviving a global pandemic. Social Distancing is his natural thing, but he missed seeing people as in listening to other conversations. It’s interesting that they talk about social distancing for 2 metres. It was pleasing to hear that they seem to be following the rules.

Sandra Ireland is Carnoustie – East Coast of Scotland, associated with golf. It’s picturesque. She has 4 books out – Sight Unseen is the latest. It was interesting hearing them talk about when she was in India with Lin Anderson and all the goings on that sound humorous now.

Sight Unseen: Darkly mesmerising . . . A fabulous read (A Sarah Sutherland Thriller)

James Oswald then joined in. Interesting seeing his office/study. His Inspector McLean series is set in Edinburgh, but actually lives on a farm in Fife. Check out his Twitter page for his books and pictures of his Highland Cows. It’s interesting how he names his cows and he goes through the alphabet each year. It’s interesting hearing about how he can tell the differences between all of his cows.
James helped out a lot in Bloody Scotland in the second year of the festival and has been there ever since, but was thrust in to cover for another author who couldn’t make it due to illness at the last minute and seems to be grateful to this.

Bury Them Deep: Inspector McLean 10 (The Inspector McLean Series)

Andrew James Greig then joined and he is a celebrated newcomer to crime fiction. He once helped behind the scenes of Bloody Scotland and now has written Whirligig. The word comes from 15th century and means spinning toy, but in Scotland is really a rotary clothes drier.
He runs an audio-visual business in Dunblane. In Bloody Scotland in Stirling, he provided sound and stages. He didn’t know too much about Scottish crime scene at the time and now is shortlisted for the McIlvanney prize. About 3 years ago he started a prologue of a book and hadn’t trained in it. Fledgling Press took his now published book.

Whirligig by [Andrew James  Greig]

Neil Broadfoot is from from Dunfermline, prior to writing crime fiction novels, he was a journalist. His books are set in Stirling, Scotland. His first book was nominated for an award in 2014. No Man’s Land has been nominated for the McIlvanney Award. He is an integral part of Stirling and has set books there and further afield. Falling Fast was his first novel, which first introduced Edinburgh investigative journalist Doug McGregor and his police contact, DS Susie Drummond.

No Man's Land      The Point of No Return

Lin Anderson talked about how Bloody Scotland’s remit is to encourage and to provide a platform for new writers and how she hopes Bloody Scotland supports writers. There are new and established names. There are spotlight authors, cleverly placed before the main events.

Plotting and Research and more…

Morgan Cry otherwise known as Gordon Brown took over.

Thirty-One Bones: It can be dangerous out in the sun

Andrew is on book 2 and doesn’t plot. He hopes he doesn’t change how he writes at the moment. He describes writing as having all the strands that make up a tapestry and they have to be fitted together.

Neil Broadfoot has Connor’s book number 4 due to be published in 2021. Plotting isn’t his thing as it kills some of the fun of seeing the story develop. He gets his chapters down and says get something down, finish the first draft. Take a break and then edit to fix all the problems later.

James Oswald is working on McLean book number 11. He has a whiteboard and word document for plotting his stories a bit, but doesn’t in its entirety and wants to just get everything done. He has a basic technique. He says to get a first draft down and then edits.

Sara Sheridan has set her new book in the 1950’s in the Highlands of Scotland with her detective, Mirabelle and she researches what would be worn etc. She seems to find the way of landlords up there interesting and also the fashions. She has a job outside her job and during lockdown, realised suddenly that she has a writing process, but isn’t a big planner and thinks if it is fresh to you, it will be to the readers.

Highland Fling (Mirabelle Bevan)

 

Write Up of @BloodyScotland Panel #VirtualEvent – Criminal Masterminds Ian Rankin and Lawrence Block @Beathhigh

Write up of Criminal Masterminds
At Bloody Scotland Online

This was a talk with Lawrence Block in Manhatten, New York and Ian Rankin in Edinburgh. It was informative with some poignancy about their careers, and above all, very entertaining and the atmosphere created, even online, was excellent.

                                 

 

It was interesting to hear this as it is so honest: Lawrence admitted he couldn’t remember his books precisely. His first story was written in 1957 and sold to a magazine. He knew he was going to be writer and decided this at 15 and was doing it a couple of years later. He hadn’t set-out to write crime fiction. He just wanted to write something that someone would be pleased with. Over time he evolved into writing crime fiction.

Ian Rankin asked what he wrote early on.
Lawrence said he would like to write Science Fiction, he wrote a couple that didn’t get published. He talked about not having the mindset really for this genre.

Early on he read some crime fiction and then more general fiction. He thought about writing great literary fiction and wanted to write an outstanding book.
He talked about William Campbell Galls, with affection.

Ian Rankin and Lawrence Block discussed that sometimes writers copy other writing styles and modes until own voices are found. Ian admitted to copying Lawrence and seemed to really admire his work.
Lawrence said that Jazz writers did that a bit and how he writes from some influences.
It’s interesting that he hadn’t realised that Baloo was going to be such a big part of his books and Ian had the same with Cafferty, who had a small part to begin with and then featured more with Rebus. It was fascinating that he left him out in one book, to please someone who had reviewed, who didn’t like him, but didn’t enjoy the process as much, by keeping him out.

The talk moved onto the Scudders series. An angst-ridden, ex-cop – Scudders has a lot of baggage – his marriage is down and out and he’s left the police force. At the time, it wasn’t too hard to get into his state of mind as Lawrence had split from his wife.

His character was a window to the world and at an unspecified age, but something happened that he had to evolutionise, but there was no reason to be specific with age. He has however written about evolution of ageing in his 12th book, so therefore he had to give an age.
The humour in the talk about age is great!

A Time to Scatter Stones was published in 2019 and it could be the last Scudder book, but then he thought the one before might have been the last.
Ian Rankin asked if he was tempted to go back in time, but Lawrence had done it a couple of times but didn’t want to do it again.

Lawrence Block and Ian Rankin discussed the films with big named actors like Liam Neeson, Whoopi Goldberg and more… but it was so fascinating hearing their views on the films and about contracts, which seem complex.

Ian Rankin talked of the Burglar books, that are about a cat burglar by night, an antiquarian bookshop by day. Ian Rankin talked about them having humour within them. It was interesting hearing Lawrence talk so candidly about not having a job and had self-esteem issues and all the jobs that have those words – experience required in the ads. It then occurred to him that he shouldn’t rule out crime and became quite inspired. His anecdotes were really entertaining as he thought about it all, only entertaining because he didn’t actually go into burgulary and decided to write a book instead.

They discussed being in lockdown and Lawrence thought he would write all the time, but he didn’t and doesn’t seem concerned about that. 

Dead Girl Blues wasn’t a book he expected to write and thought it would be a short story and ended up being a short novel. He says he likes it enough

Ian Rankin was an early reader of the book and said he went self-publishing. He said it was going to be a problematic book to get published and his agent was industrious in submitting it to the best publishing houses and a lot liked it, but they didn’t see it as something that could be published profitably. After a couple of offers, he decided to self-publish. It wasn’t a book he expected to finish and so he wanted to publish it how he wanted it.
Ian Rankin talked about it being very dark, but there is a small light and said there is a very moral theme and says it is a book that is thought-provoking. It has got a lot of favourable reviews.

It was so poignant about how Lawrence Block may be coming to the end of his writing career and as Scudder comes to the end of his. Ian Rankin is at a different stage in writing career.
They talked about travel and Lawrence seems like he was quite the explorer and yet, now seems different. He enjoy cruises and train travel. Ian Rankin talked about taking The Blue Train in Africa. Neither of them sound in any hurry to actually travel at the moment, due to the virus of course.

The Darkling Halls of Ivy is edited by Lawrence Block. Ian Rankin has a story in this anthology, set in Edinburgh. Lawrence enjoys doing the anthology and is doing one now.

Ian Rankin said he enjoys writing short stories and he likes a set of rules that come with it, such as a setting or a time of year.
Ian Rankin tried to enthuse Lawrence into writing more short stories to reinvogorate him.

Ian Rankin asked a question that covered settings and NYC. Lawrence Block said what he likes about Manhatten is familiarity and has lived there a long time and knows a few people there. He finds the energy of the city extraordinary. He talked about leaving NYC for Florida in 1985 at that time for awhile, but still set books in NYC.

Ian Rankin, when he lived in France thought he would go off and set his books there, but found he still wanted to set his books in Edinburgh.

It was fascinating hearing Ian Rankin talking about how he has writing heroes who he wished had books signed by.

 

Write up by Lou of Five Continents of Crime – @LinAnderson @atticalocke @JPPomare @ShaminiFlint @OyinBraithwaite @BloodyScotland #CrimeFiction

Write Up of Five Continents of Crime
Featuring
Lin Anderson, Oyinkan Braithwaite, Attica Locke, Shamini Flint and J.P Pomare

Lin Anderson was chairing and says Bloody Scotland will be 10 years old in 2021, which is exciting!

Ian Rankin once said “if you’re about to visit the country for the first time, go and look for the crime writer and read their books”. Basically because they tell you a lot about the places and the streets etc. I’ve certainly read some crime fiction novels, where I’m now pretty sure I would recognise, at least some streets within different places.

Places where the authors were doing their panel piece from:

Lin Anderson is in her writer’s bothy in the Highlands of Scotland in the Cairngorms National Park at 3pm.

Attica (Writer of page and screen. She is also NYT best-selling author of 5 books), is in LA and it is 7am in the morning. Incredibly, she is online, even though she is tired. Her goal was to work in the movies and she took a break from Hollywood for a time and began a writer and has now found a way to manage both. She came to writing books through writing on-screen. 

Josh (Author of Call me Evie and Tell me Lies) is in Melbourn and it has just passed midnight and is about the latest he has done a writer’s festival.

Shamini (writer, lawyer, environmentalist)  is in Singapore and it is some time past 10pm and has a dog called Beastie.

Oyinkan Braithwaite (writer and bookworm) is in Lagos in Nigeria and it’s hot and in the rainy season.
Lin Anderson talked about being in Nigeria and talked about the rain falling in sheets.

Starting Writing and Being A Writer

Shamini knew she was going to be a creative person. She started writing picture books for her children and then wrote more complex children’s books. She then wanted to write crime novels.

Oyinkan wanted to be an author since around aged 10. She took a degree in creative writing and got a job in a publishing house. She started calling herself a writer in 2015 and wanted to own it.

Josh studied creative writing and read and wrote a lot. He wrote some short stories for a time. He is 2 books in and feels confident in putting that he is a writer.

Lin talked about how she wouldn’t ever admit to being a writer and didn’t feel like one. She talked about it being a really big moment in the writing life to say to the world that’s what you are.

Lin Anderson read a little bit from the books. They all sound intriguing with families, blackmail, people who don’t fit in, policing and courtcases abound within them.

The Books

 Josh – In the Clearing – inspired by a cult, until around the late 90’s. It accrued a large following and was led by a woman. He was interested why so many academics were drawn to “The Family”. He wanted to answer the questions that remained unanswered as secrets went with the founder, when she died. There’s a mixture of small town and the bush. He talks of there being a heightened sense of anything could happen as there is drought, fires, snakes and isolation. He wanted to tap into the feelings of being trapped and to show how nature can quickly turn.

 Inspector Singh Investigates: A Frightfully English Execution: Number 7 in seriesShamini has now written the 7th in the Inspector Singh series. She wrote the Inspector Singh series because she found, when she started, that there were all the tropes of what was expected in Western nations and also wanted something contemporary. She transposed a body into each room to get her characters talking and Mr Singh has a battle with his wife for battles of supremacy.
Her latest book is set in London. There seems to be some humour within the books. She has set books in various places, with her latest being in London. Her view on Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie, especially, was certainly different, but brought about her wanting to set her book in London. Her “revenge” was certainly interesting, that she talked about, as was the use of that word. I felt Lin Anderson got it though and talked about how people are or how certain things seem out of place when in a different country or city and how certain things can seem more pronounced than in your own home town.

Heaven, My Home: Book 2 (Highway 59) Attica wrote Heaven My Home – a detective series, set in a highway that runs in Texas and is fascinated by all sorts of places around it. Darren Matthews is on the hunt for a boy who’s gone missing – but it’s the boy’s family of white supremacists who are his real target. 9-year-old Levi King knew he should have left for home sooner; now he’s alone in the darkness of vast Caddo Lake, in a boat whose motor just died.
She recommended people looked up Caddo Lake to see the expanse of it. It certainly lends itself to a crime fiction series.

My Sister, the Serial Killer: The Sunday Times BestsellerOyinkan’s debut novel is – My Sister the Serial Killer.
She talks about there being a lot of heavy literature from Nigeria and wanted to write something fun. She tries not to come into stories too heavy and has short chapters. It’s a thriller, with some pretty dark humour about sibling relationships and she also became fascinated by this.
It sounds good for today’s readers, who at times, at least, like short chapters.

 

Book cover for 9781529033649The Innocent Dead by Lin Anderson is the latest in the Rhona McLeod series.

Mary McIntyre’s disappearance tore the local community apart, inflicting wounds that still prove raw for those who knew her.

So when the present-day discovery of a child’s remains are found in a peat bog south of Glasgow, it seems the decades-old mystery may finally be solved…

 

Authors in Lockdown

It was so interesting to hear about how the pandemic has affected different people in different parts of the world and about lockdowns. There was talk about how there were challenges in work, in creating new routines, the intensity of lockdowns, especially in Singapore at the beginning, running out of inspiration and later, gaining it. When it comes to the USA, well, there were no holding back about how the country is handling it
The authors talked candidly about their experiences.

Write-up by Lou of Peter May and Ann Cleeves talk about their series and writing @BloodyScotland @authorpetermay @AnnCleeves #VirtualEvent #CrimeFiction

A Write-up of a talk by Peter May and Ann Cleeves

 

LOCKDOWN by Peter MayPeter May talked about Lockdown – a book about a pandemic he set in 2005 and dug it out and hadn’t thought it would actually get published and he discovered that some of it was parallel to what is happening now. He had tried to get it published before, but unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your point of view, it wasn’t back then. It certainly seems very apt for these times.

 

 

 

The Darkest Evening by Ann CleevesAnn Cleeves talked about The Darkest Evening and about the being so atmospheric and how snow changes a landscape. It’s set in a big house in Northumberland. She talked about class and the responsibilities to those who live in the cottages and about Vera’s past and her relationship to the people in the house. She says she always knew Vera was haunted by Hector and the “country-crimes” he was involved in and neglecting Vera.

 

 

Peter talked about place as in his first book written in Spain and became aware of another side to Andalucia.

Peter wrote a non-fiction book about the Hebrides and had lived there for a considerable time and says the islands now feel like “home” and says there’s that sense of homecoming that he wanted to convey. He was, for his book, sent lots of photos by photographer David Wilson. It sounds a beautiful book.

Ann Cleeves says she found writing about Shetland really challenging, more so that Peter. She says she loves Shetland, but didn’t enjoy doing the research at all and readers were warned that there may not be another like this, although sounds a good companion book.

They talked about how they keep track of characters and evolution of them.
Ann Cleeves says she knows Matthew quite well and isn’t a planner and plotter and writes like a reader. She always has to then write the next scene to find out more. For 20 years she didn’t make any commercial success, so wants it to be fun to write and discover.
Initially Vera wasn’t going to be a series, due to the publisher and then she ended writing more. There’s been a break because she wanted to concentrate on the Shetland series.

Peter has written 3 series and says the China Thriller series wasn’t intended for a series and got a 2 book deal and were a voyage of discovery. The Enzo series was more planned and were originally published in the States, but it took 6/7 years to finish it.

It was fascinating to hear her talk about having anorexia and another having down syndrome and also about how the young are not always good at communication and all the responsibility.
Peter wrote a character who was deaf and blind and talked about the research that went into it and how he found a book about it that seemed to of had a profound effect on him.

They talked about Murder and how it is a starting point and is important, but sounds like other things like the journey and the victims are also important and there’s a structure to work within to explore other characters.

They talked about how crime writing is maybe in a new “Golden-Age” and how so much more can be explored and written about and readers are also more open to writers from across the world with “Scandinoir” being popular. Crime Fiction can go into smaller, intricate details of crime fiction.

It can be watched on You Tube. Books are also available to buy.

LOCKDOWN by Peter MayThe Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves