At the London launch of the programme, Bloody Scotland international crime writing festival exclusively reveals a new book featuring some of the greatest contemporary Scottish crime writers to be published on 8 September, announces that a new crime award will be presented by Val McDermid at the festival and introduces the Slice Girls, an all-female author singing group, born at Bloody Scotland who have since taken on the world.
Bloody Scotland is thrilled to be partnering with Historic Environment Scotland, who will be publishing their first ever book of fiction, called simply Bloody Scotland, to be launched at Stirling Castle on the opening night of the International Crime Writing Festival.
In Bloody Scotland a selection of Scotland’s best crime writers use the sinister side of the country’s built heritage in stories that are by turns gripping, chilling and redemptive. Stellar contributors Val McDermid, Christopher Brookmyre, Denise Mina, Ann Cleeves, Louise Welsh, Lin Anderson, Gordon Brown, Doug Johnstone, Craig Robertson, E S Thomson, Sara Sheridan and Stuart MacBride explore the thrilling potential of Scotland’s iconic sites and structures. From murder in an ancient broch and a macabre tale of revenge among the clamour of an eighteenth century mill, to a dark psychological thriller set within the tourist throng of Edinburgh Castle and an ‘urbex’ rivalry turning fatal in the concrete galleries of an abandoned modernist ruin, this collection uncovers the intimate – and deadly – connections between people and places. Prepare for a dangerous journey into the dark shadows of our nation’s buildings – where passion, fury, desire and death collide.
Following the opening reception there will be a torchlight procession – open to the public – led by a pipe band and crime writers down to the Albert Halls where Ian Rankin will be talking about 30 years of Rebus. Ian’s is not the only 30-year anniversary because we will also be celebrating with Val McDermid, whose first crime novel was published in September 1987.
During the weekend Val will be participating in the annual crime quiz, taking to the stage with supergroup, The Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers featuring Mark Billingham, Stuart Neville, Doug Johnstone and Luca Veste (with Chris Brookmyre on guest vocals) and on Saturday at 12.15pm immediately prior to her own event at the Albert Halls (capacity 700) she will announce the winner of the New Crime Writer Award launched by Virago in association with The Pool. Traditionally the Albert Halls ‘Spotlight’ slot has given unknown writers the chance to read from their books in front of an audience waiting to see an established author. They are the support groups to the international rock stars of crime. Graeme Macrae Burnet famously ‘opened’ for Ian Rankin and went on to be shortlisted for The Man Booker. The winner of the New Female Crime Writer Award will get the chance to read from her book in front of a vast crowd of crime fans at this year’s festival even before her book is published.
Other leading authors on the programme include the fabulous Lynda La Plante, Peter May, Mark Billingham, Denise Mina, Karen Rose, Chris Carter, Ann Cleeves, Booker shortlisted Graeme Macrae Burnett, Denzil Meyrick, Mason Cross, Louise Welsh, Simon Kernick, Clare Mackintosh, M J Arlidge and last year’s McIlvanney Prize winner Chris Brookmyre. There are also familiar names including John Gordon Sinclair, Vince Cable, Douglas Henshall & Deputy Chief Constable of Scotland Iain Livingstone.
There is a play, Forensics, the Scotland-England crime writers football match, a live podcast and the perennially popular Crime at the Coo – which sold out within minutes after the Stirling launch on 1 June. We are fortunate at the London launch to bring a taster of that unique cabaret night to London. Four of the Slice Girls aka crime writers AK Benedict, SJI Holliday, Louise Voss and Steph Broadribb will be performing. Born at Bloody Scotland, when Alex Sokoloff decided to put together an all-female author singing group to temper the testosterone, The Slice Girls have gone on to perform their female power numbers at crime conventions in New Orleans and Iceland and later this year will be performing in Toronto.
The programme can be downloaded here.