If you read my Bloody Scotland Crime Festival Preview, you’ll know that I’m eagerly counting down the days until I make my first trip to Scotland for Bloody Scotland 2017! This crime festival brings together authors from Scotland, across Europe, and around the world for a weekend of crime fiction fun in the beautiful city of Stirling. I’ll be packing my bags and hitting the road for this festival in early September, and I can’t wait to cover the weekend's crime fiction adventures on Crime by the Book.
In preparation for the festival, I’m thrilled to share a Q&A with Bob McDevitt, Director of Bloody Scotland on CBTB today! In our Q&A, Bob shares a bit of background information about Bloody Scotland, recommends Scottish crime fiction authors, and much more. Many thanks to Bob for graciously taking the time to answer my questions! I cannot wait for this year’s Bloody Scotland festival.
Q&A with Bob McDevitt, Bloody Scotland Director
Crime by the Book: Tell us a bit about the festival. How and when did Bloody Scotland begin? How did you become involved?
Bob McDevitt: This is the sixth year the festival has taken place - it was founded by four Scottish crime writers (Alex Gray, Lin Anderson, Gordon Brown and Craig Robertson) who noticed a gap in the market for a crime writing festival with a Scottish flavour. This is my first year programming (I came on board as festival manager last year when Dom Hastings left to join the British Council). I had previously programmed the Aye Write! (Glasgow) Winter Words (Pitlochry) and Dundee Literary festivals
CBTB: Who are some of the big-name authors who will be in attendance this year? Note: You can see the full festival schedule here!
BM: As in previous years we like to mix in big Scottish names such as Val McDermid, Ian Rankin (both celebrating 30 year anniversaries in 2017), Chris Brookmyre and Peter May with non-Scots such as Lynda LaPlante, Ann Cleeves, Karen Rose and Ragnar Jonasson.
CBTB: Could you share a bit with us about the town of Stirling, where the festival takes place? Can you point us in the direction of any particular books or resources we can use to learn more about Stirling?
BM: Stirling is a place full of historical interest and cultural highlights. It is a university town, has a spectacular castle (home for our festival gala opening this year) and many interesting buildings and monuments. http://www.destinationstirling.com will give you a good overview
CBTB: What is the most exciting element of working as Director for the Bloody Scotland festival?
BM: I enjoy working with a wide range of different authors who all have interesting stories to tell (both in their books and in real life!).
CBTB: I’m sure it’s nearly impossible to narrow it down - but if you had to choose, what are some of the panels or festival events you’re particularly excited about this year?
BM: I’m very much looking forward to our session with Ann Cleeves and the actor Douglas Henshall (who plays Jimmy Perez in Shetland), The session with former business secretary and MP Vince Cable and counter-terrorism expert Nicholas Searle should be fascinating and I think the gig by the crime writing ‘Supergroup’ The Fun Loving Crime Writers will be a lot of fun.
CBTB: I’ve heard rumors of a Bloody Scotland book being compiled! Could you tell us a bit about the book? What will it include, and when will it launch?
BM: Yes, Historic Environment Scotland have commissioned a book called Bloody Scotland which has twelve best-selling Scottish crime writers writing short stories inspired by places or buildings - it includes Chris Brookmyre, Denise MIna, Louise Welsh, Stuart MacBride and Val McDermid. There will be a panel discussion about the book on Sunday 10th September at 12.45pm
CBTB: For American readers who are keen to begin reading Scottish crime fiction, could you recommend a few key authors whose books we should read?
BM: It really depends on what they like - Scottish crime is a very broad church which includes some great historical crime (SG MacLean), police procedurals (Alex Gray, Ian Rankin), forensics (Lin Anderson, Val McDermid), witty social commentary (Chris Brookmyre, Craig Robertson) - I recently very much enjoyed the start of a new Edinburgh-set series by Helen Fields - Perfect Remains. There’s something for everyone!
Check out a few of the authors Bob recommends below!
Plus: Bloody Scotland Crime Festival Preview
Wondering what Bloody Scotland is all about? Eager to hear about the authors I’ll be meeting in September?
My Bloody Scotland Preview has all that information and much more!
Many thanks to the Bloody Scotland team, especially Bob McDevitt and Fiona Brownlee, for all their help as I get ready for Bloody Scotland! Make sure to check out the Bloody Scotland website for all the latest information about this festival, and follow Crime by the Book via the social links below for festival coverage in September!