In this joint crime writing event, Tony Black joined Lin Anderson in Peppers Theatre to discuss the impact that the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh have had on both their careers. Glasgow girl Lin and Edinburgh resident Tony, both have used their home cities as inspiration as well as location for their novels.
Anderson read the opening chapter from her latest novel, Picture Her Dead, as Rhona MacLeod (this is Anderson’s final MacLeod novel) searched through a disused cinema in Glasgow, only to uncover something so unspeakable, Anderson was forced to slam shut the book she was reading from.
Black’s reading was somewhat different, in that while he created a similar level of intrigue and mystery by reading from his latest book, Truth Lies Bleeding – enough to persuade one to also rush out and buy his book, his chosen prose contained graphic descriptions of extreme violence that even the copper involved couldn’t stay conscious long enough to absorb the crime scene.
It’s always cool to watch the more “respectable” people in the audience when an author chooses this form of shock tactic.
I find the comparisons between each of these crime authors quite fascinating. In Lin Anderson you have a friendly and forthcoming author who writes fiction that appeals to a large spectrum of crime fans. In Black you have a man who actually looks as dark as his fiction, and with the slow nature of his speech it’s almost as though he’s climbed out of the pages of his latest novel.
With the Father of “Tartan Noir” sitting in the audience listening to the discussion, it is surely testament to both authors that if William McIlvanney is prepared to come along and hear you talk crime fiction, you must have something going for you!