Sunday, 7 October 2018

Tidelines Book Festival

So, it appears that it's taking me a week to recover from and  write up my festival experiences! I really need to up my game - particularly as there was a lot less alcohol involved this time!

Anyway, last Sunday I spent a brilliant afternoon and evening in Irvine for the last day of the fab Tidelines Book Festival, which takes place in the lovely Harbour Arts Centre.

My first event of the afternoon was Alex Gray, interviewed by Theresa Talbot.

Only The Dead Can Tell is the 15th, and latest book in the DI William Lorimer series, and focuses on the issue of people trafficking, with Lorimer now heading up the Major Incidents Team (MIT).

After reading a little from the book, Alex talked about her good relationship with Police Scotland, and its Chief Constable, Ian Livingstone. This has enabled her to research her books very thoroughly, and for this one this involved  meeting the actual head of the MIT.

Alex talked about her writing routine - she writes every morning and edits what she wrote the day before. She is not much of a plotter and doesn't keep notes - everything is in her head.

She deliberately wrote William Lorimer as an ordinary man, who has ordinary things happen to him, because ordinary people are interesting. And it's certainly a plan that worked. Book 16 in the series is pretty much done and Alex has the idea for number 17.

You can purchase the ebook from Amazon or pre order the paper back from , or other good bookshops.

After a short break for liquid refreshment, it was time for an hour in the company of Pat Young, who spoke to a packed room. Pat is always a joy to listen to - she is enthusiastic and open.

Her third book, One Perfect Witness, has just been released and is a standalone, following her series of two - Till The Dust Settles and I Know Where You Live. In all her books, someone disappears. She likes to think 'What If?' and wants readers to think 'What would I do?'

Till The Dust Settles opens in New York, and Pat was inspired to write it after watching three separate TV documentaries about the 9/11 tragedy. The title comes from the infamous dust that came down following the explosion after the impact of the plane into the tower. For the title of the second one, Pa Pat took inspiration from something closer to home. She had arranged for a delivery of books to be sent to a pick up point near her home in France. The man who ran the pick up point denied he had ever received the books (he had), was very aggressive towards Pat and actually physically assaulted her husband, and they had to involve the police. When her husband had to go away shortly afterwards, Pat realised that awful man knew where she lived, and the title was born.

The new book, One Perfect Witness, was inspired by a book she found on a French campsite charity shelf. It was a tourist guide for the area she was staying in, and contained a note and some money from a woman to her grandson. This got Pat wondering why someone would give away an item which contained money, and the book grew from there. And it sounds fab.

Pat talked about loads of other stuff, often had us in hysterics and the hour was over all too soon. Oh, and she had the most gorgeous shoes on!

You can buy One Perfect Witness from Waterstones, Amazon and other good bookshops.

Following another wee break, I headed back in for the launch of Douglas Skelton's brilliant new book The Janus Run. This was just a wee half hour session and was full of fun and laughter. Douglas was interviewed, or rather insulted, by friend and fellow crime writer, Neil Broadfoot, and generally heckled by the packed house. But it was all good natured fun, and it was clear how popular Douglas is. I'm not entirely sure what we learnt about the book in that half hour, but it was a fantastic event! The Janus Run is Skelton's first foray over the pond to the USA, and features protagonist Coleman Lang, and a colourful cast of characters including mob figures, cops and US Marshals. Neil Broadfoot describes it as 'Bullet ridden, bold, brilliant' and it's a perfect

My review of The Janus Run is here. You can buy it from Waterstones, Amazon and other good bookshops.

We didn't have time to head out for dinner, so ate in the HAC bar, and can highly recommend it. It was really lovely.

The final event of the day, and the festival, was a performance of Carry on Sleuthing: Murder at the Knickerage. I had only seen this a week earlier, but it had some additional scenes, and a slight change of cast, and was just as funny, if not funnier than the first time round. As is often the case, some of the unscripted moments were the best - Trump the horse (John Coughlan and Pat Young) collapsing in an undignified heap, and twins Tim and Tom (Michael J Malone and Theresa Talbot) completely losing it. The Carry On Sleuthing plays - there are two so far, with a third on the way - are written and directed by author Douglas Skelton, who also.presents them and plays several parts - his Farquhuar on this one was a particular highlight. You can find details of performances on Facebook.

The full cast for this show was Douglas Skelton, Caro Ramsay, Michael J Malone, Theresa Talbot, Pat Young, Alex Gray and John Coughlan. I couldn't take good photos because of where I was sitting, so I'm hugely grateful to Ellie Petrie and Rob Hannah for allowing me to use their pictures

Photo credit: Rob Hannah

Photo credit: Rob Hannah

Photo credit: Rob Hannah

Photo credit: Ellie Petrie

Photo credit: Ellie Petrie

Photo credit: Ellie Petrie
I can't go without mentioning what a joy it was to finally meet David Mclaughlan, local man, writer, general wordsmith and long time Facebook friend, along with his lovely wife Julie.

I had the best time, and would like to thank all the Tideline organisers and fabulous volunteers.

Buying links for books not already featured:
Keep Her Silent by Theresa Talbot - Amazon
No Man's Land by Neil Broadfoot - Waterstones, Amazon
The Suffering of Strangers by Caro Ramsay - Amazon
After He Died by Michael J Malone - Waterstones, Amazon

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