A first-time novelist who self-published his book after a series of rejections has been nominated for a prestigious crime-writing award.
Alistair Liddle decided to publish No Harm Done after agents knocked it back, and now he is on the four-book shortlist for the Scottish Crime Debut of the Year award at this year’s Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival.
The 64-year-old grandfather, writing as AJ Liddle, began working on the book after retiring from the oil industry two years ago. He says the nomination is particularly special because he is a frequent visitor to Bloody Scotland, which is held every September in his home city of Stirling.
“I do feel flattered to have been selected for the shortlist,” he said. “It’s a very prestigious event, so to be included is a great honour.
“I’ve written short stories for a while but simply for my own satisfaction. I never thought I’d have time to write a novel, but after completing an online course on how to write bestselling fiction, I felt I came up with a decent idea for a novel. I began writing it in July 2019 and finished it a year later.
“When I discovered self-publishing and how a lot of successful authors are doing it that way now, I thought I would give it a go after a few months of sending the book off to people.”
Once published, Liddle’s wife Jacqui and children Kirsty and Ross helped him with publicity and social media, and soon word-of-mouth saw the book’s popularity grow.
Set in the Republic of Georgia, where Liddle worked for 15 years until his retirement, No Harm Done follows Lieutenant Ramaz Donadze, who must expose a conspiracy, find a killer, and lay his own demons to rest while investigating a murder.
The other books on the shortlist are: The Silent Daughter by Emma Christie, Edge Of The Grave by Robbie Morrison and Waking The Tiger by Mark Wightman.
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