Theresa is a BBC Radio Scotland presenter-turned crime writer and presenter of The Tartan Noir Show, a podcast showcasing Scotland’s crime writers, which returns this week for a second series.
Do you ever wonder what crime writers do when they’re not bumping people off?
Well, I am lucky enough to find out because I have the honour of interviewing some of Scotland’s most popular authors as presenter of The Tartan Noir Show podcast.
You’ve no idea the things I uncover – and it’s not all about books. Lately I got the lowdown on Denise Mina’s fabulous hair, discovered that Abir Mukherjee’s weapon of choice in a duel would be a six-ton elephant and that Caro Ramsay currently house-shares with a 200-year-old poltergeist called Agnes.
Last week I spoke to Ann Cleeves for the second series of the podcast and she revealed some cracking wee nuggets. Did you know the hit TV series Shetland came about after she accidentally ended up on Fair Isle to work at a bird observatory? That’s also when she met her husband, an ornithologist. It was love at first sight, apparently; as soon as she saw the bottle of malt sticking out from his rucksack she realised he was the one for her. Who would have thought so much could happen on such a tiny island?
I also chatted to Ann about how she’s coped with lockdown; it’s been a strange time for all these past six months. However, this is a woman who spent her first year of married life on a tidal island with no electricity or running water. I didn’t ask how many bottles of whisky she’d managed to get through but I guess the stash was well topped up!
There’s so much more to come; the writer-in-residence at a funeral parlour, the author who got his big break while stuck up a ladder in the loo, and the crime writer who was invited to read poetry at his local lingerie shop… and over the coming weeks in this column I’ll be sharing more of the nuggets I have unearthed.
In the meantime, if you’re into Tartan Noir don’t miss Scotland’s biggest crime-writing festival Bloody Scotland which is online this weekend. There’s such a wealth of talent out there and I’ll be joining a line-up crammed with events featuring all your favourite authors as well as showcasing some new kids on the block.
As you can imagine, the usual frivolities of Bloody Scotland such as the ceilidh, the Scotland v England football match (that was never a penalty!) and the torch-light procession sadly can’t go ahead, but the organisers have pulled out the stops to ensure other mainstays of the programme will be available – including the much-coveted McIlvanney prize awarded to find the year’s best Scottish crime novel.
And as you’d expect I’ll be in the wings ready to nab the winner and get them on the podcast.
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