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Stuart MacBride Interview

Posted by Michelle on March 7, 2008

Stuart joined us as a Featured Author, and here are a few of the questions and answers:

Q. Who inspires you, scares you?

A. I think the people who really inspire me are writers like R.D.Wingfield (sadly no longer with us, but he wrote the books A TOUCH OF FROST were based on), Val McDermid, Mark Billingham, and Larry Niven believe it or not.

The only person who scares me – writer or otherwise – is me. I know what actually goes on inside my head…

Q. I first read ‘Cold Granite’ last year after it was chosen as a read in my reading group and have since gone on myself to read your other two books ‘Dying Light’ and ‘Broken Skin’ and I thoroughly enjoyed reading all three of them. Was wondering if you have any plans to write more?

A. Glad you liked them! And yes, I do indeed have another one in the pipeline, no so much on the horizon as bearing down on me like a Sumo wrestler in spandex pants. I’m editing the fourth Logan McRae book at the moment and I’ve got about… 4, maybe 5 days more to do, then there’ll be a huge chunk of typing up to do.

FLESH HOUSE (as it’s going to be called) will be out in the UK in May 2008. And after that I’ve got a contract for another two Logan books with HarperCollins, so I’m still going to be doing this in 2010.

After that, I’m thinking about becoming a plumber.

Q. Cold Granite is the only one I have read although hubby enjoyed your second too. We love the sweetie eating police boss. What made you do that? And why did you make the weather so bad?

A. Ah, the good old weather question ;}# I was living in Kingswells when I started writing COLD GRANITE – it was the dead of winter and every time I looked out the window, ready to start the next scene it was either hammering down, drizzling, or snowing fit to burst. And that was what I put into the book. I don’t think we’ve had a winter quite that crummy since, but that year it was sodding awful.

As for DI Insch, his sweetie addiction just came about by accident while I was writing him. Now I use it as an excuse to put in all the sweets I remember loving from my childhood. I’ve recently discovered a wee sweetie shop in the nearest town that does old-fashioned Scottish confectionery, so look out for ‘soor plooms’, ‘tatties’ and ‘granny sookers’ making their appearance.

Q. Are any of the characters you write based on anyone you know…

A. A couple are, Kell, but not until the third book – I was asked if I’d auction off a character for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and I thought I’d have a bit of fun with other people I know.

So PC John Rickards is based on… John Rickards (writes very good crime novels for Penguin*) with only a few minor changes to make him work better in the story. Another friend, Alex Clark, became Zander Clark (I took liberties with him and made him a pornographer in the book).

Everyone else probably have small slivers of other people I know / meet at events / sit within earshot of in the pub… But it’s not a conscious thing.

Q. Do you enjoy things like books signings / readings / meeting your fans?

A.  I do enjoy meeting the people who buy the books. Signings can be a hit or miss thing – I once sat in the lobby of a draughty Costco in Glasgow for hours and hours, listening to the rain hammering on the roof, and only managed to shift about three books. Mind you, things like that do keep you from getting a big head, I suppose.

Readings depend very much on the audience. If you get a good audience then it’s a lot of fun, if you get a load of people who just sit there like poached fish it becomes a struggle to get any sort of atmosphere going. Luckily that doesn’t happen too often.

Reading groups are always fun. Especially as there’s usually someone who turns up that hated something. Ah, the joys ;}#

To read the rest of the discussion, visit the thread.

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