Val McDermid, Christopher Brookmyre, Denise Mina and Stuart MacBride will feature in crime festival Bloody Scotland's first ever book of fiction, which will be launched at Stirling Castle on the opening night of the International Crime Writing Festival (8th September).
Published in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland, Bloody Scotland will see a selection of Scotland’s crime writers use the "sinister side" of the country’s heritage in a series of "gripping, chilling and redemptive" stories. Contributors include Val McDermid, Christopher Brookmyre, Denise Mina, Ann Cleeves, Louise Welsh, Lin Anderson, Gordon Brown, Doug Johnstone, Craig Robertson, E S Thomson, Sara Sheridan and Stuart MacBride. They each explore the "thrilling potential" of Scotland’s "iconic" sites and structures, uncovering "intimate and deadly" connections between people and places.
The stories include a murder in an ancient broch, a macabre tale of revenge among the clamour of an eighteenth century mill, a dark psychological thriller set within the tourist throng of Edinburgh Castle and an ‘urbex’ rivalry turning fatal in the concrete galleries of an abandoned modernist ruin.
James Crawford, publisher of Historic Environment Scotland, said that the book will bring together two of Scotland's "greatest assets" - its heritage and its crime writing. "So much of our special storytelling culture has come from authors taking inspiration from our unique buildings and landscapes", he said. "We wanted to explore this head on, challenging 12 of our top crime writers to set their stories in and around Scotland’s most iconic sites and structures. The results are sensational, and are already creating a buzz internationally ahead of publication."
North American rights have been sold for the book and interest is also coming in from other territories, Crawford said.
The Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival takes place from 8th to 10th September 2017. Following the opening reception, there will be a torchlight procession led by a pipe band and crime writers down to the Albert Halls where Ian Rankin will be talking about 30 years of his Rebus books.
During the weekend McDermid will be participating in the annual crime quiz, taking to the stage with the The Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers band featuring Mark Billingham, Stuart Neville, Doug Johnstone and Luca Veste with Chris Brookmyre on guest vocals. On Saturday, she will announce the winner of the New Crime Writer Award launched by Virago in association with The Pool.
Sarah Savitt, the newly appointed publisher of Virago, said: "Virago – home to incredible crime writers including Daphne du Maurier, Patricia Highsmith and Stella Duffy – are thrilled to be part of Bloody Scotland this year. A vibrant festival dedicated to celebrating both new and established crime talent feels like the perfect place to announce the winner of the Virago/The Pool New Crime Writer Award. We can’t wait to introduce the festival audience to our new crime writer."
Other authors on the programme include Lynda La Plante, Peter May, Mark Billingham, Denise Mina, Karen Rose, Chris Carter, Ann Cleeves, Booker shortlisted Graeme Macrae Burnett, Denzil Meyrick, Mason Cross, Louise Welsh, Simon Kernick, Clare Mackintosh, M J Arlidge and last year’s McIlvanney Prize winner Chris Brookmyre. John Gordon Sinclair, Vince Cable, Douglas Henshall & deputy chief constable of Scotland, Iain Livingstone, will also be in attendance.
Jenny Niven, head of literature, languages and publishing at Creative Scotland, said: "What a year for Scottish crime writing as we celebrate 30 years of both Rebus, and of Val McDermid's singular talent. Bloody Scotland is a brilliant platform for one of Scotland's fastest growing exports - and as usual the festival presents a terrific mix of our best loved and brand new writers. A fun and inventive program, with everything from forensics to football, awaits and we look forward to joining the throngs. We wish the festival every success for 2017, and are proud to be among its supporters".
Bob McDevitt, director, Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival, added: "Last year was my first year looking after the festival and I have to say that I was amazed by the tremendous vibe from our audiences - they really do come to have fun. The festival simply wouldn’t happen without the tremendous support we receive from our funders, publishers, and of course our fabulous authors – to all I’d just like to say a massive thank you."