Although I write children’s books, there are those among my writing community, myself included, that read and write crime. A genre full of blood, guts and gore that would be enough to make the Gruffalo run and hide (of course, the mouse would stand defiantly strong with paws on hips, tempting fate).
I have come across some fantastic new voices to add to my collection in the crime-world (writing it that is not actually contemplating the macabre side of life) with Marnie Riches enthralling us with feisty George Mackenzie in The Girl Who series and Denzil Meyrick‘s brilliant DCI Daley who I follow as he makes his journey through Scotland’s underworld.
The books on my shelves indicate I am still morbidly enamoured with these stories and the ‘check behind the curtains before you go to bed’ feelings they conjure within me, the reader. Val McDermid is also a writer who does just that. A Scottish award-winning crime novelist, she is well-known for the intrepid duo of Tony Hill & Carol Jordan in The Wire In The Blood series. Her new novel Splinter The Silence is now out and well worth a read. I went to see her talk at the National Library of Scotland and she discussed what books inspired her to write. An impressive list of Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson and The Chalet School in Exile by Elinor Brent-Dyer to name a few.
During the Q & A, I asked her how her thought processes differed from writing crime to creating the text for a picture book (My Granny is a Pirate). She smiled and said that when she was approached to do it, she wasn’t keen because she didn’t think she would be able to do it justice and she felt it was totally out of her comfort zone. She also admitted it was one of the most amazing literary experiences she has had to date but also the hardest thing she has ever written in her life and she is in awe of those who write and illustrate them.
In awe. Her words not mine.
So when the words aren’t flowing and the muse has gone on holiday, remember that you are amazing at what you do. Go, tell your story.