Monday, 14 March 2011


For some completely unfathomable reason, Scottish writers seem to excel at crime. I mean writing it, of course. We have Ian Rankin, Lin Anderson, Stuart McBride, Aline Templeton, Val McDermid, Alanna Knight, Alex Gray, Quentin Jardine, Kate Atkinson, Catriona Macpherson, Paul Johnston - and I KNOW I'll have forgotten someone, which is a damned stupid thing to do to a crime writer. After all, wouldn't they be able to commit the perfect, undetectable murder?

Would you like to join the ranks of crime writers, whether you're Scottish or not? Would you like a successful crime writer to help you with your own manuscript and teach you the tricks of her trade? If so, look no further than the new offer from Lin Anderson: tuition and MS appraisal. She has written seven  books in the highly successful Dr Rhona MacLeod forensic series, runs Masterclasses in all aspects of novel writing and in particular crime writing, and is wonderfully placed to help you.

For details, visit her new, dedicated website: How To Write Crime.

As Lin says, "Crime is difficult to write. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s the easy option. And don’t let them tell you a crime novel is plot driven. It’s not. Any story is a character in action and crime stories are no different. A crime novel is not primarily about the crime, but about the character who solves the crime. That’s why crime books become long running and popular series and often get made for television. Readers or viewers want to be with the great characters that inhabit crime novels. So they keep coming back for more."

Note this in particular: "Any story is a character in action..."

She also talks about how to create a series - the ideal for a publisher in this genre, as the readership grows and grows. In fact, I have another successful Scottish crime writer, Aline Templeton, coming here on March 30th to talk about creating the series character.

Lin emphasises that crime is not just one type of book. It's a "'broad church' with many different sub-genres. ... crime thrillers (like the Rhona MacLeod books), procedural crime, historical crime, noir, crime comedy, futuristic crime, cosy crime, literary crime."

If you want help with your own crime novel, do contact Lin to see what she can do for you. and whatever you do, don't miss her forthcoming new title, The Reborn.

Here's the description: When the body of a pregnant teenager is found in a Hall of Mirrors with the full-term foetus surgically removed, forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod is called in to assist the police. Suspicion falls on Jeff Coulter, a psychotic inmate at a nearby hospital whose hobby is making Reborns - chillingly realistic baby dolls intended for bereaved parents or those unable to conceive. But how could he have orchestrated the murder from a secure mental facility?

The investigation leads to a group of teenage girls who seem to have all got pregnant at the same time. Then a Reborn doll is discovered near the crime scene and a second girl from the group is found dead."

Nasty. Very. But in a good way.


bookwitch said...

Donna Moore.

Michael Malone said...

Don't we do well for crime writers? Lin is an excellent writer and really knows her stuff. I'm sure she'll do a cracking job for anyone interested.

Jennysmith said...

Great piece, and a wonderful help to frustrated writers like me. How did I miss this great blog.

Alice Turing said...

Cosy crime, LOL! I had no idea there was such a genre. Would that be stuff like Rosemary and Thyme?