Last weekend was my first experience of Bloody Scotland, crime writing festival extraordinaire, and it was so Bloody Brilliant I’ve already booked a room for next year! As one of twelve debut authors, I was delighted to have been allocated a three-minute Crime in the Spotlight ‘spot’. This basically involves gate-crashing proper authors to plug your new book, a risky business, given the genre. Luckily they all seemed remarkably chilled, and if they were plotting a grisly end for upstart newbies, they hid it very well.
Now, at this point, I could wax lyrical about the amazing opportunity, the warmth of the Bloody Scotland welcome, the talent and sheer niceness of my fellow Spotlighters…all of which is true, but I thought it might be handy to jot down a few of my observations; a handy guide, perhaps, for the Spotlighters of the future. So here we go…
- Stirling is uphill. Doesn’t matter which direction you go in. Everything. is. bloody. uphill.
- Stirling has amazingly cool coffee shops where people go to strum guitars and sing on a Sunday morning.
- The Golden Lion mid-festival resembles one of those kids’ jigsaws where people are doing busy things in every corner, on the stairs, in the foyer.
- The Albert Halls resemble Fawlty Towers with lots of different levels, doors that lead nowhere and tall men running.
- The Festival volunteers are freakishly Zen, know lots of stuff and look super cool in black.
- Festival audiences laugh at bad jokes.
- Do not wear dangly earrings with a microphone. There is a techy term for dangle which I’ve forgotten.
- Stages come equipped with billowing curtains, uneven flooring and all the darkness of the pits of hell, just in case you haven’t enough to worry about.
- Green rooms are not green.
- Crime writers are friendly, encouraging, and kind to nervous people.
- Crime writers are a mad bunch, and ,worryingly, I seemed to fit right in…