Scots Crime Fiction – Now I Know Why It’s So Popular!
Okay, it looks like Summer is officially over. In Scotland, where I live, it’s always my favourite day of the year!
But, seriously, after a spell of late summer sunshine, the weather has reverted to type and in doing so has answered a question that has troubled me for a while.
I’ve just returned from a fabulous workshop at the BloodyScotland Crime Writing Weekend.
I was thinking that my fellow Scots are well represented in crime fiction. You will know authors like; Denise Mina, Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Peter May, Chris Brookmyre.
So why are Scots so good at crime and dark ‘noir’ fiction? There’s even a term for it – ‘Tartan Noir.’
Basically, we’re all fairly decent people after all. We might be partial to a ‘wee refreshment’ and will often cause an ‘argument in an empty hoose,’ but I’ve never killed anyone yet (although I’m not ruling it out…).
But if you’ve ever lived on a remote Scottish island, as I do, then it should be obvious!
Sitting through endless dark winters; so cold, wet and windy outside that you don’t want to go anywhere, so you just end up alone and brooding. And so it’s natural that your thoughts will turn to foul deeds!
It’s the weather! That’s what makes us the way we are.
The weather can be so bad that we want to kill someone. But because we are such generous spirits, instead of actually committing murder, we just write about it instead.
And to back up my theory – where else can you find great cutting-edge crime drama? Why in Scandinavia of course! A harsh and unforgiving land that can be dark for half the year…
The Bloody Scotland event was excellent and if you’re ever in Scotland at this time of year then check it out.
And if you think that crime fiction and thrillers might be beneath you, then remember that these are genres that encompass all life and everything that it entails. Crime fiction is popular because it reaches out to people and it can often be a perfect vehicle for up-to-date social commentary and satire.
I loved a comment from Denise Mina when I heard her talk on Friday. She said that it has been proven that 20% of all world income is derived from crime. So abolish crime, and the global economy would grind to a juddering halt.
All of that means there will always be plenty to write about!
Speaking of which, I am getting very excited that my long overdue sequel to He Who Pays The Piper will be published very soon. So now is the time to catch up on the exploits of Ridge Walker before The Piper’s Lament hits the book shops!
Yours in writing!