Tony Black has been described as Irvine Welsh’s ‘favourite British crime writer’ and I’ve also been a huge fan for ages.
So it was well worth the effort on a dreich Scottish evening to pop over to the mainland to meet Tony in the cosy venue of Oban Library as he talked about the craft of writing and his latest DI Bob Valentine novel, A Taste Of Ashes.
As it turned out, Tony Black is also an island boy himself these days, in his case the picturesque Isle of Arran, just a little further down the West Coast and a popular biking destination for me when I’m feeling energetic.
Despite the weather and a plethora of Book Week Scotland events over the previous few days the turnout was excellent and the well-informed audience enjoyed a good chat and a warming glass of wine.
Tony was very relaxed and approachable for an established author with a dozen books behind him and we were all captivated.
Tony and I talked afterwards about the balancing act that authors must perform between using true-to-life vernacular in dialogue and attracting the widest possible audiences. I myself have not been a stranger to the odd expletive or two but my writing style would be classed as ‘vanilla’ in comparison to Tony’s early novels.
I mentioned that I would be swapping seats with him in a couple of weeks as Oban Library is the very place where my UK launch of The Piper’s Lament would be taking place.
He gave me some valuable insights and tips and I left him with a firm pledge to keep in touch.
You can find out more about Tony and his work over on his Pulp Pusher blog. Tell him I sent you!
If you are lucky enough to live in Scotland, I hope you all enjoyed Book Week Scotland 2015.
And no matter where you live, go out there and celebrate books and reading!
That’s all for now. I must go and rehearse my lines for a talk I’m giving tomorrow for students of our local college, Argyll College. Perhaps there will be a budding Tony Black in the audience.
All the best!