Val McDermid: ‘Even on a romantic holiday my thoughts turn to murrrder’

The queen of crime on the new generation of writers, how the genre has changed in 30 years – and how she’s promised not to kill off Tony Hill and Carol Jordan.

My readers are probably going to kill me,” Val McDermid announces cheerfully when we discuss the ending of her latest novel. Her new Tony Hill and Carol Jordan book, Insidious Intent, is published on Thursday, and the reaction of fans to how she has chosen to end it will be interesting. “There’s a certain fear of being stoned in the street,” she chuckles.

We meet at the Theakston Old Peculier crime writing festival in Harrogate, where McDermid is practically royalty, and she has murder on her mind. This is not unusual, she says; quite frequently a pleasant weekend away will turn her thoughts to homicide. There was the time when she spotted a wedding party during a crime and mystery conference at her old college, St Hilda’s, Oxford, “and by the end of the afternoon it seemed to me that the logical thing that was going to have to happen was that the bridegroom would be dead by bedtime. And by the end of the weekend I had the basic shape of the story in my head.” That flight of fancy turned into the 2010 novel, Trick of the Dark. And then, more recently, she and her partner went on a boating holiday. “In France you can moor up anywhere, and in order to facilitate this they give you five sharpened steel stakes, about two foot long, and a big hammer. And I’m looking at this and thinking, isn’t that a great murder weapon? And we’re cruising through wooded banks with no access from the road. And I’m saying to my partner, ‘This is a perfect murder here …’ By this time my partner is inching away from me. So, we were on this lovely romantic holiday, and my thoughts turned to murrrder.” She pronounces the word with obvious relish.

Read more…

Val at the Edinburgh Festival…

Fun Lovin' Crime Writers in rehearsalVal is out and about this month…

Catch up with Val at the Edinburgh Festival! She is doing lots of events this summer so head over to our Events page to find out where she is going to be.

You can even see her strutting her stuff on stage (23rd August –details) with the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers…

Val Says: Here’s a glimpse into the secret world of Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers in rehearsal. Getting ready for our gigs at the Edinburgh Book Festival and Bloody Scotland. It’s been a while since I strutted my stuff on stage but finally I get to live the dream of the rock star life.
Not.

Read more…

Val McDermid: why Westminster should copy the Scottish electoral system…

The election of Donald Trump last November had an unexpected result in my household. My 16-year-old son developed a fascination with systems of governance. The disparity between the popular vote – won by Hillary Clinton – and the electoral college that propelled Trump into office offended his sense of justice.

It’s been a recurring topic of conversation ever since. We discussed monarchy versus republicanism over pizza. It took several breakfasts to cover communism satisfactorily. I hadn’t even had my second cup of coffee the morning we moved on to Julius Nyerere’s dream of pan-African socialism.

forced me to re-examine tenets I’ve tended to take for granted. Sure, I’ve grumbled about disproportional representation, raged over democratic deficits and moaned when the verdict of the people didn’t coincide with mine. But it took those conversations with a 16-year-old to remind me of the idealist I used to be, and to consider what true reformation might mean.

Read the full article on The Guardian website…

« Older Entries Newer Entries »

Category: Val Says… (page 2 of 14)