Val McDermid hopes to revive the memory of 19th-century author Susan Ferrier.
Edinburgh’s eerie gothic past, with its notorious “resurrection men” digging up graves under cover of the night in order to provide medical students with cadavers to dissect, is to receive a positive spin this New Year’s Day.
Once the revelry of the city’s Hogmanay celebrations has dwindled, the Scottish author Val McDermid has a plan to “resurrect” a forgotten literary heroine – the 19th-century Scottish novelist Susan Edmonstone Ferrier.
“Her writing stands up very well in comparison with the big-name Scottish writers of her day, like Sir Walter Scott, but the most remarkable thing about Ferrier is that memory of her has all but disappeared,” McDermid told the Observer this weekend, as she prepared for the launch of a city-wide project called New Year’s Resurrection that will run until 25 January.
Using light displays designed by the Edinburgh-based specialists Double Take Projections and sound installations from Michael John McCarthy, Pippa Murphy and RJ McConnell, the crime writer plans to bring Ferrier back to life in the streets and steep “wynds” she once walked.
“I don’t think anything like this has ever been done before,” said McDermid, who is best known for her novel The Wire in the Blood. “As far as I know, there has never been an attempt to tell one story across 12 sites in one city.”
Crime writer Val McDermid has paid tribute to “pioneering” author Sue Grafton, who has died aged 77.
According to a statement posted on Facebook by her daughter, Jamie Clark, Grafton died on Thursday following a two-year battle with cancer.
The US writer was best known for penning the Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Series of mystery novels and had reached Y Is For Yesterday.
McDermid, whose own thrillers famously include the tales of Dr Tony Hill, said she was “deeply saddened” to hear the news of her friend.
She posted on Twitter: “Deeply saddened to hear of the death of Sue Grafton.
“She was amazingly generous to me when I was starting out and remained a good and supportive pal. And Kinsey Millhone was one of the pioneering female PIs who showed the rest of us the way.”
Deeply saddened to hear of the death of Sue Grafton. She was amazingly generous to me when I was starting out and remained a good and supportive pal. And Kinsey Millhone was one of the pioneering female PIs who showed the rest of us the way
AS the fireworks fade over the Edinburgh skyline this Hogmanay, they will be replaced by a Message From The Skies.
Despite its name this is not something biblical, rather the stream of words that will illuminate buildings and landmarks across the capital is an innovative new approach to promoting literature.
A specially-commissioned short story by crime writer Val McDermid will be projected on to sites around the city from New Year’s Day until Burns’ Night, encouraging locals and visitors alike to take part in a walking tour through Edinburgh’s historic streets.
And Scotland’s Queen of Crime hopes her story, New Year’s Resurrection, will resuscitate the popularity of a forgotten 19th Century Scottish novelist, Susan Ferrier, who once outsold Jane Austen.
Susan will be integral to the plot of Val’s story, which also promises themes of murder and suspense that readers have come to expect from the author of The Wire In The Blood.
Val is excited not only about seeing her latest tale spectacularly projected on to some of Edinburgh’s most iconic sites, beginning with The Signet Library, but also to return Susan to the limelight.