Craig Robert­son

The Scots au­thor will be dis­cussing the in­spi­ra­tion be­hind his Tar­tan Noir thrillers at Bloody Scot­land

The Scots Magazine - - Wild About Scotland -

A Wee Blether With…

What’s the first thing you ever wrote?

The first thing I re­mem­ber sit­ting down to write prop­erly was a short story about some­body shrink­ing, way back in Pri­mary 5.

What’s your favourite book to read?

The book that re­ally got me into read­ing was Kid­napped by Robert Louis Steven­son. I al­ways read fe­ro­ciously when I was a kid, but that was the book that re­ally took me on to an­other level.

When do you write?

When the world gets quiet, I find it much eas­ier to write, so I do most of my work at night. My wife is a writer too (Alexan­dra Sokoloff) – she starts writ­ing at eight in the morn­ing and is all done by the time I’m just be­gin­ning!

Do you have a writ­ing soundtrack?

I usu­ally write in si­lence. If I do lis­ten to mu­sic while I write, I find my­self typ­ing along in time to the mu­sic!

How do you cel­e­brate fin­ish­ing a book?

I have a bot­tle of cham­pagne and a black pud­ding sup­per!

What has been your favourite novel to write –so­far?

It’s al­ways the next one! I did re­ally en­joy writ­ing The Last Refuge, though. It’s the first book that’s taken me out of Glas­gow. It’s set in the Faroe Is­lands, so I had to do a lot of re­search in­clud­ing go­ing there!

What’s been the high­light of your ca­reer?

It has to be win­ning the Crime Writ­ers Poker Tour­na­ment at Har­ro­gate last year! But also just get­ting to meet and spend time with other crime writ­ers whose work I en­joy has been real a high­light. I never thought I’d be hang­ing around with peo­ple like Mark Billing­ham, Chris Brook­myre, Ian Rankin and Val Mcder­mid. I’d love to score in the Scot­land vs Eng­land Crime Writ­ers’ match at Bloody Scot­land. I’m des­per­ate to score against Luca Veste. If I could do that, I’d die a happy man.

If you could solve any crime mys­tery, what would it be?

The El­iz­a­beth Short mur­der (in Los An­ge­les in 1947). One of my favourite crime nov­els, The Black Dahlia by James Ell­roy, cen­tres around it. I’d love to know what re­ally hap­pened.

How do you re­lax when you’re not writ­ing?

I love to travel. My wife’s Amer­i­can so we’re of­ten fly­ing over there or ex­plor­ing some­place new. I also re­ally en­joy cook­ing. It gives me time to think about what I’m go­ing to write about next.

If you could in­vite five peo­ple to a din­ner party, liv­ing or dead, who would they be?

Jack the Ripper, who­ever he or she may be, Lee Har­vey Oswald, Robert Louis Steven­son, Rosa Parks and Mary Queen of Scots. I’m not sure if they’d all sur­vive it, but it def­i­nitely wouldn’t be dull!

There’s more about Bloody Scot­land on page 62, where your book ex­pert Dawn Ged­des chooses her top events from this year’s fes­ti­val.

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