Yes, I've spent the afternoon in the bath with Mr Allan Guthrie. OK, so he looks like a hamster on steroids, but the bloke sure can write. Just don't listen to any of that 'I've dropped the soap' stuff he comes out with...
Still knackered from Wednesday's 08:30 to 23:30 shift at the old steam-powered computer I grumbled my way into Aberdeen's Central Library at seven o'clock last night for 'An Audience With Stuart MacBride (God help us)'. Which actually went quite well. The BBC had pimped the event as being an opportunity to learn the tricks of the trade, so I was expecting a crowd of aspiring writers. Mistake number one.
"So, before we start: who here wants to be writer?" One hand goes up. "Only one?" another hand goes up. "OK, so two..." two more hands go up, but you have to look REEEEEEEEEEALLY close to see them. Hmm... So Stuart goes into 'general entertainment mode' which is code for 'rambling nonsense'. I tried to drop in as many serious writing tips as possible, including how to get an agent and when to drop your drawers for a publisher, but it wasn't enough. At the end of the evening, when everyone had been invited to fill in a form to rate the evening, there was one form that gave your bearded protagonist two 'Agree' ratings instead of 'Strongly Agree' on interest and relevance. *sigh*
Apparently there wasn't enough 'literary content', which is fair enough. Some people had gone along expecting a writing workshop and ended up with some bearded tit rabbiting on about all manner of irrelevant shite. But in the end I decided to slant the thing to the majority of attendees, rather than the advertised secret-fest. And the crowd were very good too -- very interactive (not that I gave them much of a choice) and question asking. And a bloody good evening was had by me. And everyone else... unless they were lying on their forms!
The event was supposed to last 40 minutes, but went on for about an hour and a half, so it can't have been that bad. I even saw someone taking notes! Aberdeen Libraries did me proud, and so did everyone who attended (except for Mr/Mrs 'Agree' -- damn their eyes!). I have to admit that the more of these things I do, the more I enjoy them and the more relaxed I get. In the end I'm going to just turn up in my jammies and dressing gown, scuff about for a while in my slippers speaking shite, and scuffle off again. Like Howard Hughes, only much poorer and with less naked girlies.
Well, no naked girlies. My wife disproves of such things unless they do the ironing, dusting and other household chores. Which seems fair enough to me.
Anyway, back to me and Allan 'that better be your toe' Guthrie in the bath: TWO WAY SPLIT. Brilliant novel. Sharp dialogue, excellent pacing, engaging characters, fucking good book. Like CRIME AND PUNISHMENT only GOOD! Go out, buy it, and be impressed. I've got his new book sitting in my in-box, waiting for me to blurb the thing, and I'm really looking forward to it now.
Ah yes, it's a good time to be alive and Scottish in the world of crime fiction... Mind you, any time is a good time to be alive. Being dead is not a good time, so enjoy it while you can. Pretend to be Scottish if you like, it helps ;}#