I am extremely excited for Wednesday’s Noir At The Bar Dundee if crime fiction floats your boat then sail along for an evening filled with top notch crime fiction authors reading from their novels. Today on the blog I have a special guest post by Claire MacLeary author of the Cross Purpose which was longlisted for The McIlvanney Prize 2017. I am so grateful to Claire for writing the article and for being on my blog today.
Dundee By Claire MacLeary
Dundee holds a special place in my heart. Why? It’s where I became a writer. Like so much in life, it happened by chance. Born in Glasgow, I’d worked in London and Edinburgh, married and ended up in Fife.
I’d always wanted to write. Won essay prizes at school, read English at university, held down jobs in advertising. But for years I was too busy running my own business and raising a family to contemplate anything more. It was only when my children reached senior school that I joined a Dundee University Continuing Education class in Creative Writing. At the end of the year, the group – Nethergate Writers – published an anthology of short stories. I was back in print!
In 2009 the University conferred an honorary degree on William Boyd. A literary hero of mine, I went along to his reading. Chaired by acclaimed novelist, Kirsty Gunn, Professor of Writing Practice and Study, it was a seminal moment. Talking afterwards to Kirsty about my writing, she said, ‘Do my MLitt.’ So in 2010 I did.
The next year was full-on. My days revolved around Kirsty’s Writing Room and were a whirl of lectures and intensive writing sessions. Literary salons afforded the opportunity to network with noted authors, publishers and agents. In 2011, I graduated MLitt with distinction.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Over the next few years, a number of my short stories were published. As my confidence grew, I set out to write a crime novel. Featuring two ill-matched ‘women of a certain age’, Cross Purpose bucks the trend of jaded detectives and smart forensic scientists, celebrating instead the fortitude and resilience of the many ordinary women who juggle part-time work with family life.
The road to publication demands not only dogged persistence but an element of luck. My first break came when I pitched to agent Jenny Brown at an event sponsored by the Scottish Book Trust, my next when I met the redoubtable Sara Hunt of Saraband, who was to become my publisher.
Cross Purpose launched in February under the Contraband imprint to five-star reviews. It has recently been longlisted for The McIlvanney Prize for the Scottish Crime Book of the Year, proof that readers have taken my unlikely crime due, Maggie and Big Wilma, to their hearts. A sequel, Burnout, is due for publication next spring.
Now living in Glasgow, I’m delighted to be reading on 26 July at NoirAtTheBar, back in Dundee, where my journey began.
When Maggie Laird’s disgraced ex-cop husband suddenly dies, her humdrum suburban life is turned upside down. With the bills mounting, she takes on his struggling detective agency, enlisting the help of neighbour Big Wilma . And so an unlikely partnership is born. . But the discovery of a crudely mutilated body soon raises the stakes… and Maggie and Wilma are drawn into an unknown world of Aberdeen’s sink estates, clandestine childminding and dodgy dealers.. Cross Purpose is surprising, gritty, sometimes darkly humorous a tale combining police corruption, gangs and murder with a paean to friendship, loyalty and how women of a certain age can beat the odds.
To order your copy and have sneak peek, click below ~
Before you go please check out an interview we did with Claire MacLearly last month, Click to read.
Please be sure to check out more titles brought to you by Saraband ~ Website
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