Sunday, and Lee Randall is starting to look marginally more relaxed. Life intervened in the morning, but in the afternoon I made it to the two o’clock session, which I had not been expecting. Lexie Elliott and Peter Swanson talked about the influence of the Golden Age on their writing, chaired by Anne Clark who was a good, balanced chair. Both books sounded worth a read – good trad mysteries, too – but I couldn’t stay to grab signed copies. I was glad to catch the Local who preceded this session, Pam Shand, too, and had a nice chat with her later in the Authors’ room. Once the session was done it was up to report for duty and to be introduced to Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman, Ambrose Parry to their readers, and Bryan Burnett of Radio Scotland who was to chair the session. The other writer had not shown up as yet and Lee was trying hard to pretend to be chilled about it. The chat was pleasant, and then Laura Purcell was tracked down – her plane had been delayed, and she hurried in and grabbed a cup of coffee before we headed down to the theatre for a sound check. I discovered that the inimitable Lesley was signing the session – there’s a first for me!
The session was packed and, despite Bryan Burnett’s efforts, was tilted a little towards Ambrose Parry as the better-known author, but Laura Purcell was good value, too. And fortunately she chose to wear her pretty grey sparkly sweater, because her option had apparently been the same top as me, which would have been slightly embarrassing! Marisa Haetzman is rather nice and witty, too, and Chris Brookmyre comes across as a bit of a different character when he’s one half of Ambrose Parry. She clearly loves her history, as does Laura Purcell: as with so many historicals there is much, much more research done behind the scenes than ever appears explicitly in the finished book.
As I waited to meet a friend coming out of the session a very kind lady came up to tell me how much she likes the Viking books – if she’s reading this I can tell her what I should have told her, which is that I hope the next one is coming out this summer!
And that’s me done with Granite Noir for this year – even more enjoyable than last year because I made myself be, as one of the other Locals said, ‘very outgoing’. It doesn’t come naturally but once I start I’m all right – and once I’m up in the spotlight with a microphone I’m perhaps a little too happy!