Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Twenty year old ideas and fan-girling at festivals: an interview with Lucy Cameron

Kia ora and haere mai, welcome to the second edition of 9mm for 2018, and the 174th overall edition of our long-running author interview series!

Thanks for reading over the years. I've had a lot of fun talking to some amazing crime writers and bringing their thoughts and stories to you. You can check out the full list of of past interviewees here. What a line-up. Thanks everyone.

Today I'm pleased to welcome a fresh voice in British crime writing to Crime Watch, Scotland-based Lucy Cameron. I've met Lucy at a few crime writing festivals since I moved to the UK for family reasons three years ago. It's been cool to catch up with her and chat every so often about the progress of the debut crime novel she was working on, NIGHT IS WATCHING, and its journey through to eventual publication last year.

You can see Lucy talking about her book here:

After studying fine art before working in retail management, Lucy began focusing more on her own writing when she moved north of the border to Dumfries, a small town in Scotland. She lives in a shed in her Dad's garden where she writes by candlelight. She has a love of film and theatre, and made her scriptwriting debut as part of the National Theatre Scotland's 'Five Minute Theatre Show' project. Last year she joined fellow Scottish crime writers and theatre-lovers Douglas Skelton, Caro Ramsay, Michael J Malone and Neil Broadfoot for performances of the stage comedy mystery 'Carry on Sleuthing', a "tittersome evening of murder, mystery and mirth".

So keep an eye out for Lucy Cameron at crime festivals, on booksellers' shelves, and onstage in 2018. But for now, the now-Scottish lass becomes the 174th victim to stare down the barrel of 9mm.


1. Who is your favourite recurring crime fiction hero/detective?
In straight at the deep end with that question, I like it. Hmmm, I love Ash Henderson in Stuart MacBride’s Birthdays for the Dead, but as there are only two books in that series I’ll discount him. It’s a tough call between Davie McCall in Douglas Skelton’s series or Val McDermid’s Tony Hill. As I feel Tony Hill may be being influenced by the television series (no bad thing), I’ll settle on Davie McCall. What a character.

2. What was the very first book you remember reading and really loving, and why?
Brother in the Land by Robert Swidells. I didn’t read massively as a child as I found reading difficult but this book really sticks with me. I am not sure love is the right word, but as with all good art, it moved me, stayed with me and I thought about the characters and their situation long after I finished the book.

3. Before your debut crime novel, what else had you written (if anything) unpublished manuscripts, short stories, articles?
Prior to writing my debut novel I had written a few short stories and done odd bits of stage and screen writing. Nothing that ever made it to production – Other than a five-minute play I wrote and directed for The National Theatre Scotland’s 24-hour Theatre project which was great fun.

4. Outside of writing, touring and promotional commitments, what do you really like to do, leisure and activity-wise?
I love the theatre and volunteer backstage in my local theatre where I stage manage, help with set building, and backstage production. My brother and his family also recently moved to town so I enjoy hanging out with them and being an aunty.

5. What is one thing that visitors to your hometown should do, that isn't in the tourist brochures, or perhaps they wouldn’t initially consider?
Dumfries is a beautiful town. We have one of the oldest working camera obscuras here too and it’s a must see. Even today it’s like magic so imagine what it must have been like two hundred years ago.

6. If your life was a movie, which actor could you see playing you?
I once had a hair cut that was like Meg Ryan so can I pick her? Actually I’d really like Jennifer Carpenter as she kicks butt in Dexter and I’d love to be as cool as her.

7. Of your books, which is your favourite, and why?
Night is Watching is my debut, and currently only, book so it’s my favourite. I’m really proud to have finally gotten the story down and published, having had the idea twenty years ago. I also feel the characters have now developed and am excited to see what happens to them next. 

8. What was your initial reaction, and how did you celebrate, when you were first accepted for publication? Or when you first saw your debut story in book form on a bookseller’s shelf?
My initial reaction was joy beyond words. I lived next door to my dad at the time and ran to his house with my laptop so he could check I had read the offer email correctly. We then ran around in circles of joy and shared a bottle of Aldi champagne. Looking at the book still makes me really happy.

9. What is the strangest or most unusual experience you have had at a book signing, author event, or literary festival?
Nothing strange has happened to me yet, but I’m sure it will. I am still in awe of all the writers I have admired for so long that I am now getting to know – Don’t tell them but I am totally fan-girling on the inside as I sit and have a coffee or a wine in their company.

Thank you Lucy, we appreciate you chatting to Crime Watch

You can read more about Lucy Cameron and her writing at her website here

No comments:

Post a Comment