A great article on Val McDermid and her love of Raith Rovers. If I didn't already think that Val was great, this quote would swing it for me: "If I ever worry about being an old, fat lezza – which by the way I don't – then I'm pretty confident the attitude of the Rovers would be: 'Aye, but you're our old, fat lezza.'" Brilliant. And, of course, Raith Rovers' other famous crime writing fan is Ian Rankin. Sadly for our criminally inclined Raith Rovers fans, they lost the semi-final to Dundee United earlier today. Sorry Val, sorry Ian.
The true story that inspired Robert Louis Stevenson's KIDNAPPED.
The Winnipeg Free Press on Philip Kerr's IF THE DEAD RISE NOT.
Valbond enjoys Catriona McPherson's Dandy Gilver series.
Spend an evening with Stuart MacBride in Birmingham. Unless, of course, you prefer to spend an evening with him in Blaydon. And if you're tired of evenings with Stuart MacBride, then how about one in Kelso with Quintin Jardine.
And, talking of Stuart MacBride, here is an excellent and creepy trailer for DARK BLOOD.
A review of Denise Mina's STILL MIDNIGHT. And the lovely Dorte enjoyed EXILE.
The Times on watching the fictional detectives.
And, finally, please excuse me a little glee and a little tear. I'm getting very excited about my forthcoming trip to Alaska - less than 3 weeks now. I now know my rough schedule which involves 10 days, 4 yup'ik villages, squllions of rides in a tiny plane, at least 5 schools, 3 library events, an arts festival, and lots and lots of fun. The largest village I visit has around 570 residents, the smallest around 60. That one I've never been to before so I'm very excited to go. I will also get to see one of my very favourite people. Hopefully, I will get to eat one of my favourite things (I can feel my arteries hardening already). Apparently the weather is still below zero, with snow, and the river is still navigable by snow machine. I am hoping that I will get to ride one across the river (Dad, you needn't bother mentioning that to Mum. She will start sending me links to websites entitled "How to Get By In Alaska if You Are Stupid (Or My Daughter - Which Is The Same Thing Really)). ". Luckily, I have these to keep my feet warm and dry, and rather splendidly shod.
The best bit is that I get to spend time with the students, teachers and villagers who have become very special to me. I got a lovely e-mail from the school district administrator who said, in part: "In the past when you had the students' writing published it was really special for all of them. It inspired us to include a section in a grant I wrote last year for money specifically to publish student writing. We haven't spent any of the money yet, and we are hoping that students will do some writing while you are here that we can publish (no pressure of course!) and present one copy to the student and one copy to the school library. During your past visits a lot of students who may have not been motivated previously really did some nice writing."To know that the students are enjoying writing and that I will get to share in that enthusiasm and their friendliness again just makes me so happy I could cry (not that that will come as a surprise to anyone who knows me.