Friday, March 25, 2011

Here I am at Type M for Murder!

Hello from Scotland on a sunny morning, when spring as last has sprung after a long, dreary winter, with crocuses, daffodils and primroses in the front garden under the silver birches and even red camellias under my study window.

Vicki, many thanks for inviting me to join Type M and thanks to Rick for his friendly help and advice. I'm looking forward to getting to know you all.

I should probably start with the addict's confession: My name is Aline and I am a writer. I scribbled my first 'novel' at six, the risqué tale of Mr Wiz and Mrs Woz who went off to Paris together for the weekend – yes, perhaps I was a precocious child!

I'm still scribbling, because it's a compulsion, because I can't not. I'm happiest at my desk, trying to write fast enough to keep up with the story in my head, though as Vicki said last week, meeting other authors and gossiping over a glass in the bar is kinda fun as well..

I love, too, my tax-deductible holidays – I mean, of course, trips undertaken exclusively for necessary research, in beautiful Galloway in south-west Scotland where my DI Marjory Fleming series is set. It fascinates me: it has glorious seascapes, lochs, hills and forests but there's rural deprivation, too, and unemployment and small communities struggling to preserve their unique qualities - and it's only two hours away from Glasgow, murder capital of Europe. Urban fantasies of the idyllic country life are just that.

As my new book, Cradle to Grave, launches in paperback, the familiar cosy book world I used to know so well is changing beyond recognition: e-books, social networking, piracy, tweeting, bookshops that don't exist except on the internet, and small bookshops thjat don't exist any more. As all the old certainties disappear, it's stimulating but scary at the same time. Whatever else changes, though, they'll still need what's pompously called 'creative content' – stories, to you and me.

And there are still kids who know from the start that they're tellers of tales. If you want proof, I've attached a delightful video below of a very young French storyteller. It's as good as spring sunshine.

Cradle to Grave is the sixth in the DI Marjory Fleming series which starts with Cold in the Earth. All are available from Hodder & Stoughton.