Sunday, August 16, 2020

Once Upon a Time.... and Now

Once upon a time, a very long time ago now, there was a brilliant writer called Peter May who was one of the Type M team. I was thrilled when he invited me to do a guest blog, and even more thrilled when, after his brilliance became more widely recognised and book tours and personal appearances all over the world ate up his time and he stood down, Rick invited me to join them.

It was very exciting to reach across the Atlantic from my desk in Edinburgh, Scotland, and find myself in company with Canadian and American writers. There was a lot I didn't know about the crime writing scene there that they were so familiar with: I didn't fully understand what a 'cozy' was, I'd never heard of 'pantsers' and the spellcheck was constantly querying words I knew I had spelled perfectly correctly, at least as far as the Oxford English Dictionary was concerned. (Sometimes I changed it and sometimes I got bolshie and reckoned you would probably work out what 'recognised' meant, even if it was spelled with an 's' instead of a 'z'.) Every so often I would throw in a Scots word, like 'peelie-wally' (off-colour, not well) to mix things up a bit.

The wonderful thing was the welcome I had and the friendship that has grown up over the years, not just with the present writers but with the others in the past, and with the readers too who have responded and even been kind enough to buy my books. Type M is truly a family, which makes this a difficult blog to write.

Lockdown in Scotland has been very hard, as it has been everywhere.  When you're not able to go anywhere, or to do very much, it's not only a depressing experience, it cuts you off from the meetings and conversations that spark new ideas about the fascinating world of crime writing. Certainly there is usually something fresh you can say with a new angle on an old idea, but I've become worried that I might end up just giving you what is, to use another Scots phrase, 'cauld kale het' (cold cabbage, re-heated)and having you say, as Mr Bennett so tartly did to poor Mary, 'You have delighted us long enough.'

So this, dear friends, is good-bye from me. Oh, of course I'll pop in and see what you're all doing, but it's time you had someone new. I'll look forward very much to reading their posts.

Rick, thank you so much for your inspiration and patience over the years and thank you to my kind and supportive colleagues. I know you have great ideas for the future and wish you every success with this fantastic blog.

And thank you too, to everyone who has been interested enough to read my posts. You can always find me at my website, or on Twitter, @Aline Templeton

Good-bye and good luck. 😀


Anonymous said...

You will be greatly missed, Aline, and I'll continue to seek out your books to add to my (already lengthy) pandemic reading list! And speaking of Peter May, I recently finished reading his book Lockdown, set in London during a bird flu pandemic (I also very much enjoyed his Lewis trilogy). By all means, do pop in occasionally! Is anyone taking over your alternate-Mondays place on Type M?

Susan D said...

Oh Aline, noooo....

Well, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. Take care, write long, and prosper.

Gonna miss you.

(p.s. Canadians are familiar with both US and UK spelling. We can get very touchy about it.)

Sybil Johnson said...

You will be missed! Regarding spelling: I've read so many books by Brits and Canadians that I can honestly say that I don't remember which is American spelling or British spelling for some words. I regularly look up some of them.

Aline Templeton said...

Thanks, Susan and 'Anonymous'. It's been great fun, and I'll miss you too. I'm sure Rick will be working on finding someone for the alternate-Monday slot.

Barbara Fradkin said...

I'm late with my well-wishes, Aline! We will miss you, but it's not good bye as I hope one day to connect in person, with you and the rest of the Type Mers.