Every day we will have Authors from different genres answering my exclusive questionnaire.
Today on the blog, is our featured blogger for the event, the fabulous, talented and gorgeous Sharon Bairden! You can check out Sharon’s blog ~ Chapters In My Life.
Sharon Bairden ~ Crime Fiction TakeOver Interview
Which crime novel stayed with you long after you had finished?
Oh, what a question! I’m a massive crime fiction fan and there are so many out there that have stayed with me for a long time! But you have asked me to narrow it down to just one then I’m going to opt for “Untouchable” by Sibel Hodge. This is not a comfortable read but it is a compulsive read. Untouchable may be a work of fiction but it is based on a horrific reality and people need to be aware that this is real, this happened and still, happens to this day and if this book encourages more people to speak out, come forward and take action then all the better. I don’t think this is a book that you can say that you “enjoyed” as the subject matter is harrowing and upsetting but this is certainly a book that will evoke intense emotions as you follow the story of Maya and Jamie. Sadly I was not shocked as this book is inspired by events and cover-ups that continue to be reported widely, however, I was moved to tears and driven to anger and a feeling of great shame that this is still happening and that perpetrators still escape justice.
If you had, to sum up, Edinburgh in four words, what would they be?
Vibrant; energetic; cosmopolitan and historic
Who is your favourite fictional crime character and why?
You do know that this is like asking me to choose my favourite child, don’t you! Again there are so many out there that have a special place in my heart but I’m going to choose Davie McCall from the Douglas Skelton series (Blood City, Crow Bait; Devil’s Knock and Open Wounds). Davie is one of the bad guys but he is the strong silent type and underneath the dark exterior there is a vulnerability and a sense of goodness about him that is just itching to get out! He’s probably (one of) my all-time favourite fictional crushes!
What is your favourite part of Edinburgh and why?
My favourite part of Edinburgh is Princess St Gardens and Cockburn Street as they conjure up memories of a perfect day I had there many years ago with an old flame – in fact, every time I hear Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” I think of these two places….OH MY, I’m getting Goosebumps now just thinking about it!
If you could have dinner with four fictional crime characters who would they be?
Oh, lovely question! OK, it would be Damon Brook (from Steven Dunne’s Reaper series). As a fictional detective, he absolutely fascinates me, he is a bit of an enigma but has a passion and quest for justice and isn’t afraid to bend the rules to achieve it – I’d love to spend some time getting to know him better! Secondly would be Kenny O’Neill who features in Michael J Malone’s Ray McBain series – Kenny is a bad boy but there is something about him that just draws you to his character; he comes across as a bit cold hearted and ruthless but I’d love to spend some time over dinner with him and find out just what makes him tick! Thirdly, I’m going to go for DI Harry Evans from Graham Smith – he is blunt, brash and straight to the point – I think he’d ruffle a few feathers and get the temperature rising at the table! And finally, I’m going to ask DI Marnie Rome from Sarah Hilary’s series. She is one of my favourite UK female detectives and a bit of a dark horse – I think she would certainly be a great dinner guest and help me keep my unruly guests under some form of control (while at the same time adding to the tension around the table!)
About your own work, where do you find inspiration for your blog?
I’ve been a passionate reader for as long as I can remember and want to tell the world and his aunty about all the brilliant books out there! When I joined some online book clubs I came across the blogging community and thought – wow what a great way to spread the word! There are so many fabulous bloggers out there and they are all ready and willing to lend a hand and give some great advice to newbies – and in their own way they all gave me the inspiration to start off my own – but of course I have to give a special mention to my #Twinnie Noelle of #Crimebookjunkie – we just clicked as soon as we met online and having met in real time, I know that I have made a friend for life!
If your blog had a theme song what would it be?
Watching the Detectives by Elvis Costello – it just fits me and my blog perfectly! The song was written about a crime fiction lover who would rather sit about all day watching detectives on TV than hanging about with friends – this is me to a T – though it’s sitting around reading about crime all day! Mind you, I have been known to be sociable when it comes to book events!
Write the scene of a crime for us, set in Edinburgh, one paragraph long. Include these three items ~ Banana, Greyfriars Bobby and The Wash Bar.
The wind was howling and the rain was pelting down as DI Cooper stood watch over Greyfriars Bobby waiting for the rest of his team to arrive. The stench of death could not be washed away by the rain. It was a thankless task and one that he had been loath to agree to as the hunt continued for crime lord “Mike “Banana” McGovern. McGovern had been terrorising the streets of Edinburgh for the last 3 months and had earned his nickname from his fondness of the Chimpanzee enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo. DI Cooper was determined that this would be the night that he caught McGovern. A last minute tip off from the barman at The Wash Bar had led him to the small statue of Edinburgh’s most famous dog where the body lay. Was he too late?
Do you have any events lined up either online or in person that my readers could attend?
My top 3 book events to recommend to others would have to be:
Bloody Scotland – held in Stirling every year in September and brings together some of the top names in crime fiction.
Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival – held in Harrogate every year in July and it is the top place for just hanging around chilling with some amazing authors, bloggers and readers!
Aye Write Book Festival – held in Glasgow, every March; it is not specifically a crime writer’s festival but it is one of my favourite festivals for the venue (The Mitchell Library in Glasgow); the atmosphere and the variety of events taking place!
You can find me at all of the above every year!
Could you tell us about your journey to blogging?
When I first started reviewing books, I refused to share them publicly, other than on that big old anonymous River #Amazon. I mean, who would want to read my reviews, they are not wordy literary critiques and who really cares what little old me thinks anyway. Besides if folk seen them they would just laugh at them wouldn’t they?
So when I set up my blog I didn’t share it or make it public, I just left it sitting there in the ethers of the t’internet world, after all, it was just a load of waffle really, wasn’t it?
Anyway, then I discovered online book clubs and was amazed at the interaction between authors and readers! Wow I thought, other people are keen to hear thoughts and views on books, whether it’s as a means of recommending a book as a reader, constructive feedback and that well needed pat on the back for authors and their publishers (and there is nothing wrong with that – as an employee it is always good to be told you have done a good job or to be given some constructive feedback on how you might develop further). So I started reading other people’s reviews as a means of finding new books to read (like I really ever needed to expand my TBR pile!) Wow, I thought, these are like just ordinary people writing just ordinary words about the books they have read – nobody seems to be laughing at them and they are getting great feedback about their reviews – and they are not academic literary masterpieces full of jargon and references (my uni days are long over and I don’t really want to go back to all that!) Hmmm, wonder if anyone would like any of my reviews I thought?
And then I took the plunge and shared one of my reviews from my blog – guess what – nobody laughed, people even liked it and commented on it, some folk even shared it…and other bloggers said “Well done you, good job” and that was me….I was hooked!
How can my readers connect with you?
I was very lucky to meet Sharon just last week at Noir@TheBar#3 in Edinburgh. Although it was brief it was lovely to connect. Hopefully next time we can have a real blether.
HUGE thanks and much love to Sharon for taking the time to be on my blog today.
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