by Flora Napier Published in the Kilmarnock Standard and the Ayrshire Post 4/10/13
Author Christopher Brookmyre spoke to a full house at the Carlton Hotel in Prestwick on Wednesday evening about his writing career. Brookmyre, who is the author of 17 novels to date, read an excerpt from his latest book, Flesh Wounds, to the rapt audience, but wasn’t giving away any clues about his 18th novel which is currently under wraps.
Flesh Wounds is the third book in Brookmyre’s Jasmine Sharp trilogy, which follows the life of the young actress-turned-private-eye as she battles to uncover truths about her own past. The author described these latest books to his audience as having a darker and more serious side to them than some of his earlier books, the first of which, Quite Ugly One Morning, was published in 1996.
The event was organised by Ayr Writer’s Club and Waterstones and was open to visitors as well as club members. The club meets every Wednesday evening at the hotel, with a programme of speakers, workshops, club nights and read-arounds of members’ work.
Christopher kept the audience in stitches throughout the event with colourful anecdotes from his writing life, including reading out an accidentally hilarious email from a confused French translator, incidents from his school days in Barrhead, and his gruesome discovery that it’s possible to figure out ‘where the bodies are buried’ using infra-red aerial heat-scanning. He also let the audience into a few tricks of the trade, advising budding writers to write about what they love – or what they ‘love to hate’, and describing how he gets much of his creative thinking done when he’s walking – he estimated he walks up to a couple of hundred miles per book.
The author has won several awards for his writing, including the Sherlock Award for Best Comic Detective Novel in 2000 for ‘Boiling a Frog’ and the 7th Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction for his novel ‘All Fun and Games Until Someone Loses An Eye’ in 2006. Brookmyre’s books are best known for their humour, social and political commentary and their often very high body count. His writing has been variously been describes as ‘marvellously entertaining’, ‘satirical and biting’ and ‘blackly comic’.
Brookmyre, who was a newspaper journalist and sports editor before he became a full-time fiction writer, is a keen football fan. The St. Mirren supporter is possibly best known amongst Scottish football fans as the author of ‘The Rules of Playground Football’.
Local crime writer and Ayr Writer’s Club member Michael Malone was in the audience. He commented: “Brookmyre demonstrated why he is one of Scotland’s best-selling authors with a talk that was hugely entertaining, hilarious and irreverent while swearing with a panache that would put Malcolm Tucker to shame.” Michael’s published books include two crime novels, ‘Blood Tears’ and ‘Without Malice’.
Christopher Brookmyre will be appearing at the Wigtown Book Festival on 4th October.