Book cover to Stuart’s latest
Robert Young of Newbiggin mystery series.
It has been my pleasure throughout the last couple of years to meet and befriend some fabulous authors, I feel very privileged to know some of the favourites who have brought so much entertainment with their stories, including Stuart Laing, Bob Atkinson, Diane Major, Shannon McRoberts & many, many more. What has become even more of a pleasure is their agreement to an interview.
So here’s where I start, I first came across Stuart Laing’s work when I bought his book ‘A Pound of Flesh,’ I found it to be one of those books that draws you in even from its first sentence, here is a quote from his book.
QUOTE: “For the briefest moment the dark city of Edinburgh was illuminated as brightly as at midday when a plunging finger of lightning smashed into fiery ruin and glowing splinters an unfortunate tree which had stood for over a century on the slopes of the Pentland Hills.”
Copyright Stuart Laing 2012© A pound of flesh ~ A Robert Young of Newbiggin Mystery.
This book to me is both thrilling and spine chilling; heading me down the road to reading the series, discovering a crime thriller series that blew me away.
The story begins in April, 1745: to read more find – ‘A pound of Flesh on amazon with this UK link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pound-Robert-Newbiggin-Mystery-ebook/dp/B007B2SG74/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1373990308&sr=8-1&keywords=A+pound+of+flesh+stuart+laing
So my first dilemma was what to ask one of my favourite authors? Here are my top ten author questions…
RWM – “What is your current genre? What made you chose this subject?”
SL – “Scottish historical crime fiction.”
“I chose it mainly due to my love of Scottish history and all things Edinburgh. It is a city of never ending delights plus the fact that it is really two cities for the price of one. You have the gorgeous splendour of the Georgian New Town which rivals Bath in elegance and then you have the hodge-podge of the Old Town which despite various ‘improvements’ has managed to retain so much of its original character. To explore down the narrow, dark closes and wynds is to take a step back in time. It is easy to imagine all manner of nefarious deeds being committed in these tight lanes.”
RWM – “Wow Stuart, what a great answer, sounds fabulous there. You are so lucky to have all this close at hand. – Can I ask you about your current book or what your latest work is about?”
SL – “I am currently working on Major Weir’s Dark Legacy which will be the fourth Robert Young of Newbiggin Mystery. Major Weir was a strange character from the 17th Century. He was a pillar of the community, a war hero who suddenly claimed to one and all that he was conjuring demons up and communicating with the Devil. It seems everyone was desperate to explain this away as senility (he was in his 70’s) but he, along with his equally elderly sister, were adamant they were Satanists who eventually were put to death. The basic plot is that rival booksellers want possession of what is claimed to be his private writings and alleged spell book. One bookseller is murdered; the other is accused and turns to Robert Young to clear his name. The murder is the dark legacy.”
RWM –“That is fantastic can’t wait to read it! – So who is your favourite author? Can you recommend one of their books?”
SL – “Deep breath. Ian Rankin and Rebus, Lindsey Davis and her Falco series set in ancient Rome, Robert Louis Stevenson, Tolkien, Tom Clancy, Stephen King, Val McDermid, Bernard Cornwell amongst the established authors, and then if we are to add all the Indie authors I have been lucky enough to discover over the past year the list grows into several pages!”
RWM – “Yes we are getting some great talent in the Indie author industry, I must admit to buying more indie than traditionally published work now, I must admit to owning a few on your list myself obviously a man of great taste! – Can you tell me how long you have been writing?”
SL – “I wrote several fantasy fiction books during my late teens and early twenties which never saw the light of day although I quite enjoyed them. I only got back into writing five or so years ago when I wrote what was intended to be a short story to be shared with the Bible study group I was attending. They all enjoyed it so much it became a dozen or so short stories which in the manner of the old cinema serials became a whole. These introduced me to Robert Young, his wife Euphemia, Captain Travers and Estelle Cannonby although the tales were set in my hometown and a hundred years before the RyoNM. I liked the characters but when it came to the current series I moved them to Edinburgh and 1745. So far they seem to have enjoyed the move.”
RWM – “Yes I have to admit, I love this area of Scottish history myself.”
Both author and interviewer pause before the next question.
RWM – “What is one of your pet hates?”
SL – “When my cat turns up her nose at perfectly good food…I may have misunderstood the question! Seriously I don’t understand people who refuse to read a book because of the genre. Over the past year I have read lesbian erotica, vampire tales, science fiction etc which would not normally have featured on my reading lists but having got to know the others I have discovered just how enjoyable all these genres can be. I now kick myself for not discovering what I was missing sooner.”
RWM- Big smile, agreeing completely. “Tell me a quality you really like about yourself?”
SL – “That’s the hardest question to answer, curse you lol. Probably the ability to see another person’s point of view and not just go “because I said so, and we all know that I am always right!”
RWM – “A quality I wish my husband had, after all, I am always right!” LOL.
RWM – “What do you hope to achieve in your life, from your writing?”
SL – “My greatest hope is that my daughter achieves all the things she hopes for. That would give me more satisfaction than anything else. I would be quite content if my books amuse and entertain those who read them and encourage them to discover Edinburgh for themselves. I won’t lie and if I could make a living from writing rather than working nightshifts in a hotel I would be overjoyed. Until that happens I shall just continue to plug away and do the best I can.”
RWM- “That’s so lovely Stuart; I can only hope you get what you wish for, for both yourself and your daughter, what a lucky girl to have such a great father!”
RWM- “Please take some time now to sell your book!”
SL – “Tales of murder, mystery, political intrigue, double dealings along with the dramas of family life and romance on the cobbled streets of Auld Reekie. From the glamour of balls at Holyrood Palace to the lowest drinking dens on the Cowgate old Edinburgh is brought to life in all its noisy, smelly splendour!”
RWM – “What is your favourite work? What is its link so people can buy it? Tell me about it and why you believe people should buy it?”
SL – “With three books and a short story already written in the series I would be hard pushed to pick out a favourite. If someone was to pick up just one of them I may suggest the first one (A Pound of Flesh) as a logical starting point although all are self-contained with only small stories continuing between books such as the growing romance between Charles Travers and Estelle Cannonby so they can be read in any order. I think the third one The Children in The Shadows would be my own favourite purely as it features Alice Galbraith more than the others. She has forced herself into my heart with her wicked sense of humour and her pluck.
Okay, if I have to pick just one I’ll plumb for that. The murder of a young girl leads Robert and Charles into their darkest investigation to date and brings Robert face to face with his most dangerous enemy to date.”
UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Children-Shadows-Newbiggin-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00CBELIZE/ref=sr_1_2_bnp_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1373982164&sr=1-2
US – http://www.amazon.com/Children-Shadows-Newbiggin-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00CBELIZE/ref=sr_1_2_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1373982216&sr=1-2
RWM – “Thanks so much Stuart, I now know where to find this fab new novel. So, do you believe that big authors can charge too much for their eBooks?”
SL – “Now there’s a touchy subject! Personally I feel that some do, although they probably justify the price compared to the time and effort that goes into writing a book. I think a higher price can be more justified in an actual physical copy of a book as you have printing costs to be considered. I suppose the marketing budget has to be covered somehow though for eBooks!”
RWM – “Lastly please can you tell me and your fans a little about yourself, what made you become an author and do you have a job besides writing?”
SL – “Middle-aged, balding Scotsman with a fondness for real ale, football and cats! Married for 20 years come this September to Joellen with a 17 year old daughter who has clearly seen everything the world has to offer!
As I mentioned earlier I fell into writing more by accident than design but so far most people seem to have enjoyed the books so I must be doing something right which makes me smile. When not writing I have the more respectable job of being duty manager at night in a posh hotel on the shores of the Forth here in the Kingdom of Fife.”
RWM – “It’s been so wonderful to talk to you Stuart thanks so much for your time, much success for the future for you and your lovely family.”
SL – “Thank you Ruth for allowing me the opportunity to have this chat with you this afternoon. I’ve enjoyed it immensely.”