Book Week Scotland 2015

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Book Week Scotland 2015 runs from 23 – 29 November, with hundreds of book-related events taking place across the country.

I have been invited to speak at Ullapool Library on Wednesday 25, and I’ve got to tell you – I’m really looking forward to it.

Expect readings, revelations, and a sneak preview of Boiling Point.  Should be a lively night.

If you live in – or are visiting – Scotland, check out the list of events on the Scottish Book Trust website.  Chances are there’s something great going on near you.  Why not go along and show your support.

LG Thomson is the author of Boyle’s Law, Each New Morn, and Erosion.

 

 

Monkey Business

I recently met someone who writes on an old electric typewriter instead of her laptop so that she isn’t distracted by anything on the internet. No way, I’m thinking. I want access to everything. If there’s a little fact I need to know, or an answer I require, I want to be able to get to it as soon as. I want to keep the words flowing. Not be stumbling over some itty, bitty info-jam.

Earlier today, there I am, pounding the keyboard. The words are coming good. The chapter I was stuck on yesterday? Forget about it. Yesterday’s gone. Today I’m cooking on gas. Word after word, it just keeps on coming. I’m excited.  I’m on a roll. I can feel that it’s good. And then I’m working on this scene about a woman on the outside looking in.  She doesn’t fit. Doesn’t get the joke. Her friends are laughing like… … like what exactly?

It comes to me snappy style. They are screeching like a troop of oversexed monkeys. Yeah, monkeys. I know monkeys screech. I’ve heard ‘em. But what kind of monkey? Howlers, right? But then I’m thinking, really? So I click the Firefox icon at the bottom of the screen and I do a search for howler monkeys.

Pretty soon I’m watching a video on Youtube and I realise no – the women in the scene – they don’t sound like howler monkeys. Howler monkeys have got this big, croaky bellow thing going on.  I’m looking for something higher-pitched. Screechier. I search up monkey info. I learn there are Old World Monkeys and New World Monkeys. I scroll through a list of monkeys until I find a candidate – the gibbon. I think gibbons make a lot of noise, but I’ve got to know for sure.  Suddenly the whole scene is hanging on the accuracy of the monkey simile.  So I check out gibbon videos on Youtube. Sure enough, they have exactly the ear-scarring quality I am looking for. Now I am happy. Now I can get back to writing.  The simile is accurate.  I tell myself I don’t need to know the type of gibbon.  This is a noir thriller, not a natural history handbook.  Nobody is going to lose sleep over what kind of gibbon it is.

Just as I’m congratulating myself for not being sucked into the cyber-hole that is the gibbon – monkey or ape? – controversy, I notice a video titled Gibbon taunts tiger – Complete and Best Quality. I don’t know which part of the title suckers me in more. Gibbon taunts tiger is pretty cool, but who could resist Complete and Best Quality

So I watch, and it is good. And my gaze is drawn to the sidebar of temptation. There is a video of a tiger attacking a student in a zoo. Another one called Top Funniest Monkey Compilations 2014.  It has had over four million views… At this point I catch onto myself. I close the window. I’ve got to get back to work. Gibbons, they sound like gibbons, that’s all anyone needs to know. Tomorrow, I am going onto the local free ads site to find out if anyone has an electric typewriter for sale.

Video of a gibbon taunting a tiger.

LG Thomson is working on Boiling Point, the sequel to Boyle’s Law.

thriller, noir, crime fiction

Talking about Boyle’s Law

thriller, noir, crime fiction

One of the enjoyable side effects of being a published author is the questions I am asked by readers. I love how people have engaged with the characters in my books and am sometimes taken by surprise by the different ways those characters are perceived.

In this post, I will attempt to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Boyle’s Law.

Q:  Are any of the characters in Boyle’s Law based on real people?

A:  A few of the minor characters are named after old friends, but their fictional namesakes in no way resemble the real people. My husband has a walk-on part – our daughters recognised him straight away, which amused me greatly – but no, Boyle, Stella, Frank, and all the rest, do not exist in real life.  At least, I hope not.

Q:  I thought Stella was a real piece of work, but my husband had a different take on her – what do you think?

A:  I wrote Boyle’s Law in close third person so that the reader is really in on the action, getting the story from whichever character is in focus. But I didn’t write any scenes from Stella’s point-of-view – I didn’t want the reader to know any more about what’s going on inside her head than Boyle does. It’s never really clear whether she’s a victim or whether she’s the one pulling the strings. It’s up to each reader how they take her. I like the ambiguity of her character.

Q:  Who is your favourite character in Boyle’s Law?

A:  I enjoy them all as I’m writing them though Boyle sometimes drives me round the twist. He just keeps on making those bad decisions – one right after another. He is the author of his own downfall but I find it amusing how he manages to justify to himself the appalling things he does. Polo Morrison is a sweary beastie and was a lot of fun to write.

Q:  Is Boyle coming back?

A:  I originally planned Boyle’s Law as a stand-alone book. Even as I was writing it, I wasn’t sure who would be left standing by the end, but the characters have resonated so well with readers, and in fact with me as a writer, that I felt compelled to return to them. I don’t want to give anything away at the moment, suffice to say that Boyle will be back in Boiling Point.

LG Thomson is the author of Each New Morn, Erosion and Boyle’s Law.