Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Douglas Skelton and my specialist subject is not revealing my age. Let’s say I’m old enough to remember…something. Not sure what.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m from Glasgow but I live in south west Scotland in a place that according to service and utility company is so remote I’ve called it Hole in the Wall.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I was a bit of a dunce at school and barely scraped by with a handful of O levels. I have two sisters and a brother but due to our parents divorce I ended up with a step father and was brought up alone. I’m now single, childfree because a dog and a cat are enough to deal with!
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
It’s just been announced that I’m sharing a stage with Denzil Meyrick at this year’s Aye Write Festival in Glasgow (March 20). It will coincide with the publication of my latest book ‘The Blood is Still’ (Polygon). I’m not sure who this Denzil Meyrick is but I’m sure he’s very good.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing since I was a child. One of my memories is lying on the floor of our flat in Springburn in Glasgow writing a crime story. As to why, I don’t know – it’s something that is in you and frankly, you can’t fight it.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I was a journalist for years but didn’t consider myself a writer until I had my first book published, Blood on the Thistle, which was a true crime book.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I had written a series of features for the Glasgow Evening Times on some old crimes and Russell Kyle, the then Features Editor, said there was a book in them. He suggested I submit the notion to Mainstream in Edinburgh and they accepted! I soon learned it wasn’t always that easy.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It came to me suddenly. I’ve no idea how or why. But then, that’s how my books happen too!
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I try to make things as fast moving as possible. I’d say stylistically I’m more American than British. And I find the whole process challenging.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Absolutely none. My Glasgow crime series featuring Davie McCall, which started with Blood City, was informed by my work on a miscarriage of justice and subsequently investigation work for Glasgow solicitors but no characters are based on anyone living or dead.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I do tend to visit real life locations I plan to feature. For The Blood is Still, the new one, I spent some time in Inverness and surrou8nding areas. For Thunder Bay, however, I used bits and pieces of a number of islands to create my fictional Stoirm.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The publishers handle all that.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
To paraphrase Sam Goldwyn, messages are for texts. I write to entertain.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I couldn’t pick any one author out. There are a host of terrific writers working today. Too many, in fact, and there may have to be a cull to leave room on shelves for me. However, I have a number of favourites, but I have to give a shout out to Ed McBain, as it was his 87th Precinct novels that made me want to tell my stories.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My dogs were always keen because they thought I’d become rich and get them better food. Didn’t happen though. Apart from them, I’d have to say close friends.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I do. I now write full-time – well, in between social media and lots of sitting around.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I’m never satisfied with anything I write and always believe I can do it all better.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Don’t take a break of three months between starting and finishing.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
As Rebecca Connolly, as written, is in her mid-twenties it would probably have to be a newcomer. Let’s make a star! But otherwise I think Karen Gillan would be ideal.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Just write. Get a full draft done, get the skeleton of the plot set and then work on it. Don’t labour over the perfect sentence. Get it down and fix it later.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Buy my books. My dog is still hoping for better food.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The Last Dance by Ed McBain. I always re-read one of his before I begin something new, just to put me back in touch with the magic.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I seem to remember something called Two Doggie Tales by Enid Blyton.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
The answer to both is the same – Brexit. Seriously, I laugh at all sorts of things – US sitcoms like Friends and The Big Bang Theory. The plays of Neil Simon. Tommy Cooper. Morecambe and Wise. And I cry at anything to do with animals.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
You should never meet your heroes, they may disappoint. But there are some politicians now active who I’d like to meet just to see if I could get away with giving them a slap.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I take landscape photographs. And snaps of my dog and cat.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
All sorts of things. I love movies but have found myself returning to older films more lately, especially the 60s and 70s. I have a fondness for the thrillers of the 70s. There was a grit about them that is lacking now. My New York chase thriller ‘The Janus Run’ was inspired by this love.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
No particular favourite food or colour. But I love film scores and that, generally, is what I listen to.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’d become some rich woman’s plaything. Failing that, perhaps edit.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
With my pets, listening to music with someone I love. And sending off insulting tweets to those politicians I want to slap.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
He was good.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I have a website – www.douglasskelton.com
Thunder Bay: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thunder-Bay-exciting-atmospheric-thriller-ebook/dp/B07LGDW7VY?pf_rd_p=d79debb4-4345-4c84-ba3c-629cad270cf9&pd_rd_wg=yhkBz&pf_rd_r=3YNEV1G5G0J8WP0MB51E&ref_=pd_gw_cr_simh&pd_rd_w=Uxaik&pd_rd_r=1b3aa11d-7f7c-46eb-b8d8-9d09fa378dea
Amazon Author link UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Douglas-Skelton/e/B001K7TR10?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000