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Crime writer who finds crime fiction murder

By Margaret Chrystall


Word On The Street: Douglas Lindsay


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ONE of the many attractions the Dingwall book festival Word On The Street offers is that on a dreich Saturday morning you can be entertained by a crime writer who could double as a stand up.

In August, Douglas Lindsay published the third book in his DI Westphall series, set in Dingwall. And that sounds simple compared to the ups and downs of his quest for publication with the series.

But Douglas found a major new publisher when the first one imploded a couple of years ago. Now having got a deal with Hodder, one of the ‘big five’ publishers, Douglas explained in football terms that it was like “Being let go by Cowdenbeath and ending up at Barcelona!”

He told Word On The Street, he has written many crime novels, other books online, wrote a humorous Scottish Independence blog later book in 2014, since first championed by 80s style mag The Face as a “Scottish literary maestro”.

The books began with the Barney Thomson series which inspired the hit Robert Carlyle movie The Legend Of Barney Thomson in 2015. If Douglas seems remarkably up on his Highland geography in the Westphall books, it’s only because he has lived here for a while – just after leaving his job with the Ministry Of Defence.

Maybe his most surprising revelation – apart from the fact the mobile phone going off belonged to his mum – he never reads crime fiction.

“One day I might write spy novels with Westphall because I’m not a big fan of police procedurals, even though I’ve written 15!” he boldly confessed.

“I’ve written 13 non-crime books and no-one's has bought them,” he reasoned., revealing a surprisingly low-key approach to promotion.

On his website “They just sit there and wait for people to find them!”

This event was the perfect inducement... MC


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