‘I’m not really sure where the idea to move back to Scotland came from,’ says CS Duffy. ‘After my dad got a job in France when I was eight, I grew up in Paris, the States and London, then as an adult I’ve lived in Canada and Sweden. I’d been living in Stockholm for six years after moving there on a whim, and though I loved it I was starting to get itchy feet again.
‘The notion to try out living in Glasgow came to me, and as soon as it crossed my mind I knew it was what I wanted to do. I’ve been back a year now and I absolutely love it. They say you can take the girl out of Glasgow – and it’s quite literally true in my case!’
Born in Shawlands, Duffy’s family moved to Torrance when she was a year old. ‘My mum’s parents were in Bishopbriggs and my dad’s in Kirkintilloch so it made sense for us to be nearby. I remember walking along the river and my Grandma telling me there were fairies sleeping so I had to be quiet. I absolutely believed that bit of the Kelvin was infested with fairies for years until it occurred to me that she just wanted five minutes’ peace from a chatterbox wee girl.
‘Almost as soon as I got settled, the story that would become Dark of Night started forming in my mind. I had the initial idea years ago, after a colleague at an oil refinery in Ohio (long story!) told me that her aunt went on a date with Ted Bundy in the seventies, but it rattled round my brain for years before I figured out what the story was. Even though it’s a crime thriller, it’s really a love letter to the people of Glasgow, especially our warmth, wit and ability to see the funny side of absolutely everything.’
Dark of Night is Duffy’s first novel, after more than a decade as a screenwriter for film and TV. She trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and the Vancouver Film School before embarking on what she calls her ‘technicolor dream career of many day jobs.’
‘You name it, I’ve done it. I’ve worked in pubs, shops, offices and as a kayak-tour guide in Stockholm. I’ve been a runner on film sets, a casting assistant and wardrobe mistress. I very nearly maimed the actor playing Puck in a production of A Midsummer’s Night Dream while trying to repair his trousers in the wings in the pitch dark. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say he saw his ability to have children flash before his eyes.’
She decided to self publish after getting frustrated with the pace at which the gears of the industry can grind. ‘I’ve spent my entire career waiting for agents to get back to me, producers to get back to me, broadcasters to get back to me. I was so excited by Dark of Night that I just wanted to get it out there and with the self publishing revolution, writers are now able to do just that. The first episode (Dark of Night is broken into three episodes) was released just before Christmas last year, and I have been absolutely thrilled by the response so far. I’ve even been recognised once – bizarrely enough, while on my paddleboard in Loch Lomond!’