Why should we read this series?
Glasgow Kiss is a fun, fast moving thriller. It’s funny in places and a lot of readers so far have said they read it in one sitting!
Where did the story come from?
Years ago, I was working on an oil refinery in Ohio (long story!) when one of my colleagues told me a story about her aunt going on a date in Seattle in the seventies sometime. Apparently the guy was an absolutely gorgeous prince charming – she got terrible food poisoning on the way home and he never called. For years she kicked herself thinking she had screwed it up with Mr Perfect by having a dodgy tummy. Several years later she spotted him on the news: it was Ted Bundy.
The idea of having been so close to a monster and having a crush on him fascinated me (I mean, I have pretty bad taste in men, but… !) and it rattled around in my head for years before this story started to form.
How long did it take you to write this book?
It’s a bit of a tricky answer as the basic concept went through a few different versions before it finally found its story. You’d never recognise it now from those early versions, but they were all part of the process.
In terms of the story it is now, it went amazingly quickly in fact. I had a random eureka moment when the whole story as it should be kind of tumbled into place in my mind (I was walking down the stairs at Buchanan St Subway station in Glasgow and nearly caused a pile up!). That was at the beginning of May this year, and I spent the rest of spring and summer in a mad, furious writing trance… and here we are!
The Glasgow setting seems almost to be a character itself – was that deliberate?
Very much so. Though I was born in Glasgow, my family moved abroad when I was eight and I just moved home for the first time in 30 years at the beginning of this year, so Glasgow and being Glaswegian has been on my mind a lot this past year.
Though no stranger to crime, what defines Glasgow for me is the warmth of the people – the fact you can get into conversation with a complete stranger anywhere, any time and find yourselves lifelong pals in the space of an hour. That and our black humour – I don’t think there is anything so dark a Glaswegian won’t see the funny side! Those two elements are kind of the foundations of this story.
What research did you to to write this book?
I’m a weirdo who has always been a bit fascinated by serial killers, so I had already read quite a bit before even starting. I met a detective in a bar one Friday night who ended up helping me with some of the police procedure which was very handy! The most fun research has just been wandering around eavesdropping on Glasgow banter!
If you had to go for a drink with one character from the book, who would you chose and why?
Ooh that’s a tough one, because I kind of love all of them! Lorna or Moira would be great for a night out, though there’s a lot even I don’t know about Amy yet, so I wouldn’t mind picking her brains over a bottle of red. And is it weird if I have a bit of a crush on Ruari?!
Were there any real life inspirations for any of the characters?
Well it would be a spoiler to say which character, but I will say that Ted Bundy inspired… somebody! Other than that, there are tiny elements of people I know here and there, but none of the characters are directly based on anybody.
What surprised you most about writing this book?
Ruari! He was a fairly minor character in the first draft, just a friend of Lorna’s that got in the way here and there, and then all of a sudden he decided he was more important. That’s one of the most fun parts of writing, when a character comes to life and starts bossing me about!
What scene was your favourite/the hardest to write?
I really loved writing all of this book – unusually so! Somehow it just kind of caught the wind and almost wrote itself (long may that last!!) The trickiest scenes are any involving Amy and Alec, simply because so much rests on which of them (if either!) you trust, so trying to get the balance right felt a bit like playing operation sometimes.
What do you hope readers will remember about this book?
I did a poll in the private Facebook group for people who have read the book in which I asked which of the characters readers would like to have a drink with, and Lorna won by a country mile which made me really happy. So often in crime thrillers the victim is kind of brushed over, defined mostly by the fact they were murdered, and I really wanted the reader to feel as though they knew her as a person.