There are many fantastic contemporary Scottish crime authors who are very inspirational and it is impossible to narrow it down to just a few. However, below are four who inspired me in different ways.
One of the things that struck me when I first read Irvine Welsh, was the energy of his writing. I loved the dark chaos and the absolute mayhem in some of the scenes. I also thought that the gritty language was an accurate part of the story. I also use hard language for certain characters because their speech must be authentic and it is what I heard growing up in the east end of Glasgow.
When I read The Cutting Room by Louise Welsh, I was very impressed with the use of character. Rilke was an extremely engaging protagonist. In the Wheeler and Ross series, I wanted to create characters who were vivid and exciting. It was important to me that the two detectives Kat Wheeler and Steven Ross have a great rapport. Also important was that the criminal characters including Doyle and Weirdo, had their chance to shine. I eventually had the chance to spend a week with Louise as part of an Arvon course which was extremely inspiring.
When I wrote Riven, I had no idea that it was going to be a series, so when my publisher suggested this, I was extremely excited and immediately agreed. I then had to ask myself a series of questions. How would I develop my characters over many books? How to hold something back, while sharing enough of each character that the books could stand alone? How to keep the reader interested over a series? I had already read all the Rebus novels by Ian Rankin and had seen how he developed the character of Rebus. While Wheeler and Ross are very different characters from Rebus, the idea of developing them was intriguing.
I chose to set the series in my hometown, Glasgow. There are many great writers using this location, including Denise Mina. In her novels, Denise creates a solid sense of location and I wanted to use my knowledge of the city to create my own sense of place. I was born and brought up in Auchenshuggle and I wanted to use some of Glasgow’s iconic buildings which I love, including The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, one of the city’s gems.
Torn by Anne Randall is out now, £14.99