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Comment from the book world in August 2021

August 2021

'I always wanted to write books, and always crime'

23 August 2021

‘I always wanted to write books, and always crime. I'd read Agatha Christie as a child and in the late 1980s I discovered the US crime writer Sara Paretsky. I thought: wow, these are the kind of books I want to write - books with strong female protagonists with a brain and sense of humour; women who didn't have to get the guys in for the heavy lifting. I wanted my characters to be three-dimensional, and if some of those characters happened to be gay, they were not defined by it...

I never wrote to be successful, so success was a happy surprise. But I don't particularly live the life of a rich person - no flash cars, no ridiculous jewellery, and I used to buy most of my shirts from Debenhams.'

Val McDermid, whose latest book is 1979, and who is the author of 45 books, nearly all of them crime novels, which have sold over 17 million copies worldwide, in the Sunday Times magazine


'The internet has been a lifeline'

9 August 2021

‘The outlook may sound bleak. But the internet has been a lifeline, enabling authors to lean on their peers. With fewer events and chances to meet face-to-face, the virtual author community has never been more important. And boy, have we needed moral support the past year or so!...

More people turned to reading during the pandemic, in particular using their e-readers when they couldn't get to physical stores. A lot of authors I know have seen this reflected in their digital sales, which have positively boomed during this time.'

Tracy Buchanan, creator of Savvy Writers, a blog which offers help and resources for published authors, in Bookbrunch