All items: death

Would I be guilty of destroying the serious intent underneath the humour, with this 'coffin' stunt? Would I be guilty of stripping my protagonist of his dignity?
Each time I return to Middlemarch l find it has changed; on first reading it was the story of Dorothea, nowadays she has to share my interest with less glamorous characters.
Recently I fell out of love with the written word; so glib, so manipulable and so manipulative. I started resenting the little plastic worlds it makes, its booming authority and its eternal set-in-stone endurance.

Donny O’Rourke visits old haunts in Dumfries and the Borders, ghosted by the bards of Scotland’s past, for the liminal Celtic festival of Samhain.

Julian Turner considers the usefulness of imagination, not just to the writer, but also to the exile and the abused child, and suggests that metaphorical thinking may be psychologically essential.

The compulsion to write is paradoxically both a celebration of life, and a protest at its passing; not that I think about this when I'm actually at my desk with a pen in my hand.
Many times I've said I've had I enough, I'm getting a real job; I can't take the uncertainty anymore. Then I get an idea. I write it down and I'm away from the world. I'm in my own universe where I'm in charge.

Doug Johnstone speaks with Cherise Saywell about shifting from engineering to domestic noir via music journalism, exploring conflicted masculinity in his work, and being part of the Tartan Noir family of Scottish crime writers.