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07-12-2023

Martyn Waites speaks with Doug Johnstone about learning crime writing on the job, adopting a female pseudonym and the joys of writing daleks.

16-02-2023

Andrew Greig speaks with Doug Johnstone about 60s music as his gateway to poetry, his accidental success as a poet while failing to becoming a musician, how a poem got him a place on Himalayan climbing expeditions and the value he places on triggering emotion in his readers.

Ruth Dugdall visits some famous writing spaces – from J. K. Rowling’s Edinburgh café to Dylan Thomas’s shed – and asks what a writer’s chosen workplace can reveal about their life and art.
'I once sat on a panel with two British Asian male crime writers. There to discuss 'diversity', the three of us brown-skinned authors looked out over a sea of white faces. We were, in fact, the only non-Caucasians in the entire festival.'
'What I realise now is that it's a war of attrition. If you want to get anywhere in the book world, you have to keep chipping away at the edifice, working away at your craft, tapping along on the laptop. And the rejections never end.'
'Writers don't need to be prisoners, or exiles, or even cursed by elements of their own society to feel an outsider. The biographies of writers are littered with references to feelings of distance.'
05-03-2020

Mark McCrum speaks with James McConnachie about his long term background efforts in fiction, his experiences with self-publishing and how to do it properly, finding success in genre fiction and his openness to whatever comes next.

29-08-2019

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.

17-01-2019

Stephen Wyatt takes us to an unusual destination: the Gallifrey One convention, where participants are enthusiastic, oddly dressed, and gratifyingly appreciative of his own 30-year-old TV script.

Doug Johnstone reminds us that no completed novel lives up to what its creator initially imagined, and explains how a complete failure three books in led him to find his true writing voice.

04-10-2018

Kathleen Jones revisits the remote hill farm she grew up on in Cumbria, and the landscape that shaped her.

Catherine O'Flynn explores the hidden spaces of Merry Hill, the suburban shopping centre where she used to work.

Doug Johnstone ponders his adopted city of Edinburgh, a literary capital that he was nervous of using as a setting for his novels.

As a former member of a rock band who has also been a music journalist, Doug Johnstone has always felt that music was essential to his writing. Here he considers other writers who have also made a career out of music — and vice versa.
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