Susi Qs – Week 14 – Ed James


This week’s “Victim of Silly Questions” is some layabout calling himself Ed James. The endlessly prolific author writes crime-fiction novels across multiple series. His Scott Cullen series follows the career of a young Edinburgh Detective investigating crimes from the bottom rung of the career ladder he’s desperate to climb. The spin-off Craig Hunter series focuses on a cop and overcoming his PTSD from his time in the army. Putting Dundee on the tartan noir map, the DS Vicky Dodds books star a driven female detective struggling to combine her complex home life with a heavy caseload. Set four hundred miles south on the gritty streets of East London, his DI Fenchurch series features a detective with little to lose and a daughter to find. Formerly an IT project manager, Ed began writing on planes, trains and automobiles to fill his weekly commute to London. He now writes full-time and lives in the Scottish Borders, with his girlfriend and a menagerie of rescued animals.

Let’s hear it, Edwin…

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Don’t be daft. I’ll never grow up.

Do you prefer buttons or zips?
Zips, but I seem to be having issues remembering to do them up after a visit to the little boys’ room. Lockdown doesn’t get much worse than that.

What’s your secret party piece?
Singing. Very loudly. I mean VERY VERY LOUDLY. And Tom Jones or Hall & Oates. Or Climie Fisher.

Are you any good at potato sculptures?
Does mash count? Or does using a spudgun?

What’s the last book you read?
For once I can answer this with something that’s hot and celebrated, rather than a book about searching for King Arthur etc. Blacktop Wasteland by SA Cosby, which was dark and twisted. Really cinematic. Loved it.

Do you pair your socks?
Of course. I’m not an animal. But mostly they sit in the washing basket.

What’s your favourite joke?
What’s blue and smalls like red paint?
Blue paint.

Would you rather give up washing, smiling or reading?
I’m a smelly bastard, a grumpy git and struggle to read much fiction. But I need to read for my job, so… I’ll give up smiling, which doesn’t feel too onerous.

Would you rather have no forks or no plates?
Plates. Forks can be used to eat from the packet/tub/baking tray/etc, but you can get away without plates.

Who was the best Beatle?
I mean, the Beatles are extremely overrated so it’s like would you rather get kicked in the balls, the arse or the face?
Ringo was a terrible drummer but had the personality of a Monkee, didn’t he?
George did “I Got My Mind Set On You”, which might be a cover but was one of my favourite songs as a kid and kids don’t care about authenticity.
McCartney is a berk, I hate the way he plays bass, and his post-Beatles material is generally as beige as a Weller album, though he does make me piss myself laughing with such weird shit as Band on the Run, Jet, Live and Let Die, Temporary Secretary and Listen to What the Man Says. Some of his Beatles stuff is okay, like Helter Skelter and… Erm.
Obviously, it’s John Lennon. I mean, it’s so obvious. His stuff had an edge to it, even though he was probably a bit of a prick, but in a different way to Macca, who is the “alrighty guys!” Radio 1 DJ to Lennon’s angry bastard who didn’t treat his family very well. But the good Beatles songs are pretty much all his.
That is the most I’ve ever thought about the Beatles. Actually, it might be George for I Got My Mind Set On You.

* * *skin and bone cove

If you want to know more about Ed, you can find him on twitter @EdJamesAuthor. His books can be purchased HERE.

Harrogate Happenings

Yesterday afternoon, I returned from my annual trip to Harrogate for the Theakstons Crime Writing Festival, the event where 100s of crime writers, bloggers, authors, industry professionals and many, many readers converge at The Old Swan hotel (of Agatha Christie disappearance fame…) for a weekend of talks, parties, drinks, books, scandals and hangovers. As usual, the festival was excellent fun – and even the rain didn’t stop play 🙂

Great things…

  • The Pimms-in-A-Tin tent… genius
  • Promoting my new book The Deaths of December at the Hodder drinks party, which included pulling crackers and saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to a lot of bemused faces (and keeping my reindeer antlers on all night afterwards)
  • Reading my short story ‘The Chair’ while my fellow Slice Girls A.K. Benedict and Steph Broadribb duct taped author Neil White to a chair at The Blues Bar (thanks to Zoe Sharp for the torch!)
  • The Slice Girls performance afterwards (as part of fringe event Noir At The Bar)
  • The Dark Side panel on Friday, featuring Clare Donoghue, Elly Griffiths (this year’s fab festival chair), Simon Toyne, Lesley Thomson & James Oswald – chatting about supernatural elements in crime and why we should all read it
  • Chocolate cake and Prosecco at the Bonnier drinks party
  • Hanging out with lots of really cool people and laughing very much at lots of unrepeatable and ridiculous thing (…laughing at Katerina Diamond telling me to stop laughing so much)
  • Ed’s highanus
  • Danny not being dead

Annoying things…

  • Not getting a burger because it started to piss down with rain and they had to close it down before everything blew away
  • Not spending enough time with some people (and not seeing others at all…)
  • My agent not being there
  • Rain
  • Forgetting to buy Farrah’s fudge
  • Rod Reynolds*

Sad things…

  • Thinking about the beautiful Helen Cadbury, who had planned to be there and will always be missed 💔

Some pics below, mostly stolen from others. Thanks to the organisers for a fantastic event, my publishers for spoiling me with a lovely meal and showering me with praise, the cleaner at The Cairn for giving me extra biscuits, and all the lovely people who kept me entertained. Roll on 2018!!

*Not really 🙂

Recent Reads: One Word Reviews

Here are the last twelve books I read. In short, they were all excellent and I highly recommend them all (I don’t blog about books I didn’t like – life is too short!) They’re a mix of police procedural, domestic noir, psychological thriller, sci-fi/horror thriller,  dystopian thriller, thriller-thriller, crime-with-a-bit-of-romance and just a hint of the paranormal… take your pick from below 🙂

Have you read any of these? What did you think?