Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tea, love & murder in Crieff!

Last weekend (23-24 August) saw the second ever Crieff Arts Festival, which is why I have been doing very little blogging recently - I've been too busy!

Fellow author Susy McPhee and I teamed up once again to offer a writing masterclass under the alluring title of Tea, Love & Murder! Seemingly these three things are enough to pull the punters in - or perhaps it was just the tea they were after? At any rate, we had a good sized audience and lots of great questions to answer. We talked about plot development, setting and characters.

Master (or should that be Mistress?) of Ceremonies Helen Lewis-McPhee kept things moving at a brisk pace and also asked a very interesting question: did Susy and I think that we could have written each other's books? As a matter of fact, Susy's latest book Back to you features a woman whose partner has vanished whilst mountaineering, and I have in the past toyed with a very similar idea, although I've never got down to writing it. Susy's book is an absorbing mystery in which human relationships are very much to the fore; my story would have been peppered with nasty deaths, creepy remote locations and grisly local folklore. So I think it is fair to say that I couldn't have written Susy's book! It was an interesting question though - and do check out Back to you. It's my personal favourite of Susy's books.

As well as our literary event, this year's Crieff Arts Festival included live music, poetry, art workshops, street theatre and exhibitions in both the newly established Strathearn Artspace and many local shops. The festival is pretty much run on a shoestring and its success is down to the energy and enthusiasm of organisers June McEwan and Nigel Gatherer, and their team of volunteers, plus the participation of local businesses.

The festival will be back next year. In the meantime, if you'd like to help support this brilliant local initiative (and you don't need to live in Crieff to do this!) please do follow us on Twitter at @CrieffArtsFest, and be sure to retweet our news and photos! Thank you.

* Photograph by Catrina Petrie of Vivace Lichtman, who kindly donated the use of the venue. *


  1. It's a privilege to know you and have you on board for the festival Helen, you do an immense amount to help and it's much appreciated. Thank you.
    and... More Grisly Folklore please!

  2. Thank you, June! Always a pleasure to be involved. And no worries, plenty more gruesome folklore on the way....