JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Lets think of some of the Jungle Red Writers' favorite things. Mysteries. Cats. Writing. Scotland. Twitter. What do they have in common? They all meet together in today's guest, Scottish author Lacey Dearie. When we were approaching our 8000th Twitter follower, we decided to mark the occasion with something special. The tweep who turned our odometer over to 8000 would get a special appearance on the blog. Imagine our pleasure when we found out the winner was a smart, funny indie author from the UK.
So that covers the writing, Scotland and Twitter portion. What about cats and mysteries? Let me quote you the back copy of Lacey's latest novellette, LEGER: CAT SLEUTH:
Leger has a comfortable life. He sleeps, chases tabbies and plays with Bob, his Labrador room-mate, when nobody is watching. His life with elderly couple Annabella and Hugh is enviable, but he craves excitement and a creative outlet. However, when Hugh is attacked, the purpose in life he sought presents itself. He turns detective in a bid to solve the mystery of who mugged Hugh. Will he succeed? Will anyone take him seriously as a sleuth? Will his artistic flair help in his quest to find the culprit? Can he stay away from the catnip long enough to focus on the job in hand?
Lacey's been cutting her teeth on indie publishing for a little over a year now. Her first novel, THE TANGLED WEB, reached the number 1 spot on the Amazon UK Free Download list and was in the top 100 Bestselling downloads, as well. Her short story BAKED (the love story of a doughnut and an eclair!) hit number 1 on the French and German short story charts.
However, Lacey's not going to talk to us today about bestselling charts or talking Glaswegian cat detectives or even her upcoming second novel. She's here to talk about what makes her heart sing.
Firstly I want to thank Jungle Red Writers for hosting this guest post. I’m a huge fan of this blog and I am thrilled to be a guest today.
|Firth of Clyde|
|Forth Road Bridge, Edinburgh|
Of course, we have our problems like everywhere else in the world. There’s a recession to recover from, rising unemployment and social issues such as knife crime and drug abuse. It’s no different to anywhere else in that respect. We also have a referendum on independence next year that will divide opinion and shape the future of Scotland and will have a significant impact on the rest of the UK if we gain independence.
When I meet foreigners on vacation or online, they express a genuine affection for this country that is so touching. It feels like everyone either knows a Scot or has some Scottish ancestry, and if they don’t, they will say something sweet like they loved Braveheart. Of course I don’t tell them that the movie was made in Ireland and was historically inaccurate. That would just kill the mood.
|Loch Lomond on a winter's day|
It’s not that I’m so inspired by Scotland because it’s my homeland. There is so much more to it than that. I love it because each town and city has its own unique personality.
|Dean Castle, Kilmarnock|
Even my nearest town, Kilmarnock, is fascinating, if a little rough around the edges. It is the apparent birthplace of freedom fighter, William Wallace and Robert Burns’ first book of poems was published in Kilmarnock. It was recently named as the most creative town in Scotland. That’s no surprise to me but since it has a reputation for being a particularly underprivileged town, it was unexpected for many people.
Scotland has been a muse to countless writers and artists over the years and I always seek out books and short stories written by foreigners that are set here, for curiosity’s sake. I love to hear how people view Scotland. Do they arrive in Glasgow Airport and see pictures of cows on the walls then conclude that we are eccentric? Do they get lost in the romanticism of the castles and fall in love while here? Are visitors bewitched by the mysterious and atmospheric backdrop of the Highlands?
Speaking of 'picture', all the gorgeous photos in this post were taken by Lacey Dearie or her husband, Alex Milligan. Lacey has 2 signed copies of LEGER: CAT SLEUTH to give away to commenters!
You can find out more about Lacey and her books at her blog. You can also friend her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter as @LaceyDearie, swap book suggestions on Goodreads and see even more photographs on Pinterest.