My Bloody Scotland (in 500 Words)

10/7/2018

This isn’t the story of this year’s Bloody Scotland. There are plenty of brilliant people that have already worn down those cobbles. This is an emptying of my mind about, what is now, one of the most important crime festivals on the planet. I can’t bottle Bloody Scotland........

My Bloody Scotland

(in 500 words)

by

Gordon Brown

 

This isn’t the story of this year’s Bloody Scotland. There are plenty of brilliant people that have already worn down those cobbles. This is an emptying of my mind about, what is now, one of the most important crime festivals on the planet.

I can’t bottle Bloody Scotland. I can’t gift wrap it. I can’t even describe it in any succinct manner. It’s a festival. A celebration. A party. But more, much more, it’s an important statement. Born due to the lack of a focal point for the magic of Scottish crime writing, Bloody Scotland is a living book of a weekend. A chance for author, reader, publisher and supporter to rub shoulders, listen, talk, laugh and cry. The new, the old, the proven, the experimental. All are here.

People float along the streets, through the doors and down the aisles. Seeking what? Entertainment? Knowledge? Insight? Hope? What happens between authors ears explained, or more often, not explained? The stage is the psychiatrist’s couch. The psychiatrist, the audience. Each event is a personal story in its own right. Hopefully leaving those that attend wanting to listen to the next one.

There’s no desire from those in the background of Bloody Scotland, the ‘board’, to turn this into some cold monument to crime. Bloody Scotland is about warmth. It has to connect reader and writer. Whether it’s holding a burning torch, kicking a ball on the oldest bowling green in Scotland, playing a guitar at midnight, reading in public for the first time – interaction is the norm, not the exception.

We want it to be fun. We want it to be exhilarating. We need it work. There is a passion for the festival that breathes hard in the room, buried in the depths of the Golden Lion hotel, that serves as the meeting place for the Bloody Scotland team. Sitting cheek by jowl there is a sense of something wonderful being created and a fear of failure. Every meeting is a high and low of what will be and what might be. Every session is about making it better.

We enter the weekend with trepidation, survive on camaraderie and adrenaline and, at the conclusion, we turn our thoughts to next year.

At one point, long ago, we debated a strap line for Bloody Scotland. I can’t remember who came up with the line ‘A Criminally Good Weekend’ but we’ve never used it – we just live by it.

I’ve rarely been involved in anything that quite feels so much like we are doing something. Something important but, at the same time, not up its own arse. As soon as I start thinking how well the festival has done the team point to those laurels on our chairs, and how much hard work will be needed to deliver 2019 and beyond.

Why am I writing this?

To say thanks.

Thanks to everyone that touches Bloody Scotland.

It’s cool to be part of it all.