Indie Music for an Indie Author

I listened to the above playlist a lot while writing Fell Runner. It reminded me of when I was in Juneau, Alaska. There is this amazing post office, kind of quirky, and they were playing Langhorne Slim “The Way We Move”. Well, I was sold, I bought extra stamps, postcards, the works. I went out onto the street to find Jane and drag her inside on the pretense of buying more stamps.

Music is really important to me, and I just don’t listen to enough – can’t always distract from the lyrics when writing.

Life is tough, eh?

But, when doing layout, cover design, and even making maps, music has to be in the background, foreground – all around.

That’s just the way it is. Oh, and here’s the Fell Runner map:

This time it’s personal!

So Fell Runner is out soon, and this one means a lot to me. For sure, all my books are personal, but this one takes me back to another time and place that is pretty important in the grand scheme of things. If you’ve got a minute, and if you’re interested, I’ll explain – be warned, it has something to do with marshmallows.

Way back in 1997, after graduating from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, with a degree in Outdoor Education, I got my first real job – full time – as an outdoor instructor at an outdoor centre hidden in the forests of the Cairngorms National Park. It wasn’t my first time in the Highlands of Scotland, but it was the first time I was going to live there. The scenery is – like they say – breathtaking, and I fell in love, but not just with the place, I fell in love with Jane – a crazy Dane who I shared a log cabin with. Now, it took a long time before our friendship became a relationship and we eloped in Glasgow, and I’ll spare you the details, but I will add that Jane taught me to catch and throw.

Yeah, I know, you’re wondering about that, but imagine not yet being romantically involved, and no TV, Internet, and a spate of bad weather … we played tennis in the kitchen with marshmallows and wooden spoons. It takes some skill, let me tell you. But it was a diversion, as was the time I spent on the mountain as a reindeer herder…

Yes, I did that too, and it’s all getting very weird all of a sudden.

Isn’t it?

Let me get back on point and wrap this up.

Fell Runner is a short – 70 page(ish) – crime story set in the Cairngorms during a race from Braemar to Aviemore. Aviemore was where Jane and I recharged between courses, and to escape the midges in the forest. We also needed more marshmallows! The story introduces the character of Freja Hansen, a Scottish-born Danish police detective who lives in Sønderborg, Denmark. The action takes place in the Lairig Ghru, with the “middle bit” in the Corrour Bothy. It’s all fiction, of course, but there should be plenty to get the heart pounding when the weather turns nasty, and the killer moves in…

Fell Runner is the introduction to a crime series bridging the gap between Scandinoir and Scottish Crime Fiction. There’s a whole series in the works, and I’ll be drawing on local knowledge of both areas to spin a few tales of murder and mayhem in both countries.

If you’re curious, you can pick up Fell Runner at a low pre-order price on Amazon.

USAUKCanada and Australia

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll get back to my marshmallows!