From Haggis to Germanic castles and Witches

I returned from Scotland almost two weeks ago after a wonderful weekend of torches, reading, chatting and haggis bon-bons at the Stirling festival, Bloody Scotland. I took part in a reading with other authors, chaired by Alex Gray. The event was nice and full, the audience super friendly. Here’s a wee picture of the panel:

Bloody Scotland Festival

Then it was off to a crime festival in Germany in the beautiful town of Wernigerode. The festival was called Mordsharz and I read a passage from Zu Nah (as Too Close to Breathe is titled in Germany) then the uber talented actress Anneke Kim Sarnau followed on from me, reading in German. Hearing Anneke read Frankie was a such a privilege and it surprised me how moved I was by it. I’m so lucky that she’s continued to accompany me on the German book tour and has read with me another event and will do again at a festival in Hamburg next month.

Copyright: Christian Dolle
Copyright: Christian Dolle

I really enjoyed my stay in Wernigerode, my talk took place in a small walled courtyard in a 12c castle that could give any imaginary castle a run for its money. It was so impressive, set against the Harz mountains and woodlands. I did notice during my stay that ornaments and decorations featuring witches cropped up frequently.So I’ve since done a little digging on the town’s history and folklore says that on May Eve witches flew to the highest mountain (the Brochen) to dance on Walpurgis night. There are some tales of witch burning centuries ago. So now on the 30th of April people gather there, dressed in costume to celebrate that night, similar to celebrations around Halloween.

Once I returned to the UK, I had some final edits on the Frankie Sheehan book 2, The Killer in Me waiting in my inbox. Then on Thursday I interviewed Sebastian Faulks about his new novel, Paris Echo. This fantastic event was hosted by local bookshop, Mostly Books in Abingdon. It was A LOT of fun. Now, I’m back in Germany and have taken part in another author event near Düsseldorf in a town called, Erwitte. This festival was called, Mord am Hellweg and the evening was a themed Irish night where they had a brilliant folk band playing.

Above is the fantastic display of my book with pumpkin! Those who’ve read my novel will know there’s a Halloween scene so this little addition made me smile although I think it was more a nod to the time of year rather than the book itself. The event took the shape of another reading followed by some great questions.

The past few days, I’ve been in Berlin, catching up with my sister, who lives here, and trailing around some wonderful art studios for Berlin Art Week. Then tomorrow, Tuesday, I go to Cologne for another reading! Lots of train time to tackle the to-be-read pile — I’ve had some really great books sent to me recently. In book 2 news I’ve received the first images for the completed galleys from my US publishers, Dutton. They look incredible. You can check it out and even pre-order here: THE KILLER IN ME.

I’m also very excited that the French publication of my novel, titled Irrespirable is coming on the 18th of October, so French readers look out!

Here’s a picture of the cover:

More from me soon…happy reading!

Follow on twitter: @LivKiernan

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