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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

‘I think we can only write the books we have in us’ Crime author Margaret Kirk shares he

Crime authors spill their guts about writing…

This week: Margaret Kirk

[Success has] definitely added to the pressure. Our first books pretty much takes as long as they take, don’t they? But after that, particularly with trad publishing, we’re tied into deadlines and delivery dates.

Tell us about yourself…

Hmm. Okay – I’m a Highland Scot, living and working in Inverness again after many years in exile (Bournemouth, mainly). I studied languages at uni, lived in Germany for a while and now write Highland Noir crime with a darkly gothic edge.

How do you pick character names? Do any have special meaning to you? 

Well, my main characters tend to arrive with their names and most of their backstory already attached – Lukas Mahler and Anna Murray definitely arrived pretty much fully-formed.

And because my novels are set in the Highlands, it’s no surprise that a lot of the surnames will be linked to the area. But sometimes I’ll be a little cheeky and give a nod to people I’ve come across in real life!

How do you go about plotting your book?

Chapter plans. Which I sort of stick to, but amend as the book progresses. And I always write a synopsis at the beginning – it helps give me a sort of ‘road map’ for where I want to go, and how I hope to get there. It doesn’t always work, but at least I have [TO READ ON, CLICK HERE]

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