Roving Reporter

In Sarah Broadley's first episode in her new Roving Reporter series for Words & Pictures, she takes a peek through the keyhole at some suspect goings on...

There's Been A Murder

Although we all write and illustrate children's books, there are those among us that read and write crime. A genre full of blood, guts and gore, it would be enough to make the Gruffalo run and hide. (Of course, the mouse would stand defiantly strong with paws on hips, tempting fate).

Our very own Marnie Riches is enthralling us with the Girl Who series and we only have to wait until the end of March before the third book is released! The books on our shelves indicate we are still morbidly enamoured with these stories and the 'check behind the curtains before you go to bed' feelings they conjure within us.

Val McDermid is a writer who does just that. A Scottish award-winning crime novelist, she is well known for the intrepid duo of Tony Hill & Carol Jordan in The Wire In The Blood series. Her new novel Splinter The Silence is just out and well worth a read.

I went to see her talk at the National Library of Scotland and she discussed what books inspired her to write. Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson and The Chalet School in Exile by Elinor Brent-Dyer to name a few.

During the Q & A, I asked her how her thought processes differed from writing crime to creating the text for a picture book (My Granny is a Pirate). She smiled and said that when she was approached to do it, she wasn't keen because she didn't think she would be able to do it justice and she felt it was totally out of her comfort zone. She also admitted it was one of the most amazing literary experiences she has had to date but also the hardest thing she has ever written in her life and she is in awe of those who write and illustrate them.

In awe. Her words, not mine. ‬

So when the words aren't flowing and the muse has gone on holiday, remember that you are amazing at what you do. Go, tell your story.

Sarah mainly writes rhyming picture book stories for younger children but regularly dips her toes into the waters of other genres if the coffee is hot enough and she's had enough sleep.

She has been a member of SCBWI South East Scotland since July 2013 and co-ordinates the middle grade and picture book critique groups for her local network.

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