Thriller writer Doug Johnstone and I are heading to the 4th Kolkata Literature Festival 2–4th February 2017 to promote Scottish Crime Writing, and in particular the annual Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival which takes place this year in Stirling 9th-11th September 2017.
Kolkata Literature Festival is a relatively young literature festival that takes places within the folds of the International Kolkata Book Fair (world's largest book fair), to celebrate the written word, and the different facets of it – publishing, story telling, theatre, documentaries to name a few.
Doug and I will be accompanied by Jenny Brown, Chair of the Bloody Scotland committee, and the trip has been made possible by a partnership between the British Council and Creative Scotland.
Former Bloody Scotland Festival Manager Dom Hastings, who now works for the British Council, will meet us there. We look forward to seeing a reciprocal visit by Indian writers to our Bloody Scotland festival in a future year.
I have never visited India before, although both Jenny and Dom have, for various festivals and book trade fairs. I have however lived in the tropics, having worked for five years in Northern Nigeria, alongside other expats from the Indian subcontinent. In fact when I began my writing career it was with short stories set in this setting in Nigeria. So I’ll be looking for inspiration during my Kolkata visit.
I am at present thoroughly enjoying the detective novel, A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee which is set in Kolkata (Calcutta) in 1919. Abir, a London based Scot has already appeared at Bloody Scotland to great acclaim and I would highly recommend his novel which won the 2014 Telegraph Harvill Secker crime writing competition.
We have individual author events and a Bloody Scotland event at the festival, and will be reporting our experiences on social media (main festival hashtag is #KLF17).
Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival
Kolkata Literature FestivalKolkata Book Fair