The Art of Killing: Douglas Skelton -Author Guest Post

What a bloody BRILLIANT way to end the week AND this will likely be the last ‘official’ post I will be writing as I am having a short break whilst I get my EEEEK’s and OMFG’s on for Harrogate 2016!!!!

The wickedly wonderful, Douglas Skelton has provided #CrimeBookJunkie with a fabulous post that I meant to share with my review for Open Wounds. I cannot believe I missed out on posting it! #MyBad!!  If you click here, you can read my full review and then come back to finish off with this awesome Author Guest Post!

The Art of Killing by Douglas Skelton

Crime writers make it look so easy.
Not writing, killing people off.
Just as with a mighty bound a hero can be free, with the touch of a key, a character can head off to that great big remainder store in the sky.
They say that with great power comes great responsibility. I say to hell with that.
I’ve just completed the fourth and final in my Davie McCall quartet. The four books are, it has to be said, body strewn.
It’s like ‘Game of Thrones’ with deep fried Mars Bars.
(For the record, no harm came to any Mars Bars during the writing of the books. I’ve never tried the delicacy.)
From the start, I was clear that the only character who would definitely make it to the final book was Davie McCall. After all, it wouldn’t be a Davie McCall book without Davie McCall. Although ‘Taggart’ continued for quite a while without Taggart.
That doesn’t mean Davie is unaffected by the overall carnage. He loses a number of people he cares about. Even before the first book, ‘Blood City’, begins his mother is murdered and his father has vanished.
That, I’m afraid, is only the beginning. He’s got a hard road ahead of him.
You see, I’m not only cavalier with bad guys, or extras with red sweatshirts, I also – SPOILER ALERT! – kill off characters people like.
The books are set in Glasgow’s underworld and that can be a dangerous place, although not quite as deadly as I paint it. The books are thrillers and I wanted to really ramp up the threat level. I wanted the characters and the reader to be on edge. So people die.
I introduce characters with the full intention of bumping them off, either more or less immediately or further down the line. I may, hopefully, make you care about a few of them beforehand.
Yes, it’s manipulation but that’s all part of story-telling, people. I recall critics dismissing Steven Spielberg’s work in the 70s and 80s as ‘manipulative’. Damn straight. That’s why he’s one of the best storytellers in movies.
When mystery writers create a red herring, when thriller writers pull a reversal, it’s all manipulation.
And there’s nothing wrong with that.
I call myself a storyteller. I like to surprise. I like to make you laugh. I like to have you so much in my world that you can’t wait to turn the page. I like to make you cry.
If I can do all that – and I’m not saying I succeed because only you can say for certain – then my work here is done. If killing off beloved characters is the way to make you gasp, then that’s the way I’ll do it.
The final book, OPEN WOUNDS, is now out.
If I’ve done my job you will be surprised, saddened and satisfied by the ending.
Does Davie survive to suffer another day?

What a GREAT post!  Huge thanks to Mr Skelton and why not #PayItForward, click HERE and check out one of my favourite series of some the finest #TartanNoir! 


2 Replies to “The Art of Killing: Douglas Skelton -Author Guest Post”

  1. Ahhhh I’m still greetin’ #DavieMcCall #OpenWounds – loved this series soooooo much! Brilliant guest post Mr S!