Author Interview: Lin Anderson (Author of The Special Dead)

​Hello everyone,

Today I’m having an author interview with Ms. Lin Anderson a Scottish author who wrote the Rhone McLeod series. 

Q: Hello Ms. Lin, thank you again for Accepting this interview request, would you mind telling us a little something about yourself?

A: I’m a full time writer of novels, screenplays and more recently a rock musical. I have two series. One featuring Dr Rhona MacLeod, a forensic scientist which has eleven novels. The other features a

PI Patrick de Courvoisier and is set in Cannes France. Two novels so far. I am co –founder of Bloody Scotland, Scotland’s international crime writing festival, and a former Chisr of the Society of Authors in Scotland.

Q: what genres do you feel comfortable writing Ms. Lin? What draws you into those specific genres?

A: I like mystery/ thriller genres and that’s what I write mostly. Although I have written other drama pieces, short stories, film scripts that have not been crime.

Q: Can you tell the viewers a little bit about your Book? Which is The Special Dead.

A: As a student at Glasgow University I studied Maths, Computing and some Astronomy. My Professor of Astronomy Archie Roy became the authority on the paranormal in Scotland.

He spoke of a library he discovered when a young lecturer. The library contained writing from medieval times to the present day on the science we don’t yet understand…that of witchcraft and the paranormal.

This Ferguson collection is world famous and now housed in a new building. That’s what drew me to the world of The Special Dead. That and a story by a film director Jim Gillespie(Of ‘I know you did last summer’ fame).

He was originally to be the director on a film I had written. We and the producer were looking at various Edinburgh locations including underground Edinburgh. At dinner afterwards he revealed as a young man after making his first short film, he and a friend went out on the town in Glasgow and met two girls who professed to be witches which he found exciting. I immediately thought beware what you wish for.

Q: Just a curious question though. For a first time reader of a Rhona McLeod novel. Why does McNab seem to take the spotlight instead of McLeod?

A: There is a little gang of characters round Rhona in the novels. Depending on the subject matter, one of them steps forward alongside Rhona. McNab and Rhona are polar opposites making good conflict and drama.

Q: Please give us an Insight to your Main characters. What does these characters do that makes them special?

A: I think you’d have to ask the readers why they like the characters so much.

Q: What happened to McLeod and McNab? The event that keeps on popping up in the conversations of the characters. For the first time readers of this series can you please enlighten us on those events?

A: Something happens at the end of the previous book, Paths of the Dead, which means they are in direct conflict, but neither can tell the truth of that to to anyone. You’ll have to read the book!

Here’s the picture of the book cover of The Special Dead 

Q: The cover is simple but I really like it, can you tell us how it came about? And what’s the significance of the building to the story.

A: It features the old gothic building of Glasgow University, which looks a little like Hogwarts. That’s where the mystery takes them… to that Ferguson collection I spoke about earlier.

Q: Who designs your book covers?

A: An artist at Pan Macmillan. They usually ask me to suggest a classic image that would work for the book, then they put their special touch to it.

Q: Do you think that the cover plays an important role in the buying process?

A: Yes. And the covers in the series published by Pan Mac are particularly striking.

Q: while writing your book, specifically The Special Dead did you encounter a “writer’s block”? If so, which part of the book?

A: No. I approach the book like a reader. I have no idea what will happen next. That keeps my interest and excitement alive. There’s a scary moment when I wonder if it will all come together, but if you trust your characters, they will take over and resolve the issue.

Q: What are you working on at the moment? Can you tell us what’s it about?

A: The new book Follow the Dead is out in August at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. It opens on top of Cairngorm in a blizzard. My home village of Carrbridge is in the Spey Valley. The Cairngorm Mountain Rescue helped a lot with my research. The book is also a joint investigation with Norway so I visited Stavanger Police. Think ‘The Bridge’ without a bridge!

Q:Do you read much? if so who are your favorite authors?

A: I don’t read much while writing. I read lots of different things.  Don’t have a favourite.

Q:For your own reading, do you prefer eBooks, Paperback or Hard back books?

A: I like an actual book the best but I do read ebooks as well, in particular when travelling. I often have both a paperback and an ebook copy of the same book.

Q:What books are you reading at the moment?

A: Just finished Latest one by Colm Toibin. Currently reading A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee, a rising star in the crime writing world.

I like reading the books of people I appear with at festivals. That’s always a pleasure and often a lovely surprise.

Q: How are you publishing this book? And why? (Indie, Traditional or both)

A: The Special Dead came out  first in Hardback together with ebook. The paperback arrives six months later. That’s the case for all the Pan Mac books.

However I have the ebook rights to the first three in the Rhona series, Driftnet, Torch and Deadly Code, so I am a hybrid author.

Q: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

A: Self publishing has the advantage that you control it. You also can promote and decide the price. Amazon pays every month so it’s a steady income.

Q: When did you become a writer?

A: After I taught for over twenty years. I began in literary short stories, wrote for TV and film, then began the Rhona series. Driftnet came out in 2003.

Q: Do you write everyday? 5 days a week or you just write when you feel like it?

A: I write something every day. Sometimes just emails. I wrote a short story last week, commissioned for a collection for Historic Scotland. I haven’t yet started the next Rhona but I am thinking about it a lot.

Q: while writing a book do you aim a set amount of words or pages per day?

A: No.

Q: Where do your Ideas come from?

A: See some of that above.

Q: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

A: Books have got longer… and more complex and deep.

Q: What are your ambitions in your writing career?

A: Write what I like. I recently collaborated on a rock musical with composer John Sinclair who played keyboards with Ozzy Osbourne for 17 years. It’s called Voice of a Generation and takes place in NYC in 1975 as the veterans of Vietnam return home.

That took four years from start to completion and I have a film shortly going into production in Edinburgh called Sometime Did Me Seek. That’s a paranormal crime story.

Q:Was there a particular Book/ Author that inspired you to write?

A: R.L. Stevenson Dr Jekyll and Mister Hyde and Kidnapped, PD James (any of them) and Willie McIlvanney with Laidlaw.



Q: What is the hardest thing about writing?

A: The words!


Q: Why do you think other well written books Just Don’t Sell?

A: Often because of publicity. Hype sells books. If a publisher is willing to put big money behind a book it will sell almost regardless.


Q:What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

A: Never give up.


Here are the links to Ms. Lin’s social media accounts and website.



Facebook: https//   

Twitter: @Lin_Anderson

Pinterest: none

Amazon Author Page:

Smashword: none




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