Sunday, 11 May 2014

Introducing ... Bill Daly

MM - Hi Bill, welcome to May Contain Nuts. You have 7 words. Describe your new novel:

BD - Adultery, drug-dealing, murder in contemporary Glasgow.

MM - You have another 21. Tell us some more:  

BD - Psychopath on the loose, an assassination in Kelvingrove Park, a planned terrorist atrocity – all set against a background of religious bigotry.  

MM - Why write crime?

BD - The kind of books I most enjoy reading are humour and crime, so it seemed natural to try writing in these genres. 

MM - I don’t normally ask about a writer’s age - but I’ll make an exception with you – what age are you?

BD - I bet you wouldn't have asked that question had I been female! :-)   I've just turned 70.

MM - So, you are in your second flush of youth - what took you so long - and please tell us about your journey to publication? I’m sure a few of aspiring readers will be inspired by it.

BD - While I was working, I wrote humorous articles for various newspapers and magazines, but it wasn't until I retired that I found time to try my hand at writing novels. In fact,
Black Mail is the first novel I've had published by a conventional publisher, but I previously self-published a humorous spy novel, entitled The Pheasant Plucker.

I live in France and when The Pheasant Plucker went on sale in the local bookshops, the Professor of English at Montpellier University happened to pick it up and he was sufficiently impressed with the use of language in the book that he decided to make it a text book for his course in Applied Foreign Languages. The students have to study two books over the course of a year, so he decided to make it a 'Scottish year', the other text book being Ian Rankin's Fleshmarket Close.

At the end of the year, the students were asked to vote on which book they preferred (you may be able to infer the outcome, otherwise why would I be telling the story?). Now I would be the first to admit this wasn't a level playing field - it was more like a pitch with a forty-five degree slope: a light-hearted romp where the action takes place in the students’ home town, versus a gritty Edinburgh-based murder.
I suggested to my publisher that he might like to put a strap line of "Voted better than Ian Rankin" on Black Mail, but for some strange reason he declined. I think he was worried that Ian might sue.

MM - Just turned 70 and your debut (traditionally published) novel is just out. I'm sure a lot of aspiring authors out there will take great heart from hearing that. What’s next for Bill Daly?

BD -My publisher wants we to write a series of Glasgow-based crime novels featuring DCI Charlie Anderson.  The second in the series, Double Mortice, will be published early in 2015 and I'm currently working on the next one - so I'm being kept pretty busy.

MM - You live in France, why not set your book there instead of Glasgow?
BD - My first novel, The Pheasant Plucker, was set mainly in France, but Glasgow is the ideal setting for Tartan Noir. Noir Français somehow doesn't have the same ring to it.
MM - Oh, I don't know. Peter May said he couldn’t write about Scotland until he was living elsewhere. Is that how you feel?

BD - I've never felt like that. But the circumstances are different. It's more than thirty years since I left Scotland - and when I was living there, I wasn't doing any writing. But I get back to Glasgow three or four times a year, so in many ways I don't feel I have ever left.  

My thanks to Bill for his time. You can find buying information about Black Mail here for readers in the UK. And The Pheasant Plucker can be purchased HERE


  1. Great post Michael. Nice one Bill, I hope the book sells squillions

  2. Excellent. Humour and crime - you have immaculate taste, sir. Looking forward to learning more about Charlie Anderson. For someone living away from Glasgow, you catch the feel and spirit of the city perfectly.

  3. Great interview, guys. Well done on getting that series on the go now, Bill - wishing you much success!

  4. Bill, you know how much I admire your writing. You really bring Glasgow to life in Black Mail. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

  5. Hope you have lots of success with your first novel,Bill.