Clutching my rucksack full of books to my chest, it was time to hurry up the hill from Print Point to the Library for the last session of the evening.
Outside the library, I met a very tall, very charming man who could only be Antti Tuomainen, our Finnish author. I asked him how to pronounce his name (fyi Onti Two-oh-my-nan, but with less emphasis on the ‘nan’ bit). Rather recklessly I told him that I had one word of Finnish (learned in a pub in Italy from a terribly nice Finnish chap). My friend Seona blanched. This could possibly be a terrible mistake. I didn’t actually know what the word meant, other than it was a bit raffish. I repeated the word. Fortunately Antti didn’t faint clean away, but he did clue me in on what it meant. It wasn’t too bad, but maybe not one for repeating in front of the Minister, if you know what I mean 🙂
Inside the place was absolutely buzzing. Again I managed to get a seat near the front (vital for photography purposes!) I managed a snap of Doug meeting Antti. He’s tall, isn’t he?
I read Antti’s The Healer (winner of the Clue Award for Best Finnish Crime Novel no less, also available from Rothesay library, folks) and it was difficult to reconcile this affable and always-smiling chap with the dark and deadly goings on in the dystopian near-future where The Healer is set! Antti spoke about the background to ‘The Mine’ and ‘The Man Who Died’. His forthcoming book, ‘Palm Beach Finland’ allows more of his lighter side to appear. Although the book has just been released in Finnish (September 2017), it won’t be out in English until next year. Looking forward to getting my hands on it!
Doug Johnstone is one of those authors who takes you by surprise – an author who was a journalist is not unusual, but an author, journalist AND has a Phd in Nuclear Physics?! Come on, that’s SPECIAL!! He’s published eight books now – all of them have been either short-listed for or won awards for crime fiction. His latest novel, Crash Land, was published at the tail end of 2016. I later entered an unseemly scrum with an elderly gentleman over the last copy of Crash Land on Print Point’s book display. I won. I’m not ashamed.
The interviewer for the evening was Alex Sokoloff, herself no stranger to things dark and deadly as her serial killer stalks the USA taking out all the sort of people that you would like to take a gun to yourself! *thoughts drift to President Trump* …
Under Alexandra’s careful questions, Antti and Doug kept us regaled with anecdotes and stories, whetting our appetites for their back catalogues and teasing us with what was yet to be published!
And then, as the clock struck 10pm, it was time for me to roll home to bed. But not before I’d prepared a packed lunch for the bus tour the following morning …. it’s all go at Bute Noir!