Learn more Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Fitbit
@KindleUK Connects... Gordon Ferris

Gordon Ferris Answers Your Questions

Gordon Ferris, bestselling author of The Hanging Shed, joined the Amazon.co.uk Kindle team live on Twitter on April 13, 2012, to answer questions submitted his fans.

Amazon.co.uk: Welcome Gordon Ferris, and thank you for joining us today.

Gordon Ferris: Thanks. Great to be here. Fire away!

Amazon.co.uk: Let's jump right in with the first question. You've just published your fourth book, Bitter Water. How does it feel?

Ferris: Relief! Eliot was wrong. The writing cycle starts with a whimper and ends with a bang. This is the bang bit!

Amazon.co.uk: Loved Truth Dare Kill! Absolutely brilliant. What's your writing routine?

Ferris: I have an annual cycle. Start with blank screen, blank mind and try to come up with an idea. Then an outline. I bash out 50000 words then get to the good bit. The playing God with my characters. Each day I try to write.

Amazon.co.uk: Wow Bitter Water is even better than Hanging Shed. Will there be a 3rd in the series?

Ferris: I'm already working on it. It's called Pilgrim Soul, set in the terrible winter of '47. Still Glasgow.

Amazon.co.uk: Does your Glasgow/Scotland focus limit international appeal in terms of use of vernacular?

Ferris: You mean using words like glaikit? No. I make sure if there are any Scots words the context is clear.

Amazon.co.uk: What's going to happen to Sam and Brodie? Sort it out Brodie...

Ferris: Get married, have kids, live in a wee house by the sea? Unlikely! Need to wait and see! Even I don't know!

Amazon.co.uk: I read the #HangingShed and really enjoyed it. Who are the crime writers that inspired you?

Ferris: Few crime writers. Chandler and McIlvanney obviously. But prefer non crime: Le Carre, Dorothy Dunnet, RLS, O'Brian.

Amazon.co.uk: How long does it take you to write a book?

Ferris: Currently a year. But in truth there's 20 years of mulling and 40 years of reading behind my stories.

Amazon.co.uk: When did you first feel the urge to write?

Ferris: Age 6. But my spelling was dreadful and my crayon kept breaking. Seriously in my teens. It's taken a while to get here.

Amazon.co.uk: Do you ever suffer writer's block and if you do, any tips on how to overcome it?

Ferris: Mmmmmmmm... no. I get plotter's block, but my secret is to just sit and write at my screen. Something will come up. I have faith that by putting words down ideas will come. It helps to have a good character; I let him rip.

Amazon.co.uk: Hello Gordon are you old enough to remember the late 40s?

Ferris: I thought you were dead? No. But 50's Scotland was like 40's anywhere else.

Amazon.co.uk: When did you decide to quit your job to write full time?

Ferris: When I was offered the choice of working in Dayton Ohio or taking a golden farewell. It was a great chance to shift.

Amazon.co.uk: Hi! Which of your books are you most proud of, or which is your favourite and why?

Ferris: Hard one. Hanging Shed was a big breakthrough not just in sales. I finally found my voice. And it was Scottish!

Amazon.co.uk: It seems your novels are full of historical detail, do you do a lot of research for them?

Ferris: I draw on my boyhood plus intensive googling! I walk Glasgow streets and visit a lot of pubs. I try to limit detail.

Amazon.co.uk: Do you read a lot of crime? Who are some of your favourite crime authors? What's your guilty pleasure genre?

Ferris: I hardly read crime. If pushed; Leonard or Robert Parker. I have no guilt about enjoying Terry Pratchett for a treat.

Amazon.co.uk: Have you drawn inspiration from real-life events for your novels?

Ferris: Writing in the 40's I'm aware of externals. e.g. Nuremberg trials and rise of welfare state. They get woven in. dangerous to use real life events. When I do, I change plot and names e.g. corrupt cops.

Amazon.co.uk: All your McRae & Brodie books seem perfect film material. Do you have actors in mind for Brodie, Sam & Danny?

Ferris: Need a big Scot: Gerard Butler? For Sam, how about James McAvoy's missus: Anne Marie Duff.

Amazon.co.uk: Being from Ayrshire/Glasgow in the 60's I love the nostalgia evoked by your descriptions. More please.

Ferris: Really kind of you. Just for you, I'll keep writing.

Amazon.co.uk: I'd love a book that combines both series, with Brodie and McRae working together - or even clashing!

Ferris: It could happen. I'd love to read it myself! There's just a chance in my next Brodie that he calls for McRae...

Amazon.co.uk: We have time for one more question. When did you feel like you had made it as an author?

Ferris: Have I? Simply, it's when I got the first email from a happy reader, saying how much she'd enjoyed my writing.

Amazon.co.uk: Gordon, thank you again for joining us today. Any parting words for your fans?

Ferris: A big thanks for listening. Watch out for Amazon's Daily Deal, tomorrow, Saturday! It's a treat! Good reading!

Books by Gordon Ferris

Bitter Water

Bitter Water (Douglas Brodie 2)

For Douglas Brodie, Glasgow's outbreak of murder and mayhem begins simply enough. A typical Saturday night brawl adds a splash of colour to the morning edition of the Gazette. But Brodie's piece receives a hot-blooded reply--the declaration of a new war upon petty crime signed by a group of vigilantes: The Glasgow Marshals. Bitter Water is Gordon Ferris's newest novel and the sequel to The Hanging Shed.

The Hanging Shed

The Hanging Shed (Douglas Brodie 1)

The last time Douglas Brodie came home it was 1942 and he was a dashing young warrior in a kilt. This time he's back in Scotland to save childhood friend Hugh Donovan from the gallows. Despite the mountain of evidence against Donovan, who is accused of murdering a local boy, Brodie feels compelled to try and help his one-time friend. What he finds is an unholy alliance of church, police and Glasgow's deadliest razor gang, happy to slaughter to protect their dark secrets. See what made The Hanging Shed a runaway bestseller on Kindle.

The Unquiet Heart

The Unquiet Heart (Danny McRae 2)

In The Unquiet Heart Danny McRae is a private detective scraping a living in ration-card London. Crime reporter Eve Copeland is looking for new angles to save her career. It's a match made in heaven. Until Eve disappears, a contact dies violently and an old adversary presents Danny with some unpalatable truths. His desperate search for Eve draws him into a web of black marketeers, double agents and assassins, and hurls him into the shattered remains of Berlin.

Truth Dare Kill

Truth Dare Kill (Danny McRae 1)

The war is over, but there are no medals for Danny McRae in Truth Dare Kill. Just amnesia and blackouts; twin handicaps for a private investigator with an upper-class client on the hook for murder. Danny's blackouts mean that hours, sometimes days, are a complete blank. So when news of a brutal killer stalking London's red light district start to stir grisly memories, Danny is terrified about what he might discover if he delves deeper into his fractured mind.

About the Author

Bitter Water Gordon Ferris is an ex-techy in the Ministry of Defence and an ex-partner in one of the Big Four accountancy firms. Maybe that's where he gets his interest in spies and crooks. He writes about the important things in life: conflicted heroes and headstrong women embroiled in tangled tales of life, love and death.