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An Interview with the Queen of Crime – and she certainly isn’t cosy!

Author – M.C. Beaton

Known to some as the Queen of cosy, perhaps an unflattering title for a prolific writer with an army of fans making her the number one most borrowed author in UK libraries for the seventh year in a row.

With worldwide sales hitting twenty million and a trail of more than 160 books in a forty year career, characters like Hamish Macbeth have made M.C. Beaton a household name.

Her beloved, Agatha Raisin dramatized on Sky, starring Ashley Jensen, is now in its second series.

The hardback of Beating About The Bush, her 30th Agatha Raisin Mystery was published on 24th October.

The Crime Hub caught up with her…

How do you feel about the label that is sometimes given to your style of crime fiction – cosy?

I certainly do not like being called a cosy writer. It is patronising and implies that my books which are easy to read must be easy to write. Nobody calls Agatha Christie ‘Cosy…

To keep writing in clear well balanced sentences takes a lot of hard work and if anyone doesn’t want a Glasgow kiss, swallow that opinion and put it where the sun don’t shine.

Do you find you are still learning as a writer, or is it something that comes entirely naturally?

It comes quite naturally and I am not yet tired of Agatha or Hamish and have not lost the drive to write about them. Of course if the readers get tired of them, I shall kill them with a nice painless death.

If you really want to be a writer, then nothing will stop you. Nothing stopped me.

You are still very active on the crime festival circuit, headlining at Harrogate this year. Is being part of the literary community important to you?

I enjoy meeting other authors because we have all killed off people we do not like in our books and so we are very nice to each other.

"If you really want to be a writer, then nothing will stop you. Nothing stopped me.

Who are the up and coming authors in this genre?

We are like computers. We can only put out what we put in so I read lots and lots of detective writers, mostly the classics.

But I do enjoy some of the current ones. Stuart MacBride for his black humour, Val McDermid for her intelligent plots, and Iain Rankin for his creation of Rebus.

Thank you for talking to The Crime Hub.

Click here to see all of MC Beaton’s books.

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