I’m pleased to welcome someone who could be described as a local author if only he didn’t live in Australia! Russell Robertson is originally from Edinburgh and his books featuring investigative journalist Harry Cram are set in Portobello and nearby Musselburgh. The first in the series, Windsor Place, is available in both paperback and as an ebook – order a copy online here.
Thanks for joining me Russell. First of all, would you tell my blog-readers a little about yourself?
I was born in Edinburgh, brought up and educated in Portobello. After a stint as a professional soccer player, my wife and I moved to Brisbane, Australia in 1974 and have lived there ever since. I have been involved in my own companies for over thirty years, ranging from sales, marketing, real estate and lately an internet translation company. I love travelling and to date have visited over thirty- five countries. I have been married to Margaret for over forty years and have one son and three wonderful grandchildren.
What inspired you to start writing?
I have always had a desire to create a novel that would be accepted and loved by all Scots who can identify with the main character and at the same time bring back memories to all the expats living overseas. Hopefully Harry Cram can fulfil that role.
Tell me about your journey to publication
That has been a long journey. I started keeping notes about events and characters that I met over time, with the idea to write a crime fiction thriller. Unfortunately, my business interest got in the way over the next forty years until I decided last year that I needed to start writing full time. One book just out and two further books due for launch within the next year is my commitment to crime writing in the future. I believe Harry Cram can be very successful and my initial target market is of course all Scots around the world.
What is your latest book about?
Windsor Place is a crime thriller about Harry Cram, an Investigative Journalist who returns from Australia to Scotland and sets up his business office in Musselburgh and buys an apartment in Bath Street, Portobello.
After a visit to prison to see a friend, he bumps into an old girlfriend from back in school. They begin an affair that must be hidden from her husband Alf “Billy Bunter” Hunter, one of Edinburgh’s most sadistic and malevolent criminals, who is currently serving a long prison.
Harry’s life is turned upside down when he finds his lover and her two daughters murdered in Sixty-Six Windsor Place. Now, he has to deal with not only the police but her criminal husband. In the middle of all the turmoil, Harry must take an emergency trip to visit China, where his daughter from his first marriage is gravely ill. While in China, he receives some stunning information from his contacts in Shanghai that throws the investigation upside down.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
Simple, my grandparents actually owned a property in Windsor Place in the fifties. I visited the property last year and was made very welcome by the current owners. Obviously, because the murders in the book take place in that house. I needed to protect them, so I made up the number sixty-six Windsor Place (That street number does not exist)
How did you celebrate publication day?
Publication for my debut Harry Cram novel was very low key. I always planned a soft launch, as I believe you need more than one novel to launch your characters and the books into the marketplace properly. I have set up a programme for a hard launch next year, which will include a promotional tour.
Do you have a work in progress just now?
For sure. My second book, Everlasting Guilt, which is due to be launched in March 2018 is the second novel in the Harry Cram series.
While berthed in The Firth of Forth, the luxury cruise ship Atlantic Ocean is attacked by terrorists, throwing the city and authorities into turmoil. A Cabinet meeting of COBRA is urgently convened and the British Government dispatches Cpt. Gordon Graynor from MI5 and two of his agents to Edinburgh to take control and investigate the crime. Investigative Journalist Harry Cram and his partner Skye Livingstone return home from Australia as they learn that two of their friends were onboard the ship, presumed dead. After many fatalities on the cruise ship, the relatives seek answers to the lack of security on the cruise liner and engage Harry Cram to gather information allowing them to lodge a class action against the Company operating the cruise line.
Cram also has unfinished business in Edinburgh trying to find out who murdered his previous partner.
In the middle of the investigation, a never to be released psychopath imprisoned in the State Mental Hospital contacts the police claiming that he has valuable information into the terror attack and is willing to trade that information in return for a release date.
Can they afford to ignore his claims that another attack is imminent?
I am also working on the third Harry Cram novel due for release in December 2018.
What’s your favourite book you’ve read in the past few months? Or favourite three if you really can’t choose!
What are you reading just now?
If you were on Desert Island Discs, what one book would you take with you?
Is there a book you’d like to see made into a film? Who would be in your dream cast?
Windsor Place – Harry Cram novel!
Seriously, I would love to see Lennox by Craig Russell made into a movie with James McEvoy playing the lead.
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?
Facebook: Harry Cram
And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?
It would have to be John Rebus in the Ian Rankin series. Simply because he is a great character.