Self Incrimination – Anna Smith
Anna Smith, author of KILL ME TWICE, looks back on her experiences as a front-line journalist and how witnessing tragedy ultimately fed into her writing.
Posted on September 28, 2016 in Guest Author, Self incrimination
Tags: anna smith, kill me twice, rosie gilmour, screams in the dark
It’s a tough call for any author to say which of their own novels is their favourite. It almost feels like a betrayal of the other novels, born out of a moment’s inspiraton, or from a niggling idea that had rolled around in their head, aching to take flight. Because each novel I write takes on a life of it’s own by the time I’m half way through. And when I finally get to the end, all of them feel like my favourite.
But if I define “favourite” in terms of the one that keeps coming back to my mind, then it’s Screams In The Dark, the third novel in the Rosie Gilmour series.
In the story, Rosie is investigating a tale of refugees mysteriously going missing in Glasgow. At first, it seems they are victims of vigilantes at a time when the city has turned against the influx of refugees into housing schemes, where locals are already struggling to find jobs and decent homes. But as she digs, she finds a far more sinister, ugly worldwide trade in human tissue, and refugees are being picked off by ruthless gangsters.
For this novel, I dug deep into my past as a front-line journalist when I witnessed some awful scenes in refugee camps and war zones across the world. I’ve always felt a deep sympathy for refugees because of the suffering I’ve seen at first hand, of refugees fleeing their country besieged by war.
I saw this in the border of Kosovo at the start of the war, where thousands of desperate refugees fled Serbian butchers. And I was able draw on those harrowing scenes, and produce them in the fictionalised characters in Screams In The Dark, who come to Glasgow to escape war. It’s a dark tale, but one that was cathartic to me as I wrote it, even though it was difficult to revisit some of these places in my head. So, Screams In The Dark for that reason is a Rosie Gilmour novel that is very close to my heart.
And I also feel it has a special resonance now, as I watch the unfolding refugee crisis in the Mediterranean.
Find out more about Anna Smith and her latest novel Kill Me Twice here.