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By Mark Davey
An author whose detective novels have sold more than a million copies has revealed he would back a Campbeltown book festival.
Eight years ago, Denzil Meyrick created fictional detective chief inspector Jim Daley, whose stamping ground is Kinloch, a thinly disguised version of Campbeltown.
Mr Meyrick spoke about Campbeltown as a possible venue as he was announced, this week, as a speaker at Stirling’s Bloody Scotland crime writing festival from September 21 to 23.
Mr Meyrick, whose latest DCI Daley investigation, The Relentless Tide will be published in early September, just before Bloody Scotland, said: ‘A literary festival would be a great thing for Campbeltown.
‘It could tie in with an event like the Malts Festival. I have lots of readers in Sweden and Germany which are also countries where people have a strong love of whisky
‘I hear from readers in many places who tell me they are going to Campbeltown on the strength of the DCI Daley stories.
‘I have been asked about the possibility of DCI Daley tours.’
Mr Meyrick said that the recently refurbished Campbeltown Picture House would be an ideal central venue with fringe talks in bars and halls.
Renowned Campbeltown poet, Angus Martin, said that he would certainly support a festival and already gives readings at events in the central belt.
Former Courier and Express and Star reporter and author Freddy Gillies was also enthusiastic about the possibility.
Mr Gillies greatest claim to fame as a writer is that, while a junior reporter at Campbeltown, he broke the story of Paul McCartney’s engagement to Linda Eastman in 1968.
Mr Gillies books include: ‘From the Blue Sea to the Black Country,’ an illustrated autobiographical tale of his newspaper writing days, which saw him move from Kintyre to a daily evening paper in Wolverhampton.
In addition to Bloody Scotland Mr Meyrick is booked to appear at two other book festivals this year, Bute Noir on August 3 and the biggest crime writers’ festival in Germany at Dortmund.
Mr Meyrick said: ‘Harper Collins my German publishers arranged the appearance at Dortmund and I will speak in German.
‘My titles there do not translate well so Whisky in Small Glasses becomes Deadly Flotsam.’
At Bloody Scotland Mr Meyrick will share a slot with Quintin Jardine, another police procedural writer, on Sunday September 23 from 12.45pm to 1.45pm at Alberts Halls, Dumbarton Road.
Denzil Meyrick signs his book, Well of the Winds, in Campbeltown town hall last year. 25_c19cth02_well_of_the_winds