DAYDREAMING about severed heads stuck on spikes and Googling the “best way to throttle someone” are just some of the more peculiar aspects of being a crime writer. 

Author Neil Broadfoot told the Advertiser about his habits ahead of his appearance at Stirling’s Bloody Scotland festival, where he’ll discuss his latest work, “No Man’s Land”. 

He said: “As a writer you’re always taking notes and writing down ideas.

“I was sitting watching the Scotland v England football game at a pub in Stirling, when the thought came to me of a head on a spike.

“I know that sounds weird, but I just thought: ‘Now that’s an idea’.

“And when I wandered around Stirling I kept thinking: ‘I could dump a body here, and here’, and I went back and jotted all these ideas down.”

Now, just over a year later, those ideas have turned in to “No Man’s Land”, Neil’s latest crime thriller – which is set in Stirling. 

The book follows the exploits of close protection officer Connor Fraser, as he gets drawn towards murderers and mysteries after a mutilated body is dumped outside Cowane’s hospital. 

It’s the latest work for Neil, who published his first book, “Falling Fast”, in 2014 – a story that also came about thanks to his quirky daydreaming.

He said: “I didn’t know what I was doing the first time I was published
“I was in Edinburgh, walking past the Scott Monument when I thought: ‘I’m going to throw someone off that’.

“But I was fumbling about in the dark back then. I just had an image and ran with it.”

The book was a finalist of the Dundee International Book Prize, and was shortlisted for the Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award. 
Those accolades firmly established Neil as a key figure in Scotland’s Tartan Noir scene. 

But not content with resting on his laurels, he’s is already working on his second Stirling based crime thriller, with one more to come after that.

Anyone who wants to hear more about Neil’s work is in luck, as he’s coming to Stirling to discuss it. 

Neil will be appearing at Bloody Scotland’s festival alongside three more of Scotland’s top crime writers for a “Local Crimes for Local People” event on Saturday, September 22.