CRIME author Claire Askew will be sharing the story of her ‘accidental’ journey from prize winning poet to multi-award winning author with the Melrose Literary Society in the Ormiston Institute, Melrose later this month,

All are welcome to come and hear how Claire set about creating her Edinburgh based sleuth D.I. Helen Birch, who is now the subject of a series of six novels, including one set in the Borders.

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Her debut novel All The Hidden Truths won the 2016 Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize as a work in progress, and the 2019 McIlvanney Debut Crime Fiction Award.

Two of her novels have been shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger.

Her fourth novel, A Matter of Time, was longlisted for the McIlvanney Crime Novel of the Year 2022.

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Claire, who was raised in the Scottish Borders and now lives in Cumbria, said: “Having been an established poet for over ten years, I found myself ruminating on an idea for a novel that I wished someone else would write, so I could read it.

“When it became clear that wasn't going to happen, I was forced to take matters into my own hands. Fast-forward a few years, and I’ve somehow become the author of a six-part crime series.”

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Claire is also a poet, and the author of two full length collections: This changes things and How To Burn A Woman.

In 2020, she published a non-fiction book, Novelista: Anyone can write a novel - yes, even you, with John Murray.

The Accidental Crime Writer, a talk by Claire Askew, is at the Ormiston Institute, Melrose, on Tuesday 24th October, at 7.30pm. Admission is £5 (cash). All are welcome.