Monday, 1 July 2013

The Two Worlds of Scottish Crime Fiction Writer James Oswald

Scottish crime fiction writer and farmer James Oswald paid $80 for a cover and bought his friends a few beers to proofread his novel Natural Causes. He then self-published it as an e-book. This novel and its sequel, The Book of Souls, have sold a phenomenal 350,000 copies since they were released last year. His work was soon at the centre of a bidding war, and Penguin was the successful bidder for the rights to publish the printed version of his work. His six-figure contract with Penguin puts Oswald in the same ranks as Ian Rankin (no pun intended) and Val McDermid. Oswald has also won critical acclaim, making the shortlist for the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award.

Oswald will continue to farm and write, and in fact has used some of his earnings to purchase a new tractor for his farm. He says his day job helps him write because he always has his notebook at hand and has lots of time to think while he's performing his various tasks.

For the full text of the article by Tom Rowley, see There is also a video with Oswald on his farm. He is a quiet, self-effacing man, a bit bemused by all the fuss, and his Highland cattle look singularly unimpressed b y the photographer's presence.

James Oswald's website is

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