Arts & Entertainment
1 min

Val McDermid on writing about violence

'It's something we've all imagined many, many times'

Lesbian author Val McDermid is among the world’s bestselling crime writers. Her ability to write about violence in a vivid, disturbing and captivating way has led to more than 12 million book sales.

“As little girls we’re told that the world is a dangerous place,” McDermid says. “We’re told not to go down that dark alley by ourselves at midnight. All through our lives we have to live with the potential of the awful things that might happen to us as women.
“So when a woman comes to write a scene of violence it’s something that we’ve all imagined many, many times over.”
McDermid’s latest book, The Vanishing Point, borrows from a parent’s greatest fear: the disappearance of a child. 
“The opening scene in the book is based very strongly on something that happened to me when I was travelling with my son,” she says.
“And because I have a nasty, devious, twisted mind I immediately starting thinking, well, what would happen if someone walked up right now and walked away with him.”
It’s a chilling scenario that makes for a page turner of a book.
Below are clips from our video interview with McDermid, who is currently touring North America, with appearances in Toronto, New York, Pittsburgh and Ohio.