When it comes to writers, I'm not a vegetarian. Most definitely I'm a carnivore with a love of blood and guts. Spraying, oozing, dripping - I love the red liquid. Black is another favourite colour of mine and the darker and deeper the better. I want to find that dark place deep in the centre of the soul, the place where the ultimate truth in each of us lies. Total honesty.
I've looked for these qualities in writers from other countries and yes, they are to be found - of course they are, it would be arrogant to suggest that Scottish writers have some secret that is unavailable to others. But what I do find in Scottish writing is the regularity of these dark themes appearing. Is this a shared consciousness? Could it be to do with our dreary weather? Has it something to do with our downtrodden history? Many people have puzzled over these questions since Scots began to write.
Who am I fanatical about? Here's some suggestions for you in no particular order...
William McIllvanney (okay..maybe he is at the top of my list)
George MacKay Brown
Lewis Grassic Gibbon
George Douglas Brown
...and there's lots more.
(I know, no woman, I'm ashamed....that's another blog post!)
Which Scottish writers do it for you and why?