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Allan Guthrie

Allan Guthrie

Born: 1965 in Orkney
First Book: Two-way Split (PointBlank, 2004)
Awards: Winner of the 2007 Theaksons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award for Two-way Split, nominated for the 2001 CWA Debut Dagger for Blithe Psychopaths (Two-way Split) and nominated for the MWA Edgar Award (2006), the Mystery Ink Gumshoe Award (2006) and the Anthony Award (2006) for Kiss Her Goodbye.

Allan Guthrie was born in Orkney in 1965 and attended Kirkwall primary school, where his P5 teacher allowed him to write during art classes, given his woeful lack of talent for visual art. He was, however, a gifted musician and played piano and bassoon. He became a founder member of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland when he was twelve, and was whisked off to music school in Manchester as a fourteen-year-old.

After leaving school, he attended university in Aberdeen, where his plan to support himself as a pianist in a posh restaurant took a nosedive when he was sacked on his second night because his hair was too long. After a year, he left Aberdeen, degreeless, and moved to Edinburgh.

Having lots of spare time on his hands, he taught himself how to program computers and spent the following twelve years working in IT. It was good while it lasted, but he started to feel the pinch and found a part-time job in a bookshop, where he was so happy he would have worked for free.

Before long, he was employed full-time in the book trade, and over the nine years that followed he worked in various jobs, from stockroom supervisor to IT trainer, moving between exotic locales such as Brussels, Cork and Stirling, before giving up his day job to write full-time in 2006.

He had married in 2000 and it was his wife, Donna, who was instrumental in encouraging him to start writing again. After being short-listed for the CWA Debut Dagger for a book called Blithe Psychopaths in 2001 (renamed Two-way Split for release in the UK), Allan started to think seriously about the possibility of writing as a career. Three years and hundreds of rejection slips later, Two-way Split and Kiss Her Goodbye were both picked up within weeks of one another by two independent small presses in the United States. In 2006 Kiss Her Goodbye was nominated for an MWA Edgar Award, an Anthony Award and a Mystery Ink Gumshoe Award.

Polygon snatched up the UK rights for both these novels, publishing Two-way Split in 2005 and Kiss Her Goodbye in 2006. Allan third novel, Hard Man , was published by Polygon in April 2007, and his fourth, Savage Night, in March 2008. In 2009 Polygon published Allan's novel Slammer, the descent into hell of a rookie prison officer.

As well as writing himself, Allan is a literary agent with Jenny Brown Associates in Edinburgh.

Click here to view Allan's Meet the Author interview!

Picture by Mary Reagan

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