Ann Cleeves was at Left Coast Crime in Monterey a few weeks ago, and lucky attendees were privileged to watch Red Bones, the pilot based on her Shetland series (not available yet in the U.S).
Be sure and scroll down for a video of Ann Cleeves at The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival/
Ann Cleeves grew up in the country, first in Herefordshire, then in North
Devon, U.K.. Her father was a village school teacher. After dropping out of
university she took a number of temporary jobs - child care officer,
women's refuge leader, bird observatory cook, auxiliary coastguard -
before going back to college and training to be a probation officer.
While she was cooking in the Bird Observatory on Fair Isle, she met
her husband Tim, a visiting ornithologist. She was attracted less by
the ornithology than the bottle of malt whisky she saw in his rucksack
when she showed him his room. Soon after they married, Tim was appointed
as warden of Hilbre,
a tiny tidal island nature reserve in the Dee Estuary. They were the
only residents, there was no mains electricity or water and access to
the mainland was at low tide across the shore. If a person's not heavily
into birds - and Ann isn't - there's not much to do on Hilbre and that
was when she started writing. Her first series of crime novels features
the elderly naturalist, George Palmer-Jones, and are all now available from Bello, Pan Macmillan's digital imprint.
For the National Year of Reading, Ann was made reader-in-residence
for three library authorities. It came as a revelation that it was
possible to get paid for talking to readers about books! She went on to
set up reading groups in prisons as part of the Inside Books project, became Cheltenham Literature Festival's first reader-in-residence and still enjoys working with libraries.
Ann's short film for Border TV, Catching Birds, won a Royal Television Society Award. She has twice been short listed for a CWA Dagger Award - once for her short story The Plater, and the following year for the Dagger in the Library award.
In 2006 Ann Cleeves was the first winner of the prestigious Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award of the Crime Writers' Association for Raven Black, the first volume of her Shetland Quartet.
On 18th October 2012 at the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards, in the
glittering surroundings of Grosvenor House, London, Ann was admitted to
the Crime Thriller Hall of Fame!
Ann's books have been translated into twenty languages. Her novels sell widely and to critical acclaim in the United States. Raven Black
was shortlisted for the Martin Beck award for best translated crime
novel in Sweden in 2007. It has been adapted for radio in Germany - and
in the UK where it was a Radio Times pick of the day when it was first
broadcast Radio adaptations of Raven Black and White Nights have both been repeated, and a television adaptation of Red Bones will be followed by three more two part adaptations of Ann's Shetland novels.
Three series of Vera, the ITV adaptation starring Brenda
Blethyn and David Leon, have been broadcast in the UK, and sold
worldwide. A fourth series is forthcoming.
Ann's latest book is a Vera Stanhope novel, Harbour Street, published in January 2014.
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