Friday 19 August 2011, 02:00
Ed's note: Next week you can hear Val McDermid's five part Woman's Hour drama Village SOS on Radio 4. It's part of a larger project that includes a BBC One series and a BBC Learning campaign. More details at the end of this post - PM.
It was a bizarre pitch. "We're making a reality show about projects designed to help struggling village communities regenerate their economies. And we'd like you to write a murder mystery drama serial based round the Village SOS concept."
Because, of course, there's nothing that regenerates a village economy like a juicy murder...
But I was intrigued, because I do believe crime fiction is the perfect vehicle to shine a light on the society we live in. Also, I hadn't written any radio drama for more than ten years, and I've always enjoyed a challenge. So I said yes.
It turns out the biggest challenge was to keep the distance between reality and fiction.
I live in a seaside village in Northumberland. I chose to set the drama in a seaside village in Northumberland.
Now I'm awaiting transmission with deep trepidation, hoping friends and neighbours don't make the mistake of thinking these murderous villagers are based on them.
Val McDermid is an award-winning crime writer
Thursday 18 August 2011, 16:30
Tuesday 23 August 2011, 16:45