Val McDermid at the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival

Listen online: Crime novelist Val McDermid on her journey from Fife to Oxford, tabloid journalism and finally acclaim as one of Britain's best sellers.

Val McDermid grew up in Kirkcaldy on the east coast of Scotland. At 17 she went up to St Hilda's College, Oxford, one of the youngest undergraduates they'd ever taken on, and the first from a Scottish state school.

She became a journalist, first in the West Country and then for the Sunday People in Manchester - all the while spending her spare time pounding out fiction in the hope of getting a publisher to bite.

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In this programme, she is in conversation with the Yorkshire Post's Digital Editor, David Behrens.

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Val McDermid's next book is Trick of the Dark (Little, Brown), set in the colleges of the Oxford in which she once studied. She says: "It was fun to delve back into my past to conjure up images of life in an Oxford college. I should stress that my own experiences as an undergraduate at St Hilda's College did not include murder except in the form of the detective novels that all my tutors seemed to devour. But this novel definitely involved a trip down memory lane for me."