Hello there. My name is Elaine Thomson. I was born in Ormskirk, Lancashire, but I have lived in Edinburgh for over 35 years.
By night I am a writer of historical crime fiction. By day I’m a university lecturer. I’m also a big day-dreamer, which comes in quite handy. I have a PhD in the history of 19th century medicine, and I try to fit as much medical history into my books as possible. So far, I have looked at apothecaries and physicians, mid 19th century psychiatry, the emergence of tropical medicine, anatomy schools and grave robbers, poisons and physic gardens, and sewers and sanitary reform – all with a bit of murder and general bad behaviour thrown in.
When I’m not writing or doing my day job you can find me reading, hill walking, cycling touring, or wandering around Edinburgh staring up at buildings and in at windows (but not in a weird way). Since I got married again I also spend time hanging out with my husband and his ancient Labrador, Chilli Pepper. I visit the beach, or the hills, whenever possible and have been known to do some cold water swimming. I have two sons. They are now aged 18 and 20, so I no longer have to add “single parent child-wrangler” to my CV. Instead, I get to listen to, and occasionally participate in, manly banter.
I am alarmingly knowledgeable about poisonous plants and mushrooms. I’ve shared this knowledge, and how to apply it creatively, in numerous workshops on writing historical crime fiction (Eg. 1.) How to Write Historical Crime, 2.) Poison Pen Workshop: How to use Poisons in Crime Fiction, 3.) How to Write Crime When You Don’t Have the Time: A writing workshop for people with too many commitments.) I’m happy to come to any library, school, or festival to speak about my work, to facilitate one of my popular writing workshops, or to talk about poisons, so please get in touch if you’d like me to visit. I am never sure whether to be surprised, or worried, by the number of people who are interested in such matters. What a strange lot you are…
Thanks for dropping by!