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Karen Campbell breaks new ground

10th Sep 2013

What better background for a crime-writer than a career in the police force? And that's exactly what Karen has had, spending five years as a uniformed officer before moving on, first to have children, and later to do a Masters in Creative Writing at Glasgow University. 
This Is Where I Am

This Is Where I Am

Karen's first four novels were all crime-based. With her latest, however, she is branching out into new territory. This Is Where I Am, which she will be talking about for BOOKMARK, deals with the experiences of a Somali refugee and his traumatised four-year-old daughter living in Glasgow. The story is told from the perspectives of both Abdi and Deborah, the recently-widowed mentor assigned to him by the Scottish Refugee Council. 

Karen has always like to explore social issues in her writing and in this book she spreads her net wider, presenting the city and culture of Glasgow through the eyes of someone from a very different background.  Then, with Deborah, we are taken to Dabaab in Kenya, one of the biggest refugee camps in the world, as she tries to bring her own form of 'aid' to Abdi's situation. 

As always, Karen's writing benefits from the fruits of personal experience, this time that of her husband Dougie, a volunteer at the Scottish Refugee Council, who opened a window for her into the life of the asylum seeker. The result is a novel which is heartbreaking, uplifting and convincing.   


A great time was had by all. We also enjoyed The Blairgowrie Players’ version of Whisky Galore at the Town Hall yesterday. Well done to all and the afternoon tea was delicious.

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