One of Scotland’s top crime writers is set to take on a 13-mile walk for charity in a bid to raise awareness of breast cancer.
Val McDermid, who has sold more than 15 million books to date, will join the ranks of the pink-bra brigade as she rises to the MoonWalk challenge this summer.
The 61-year-old, from Kirkcaldy, is battling Type 2 diabetes and sees the opportunity to “roll back” her condition while raising funds for a great cause.
McDermid, who will be taking part in the “Half Moon” walk with her partner Jo Sharp, is aiming to raise about £5,000 as she joins thousands of other women and men in Edinburgh for the event on 10 June.
The author, dubbed “The Goddess of Tartan Noir”, is in the process of writing Insidious Intent, another novel featuring clinical psychologist Dr Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan.
She said: “I enjoy walking and one of the things I’ve been concentrating on in the last couple of years is trying to be in better health. This seemed to marry that personal commitment with a chance to do something worthwhile for an important charity.
“There’s not a person among us who hasn’t known somebody who’s been affected by breast cancer.
“It’s sometimes felt like a plague in the last few years, I’ve had so many friends who have gone through cancer treatments and some who have died.”
McDermid warned that investment in cancer research needs to be maintained in light of recent cut backs and possible threats to funding as a consequence of Brexit. She urged people to check for early warning signs and make the most of breast screening programmes.
She added: “Breast cancer is definitely one of those cases where early diagnosis can save lives – and people need to be encouraged to take up the opportunities there are like mammograms for breast screening.
“It’s really important to check yourself as well, as it is for men with testicular cancer, to make sure you know what your body feels like so you see any changes. But also it’s important to access the services there are because the sooner you find out about a diagnosis the better your chance of long-term survival.”
The author told Scotland on Sunday how walking helps with her thought process when approaching writing deadlines.
McDermid said: “When I’m working, when I’m writing a book, I go and have a walk. I’m very lucky where I live, right by the Water of Leith, so it’s really easy for me to leave the house and go for a 20 minute walk – it resets your head.
“The whole of Scotland is fantastic [for walking], there’s very few places where you can’t walk out your front door and go someplace.”
She added: “I’m doing the walk with my partner. I’m looking forward to it but I think it’s going to be quite tough.”
Sign up for the Moonwalk at www.walkthewalk.org