Q and A with Stephen Scarcliffe

Raging – book 2 in The Chemical estate series

My review of both books in The Chemical Estate series will be published next week, however I am excited to be sharing this Q and A session to introduce this very talented author….

Hello Stephen and welcome to MoMoBookDiary blog.

First of all, Stephen, could you please tell us about your latest book, Raging.

Raging picks things up at the end of book 1 in The Chemical Estate series, Pure Angst. 

The Donaldson crime family has been split in two by a power struggle which has left Sean Donaldson and his father Davy out in the cold.

Heroin kingpin Dougie Donaldson continues to rule over the rough housing estate of Muirhouse Edinburgh, with his son George and trusted enforcer Gordon Trevor whilst making sure Sean and brother Davy stay in their boxes.

Billy Wright, the areas rising star is planning to exit the underworld in order to coincide with the pending birth of his first child with girlfriend Lyndsay. He is determined to provide his kid a better life than he was afforded growing up. Whilst making as much money from his flourishing ecstasy ring in the time he has left so that they have enough money to start anew, well away from Edinburgh’s ghettos. 

Things get complicated for all parties concerned when someone torches one of Dougie Donaldson’s taxis, with the finger of blame pointed firmly at Billy. What ensues is an escalating turf war that puts George at loggerheads with Billy and the rest of his childhood pals, as Billy’s escape plans are threatened.

Meanwhile, as the chaos unravels on the streets, Sean Donaldson plots from the shadows to shift the balance of power in Muirhouse by any means necessary, hellbent on revenge against uncle Dougie for the brutal events of book one that left his father Davy with two shattered hands and a metal knee. 

Where do you find the inspiration for your novels?

I often find inspiration from dark stories featuring troubled self-destructive protagonists plagued with inner demons. A lot of my inspiration comes from the experiences I had in my upbringing, and the characters I knew, much of which is channeled into my stories.

What advice would you give to someone considering taking the plunge and attempting to write their first novel?

Don’t be in a hurry to hit publish. Take your time, hone your manuscript, use the services of a literary consultant to ensure you are doing all the right things, and research the different publishing options available to ensure you choose the right option for you. 

If your book was made into a film or TV series who would you cast?

I like the idea of auditioning and casting authentic guys from the scheme speaking in proper Edinburgh dialect. That said, I have always thought Bob Carlyle would make a great Davy Donaldson. I also reckon Mark Bonnar who just played the lead in Guilt on BBC Scotland would be a shoe-in for the corrupt DCI Ronnie Slater. 

Who is your writing hero?

Charles Bukowski

Which book do you wish you had written?

The Devil of Nanking by Mo Hayder or Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh.

If you could have a dinner party and invite three other writers (living or dead), who would you invite?

Charles Bukowski, Roald Dahl, and Irvine Welsh.


A bloody turf war is raging between the shellsuit gangsters and the Donaldsons, while the family outcasts look to take advantage of the disorder on the streets…Who torched Dougie Donaldson’s taxi? Why are the bodies piling up in the high rises? Why is a scorned figure from the past poking his nose into everyone’s business?

As things escalate, Billy Wright is forced to question who is plotting against him as he is dragged even deeper into the world he is trying to escape.

George Donaldson is sucked into a bitter feud with childhood pals that forces him to answer serious doubts around his loyalties and Sean Donaldson schemes to shift the balance of power in Muirhouse, hellbent on revenge against the uncle who has frozen him out of the family drug business.

Will Billy fulfil the promise he made to girlfriend Lyndsay and leave the life of crime behind as fatherhood approaches?

Can George successfully defend his old man’s territory in the face of mounting adversity?

Is there any line Sean won’t cross in his quest for supremacy?

Raging is a gritty slice of 90s North Edinburgh crime noir, which forms the second of the Chemical Estate book series.


Stephen Scarcliffe

Introducing Stephen Scarcliffe…

Growing up around the north of Edinburgh where the Chemical Estate book series is set lends first-hand experience and authenticity to both the story and its characters. 

Around 14 years ago, and 4 pints (or more) down, I bumped into a certain Irvine Welsh in a pub in Edinburgh city centre. After giving him a copy of a short story I had written, I received a really encouraging email that spurred me on to write a novel. The process was extended somewhat by spending 10 years as the singer-songwriter for Edinburgh Alt-rock band The Number 9s, before opting to turn my main focus to writing. Two books in now with number 3 in development I hope to continue for many years to come. 

You can keep up to date with details of new releases and plenty more by signing up for my mailing list at www.stephenscarcliffe.co.uk. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.   


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