Karen Campbell is an award-winning writer who has now published seven novels, most recently The Sound of The Hours, which came out in July 2019. Having studied English at the University of Glasgow, Karen’s writing career took a while to come to the fore – that came after nearly six years as a police-officer with Strathclyde Police, followed by a role as a media officer with Glasgow City Council.

It was during this time that she was accepted on to Glasgow University’s prestigious Creative Writing Masters course and thus began an impressive career as a writer. This has, to date, involved four novels set in the world of the police – The Twilight Time, After The Fire, Shadowplay and Proof of Life.

Those books were followed by This Is Where I Am, which tells the story of a Somali asylum-seeker who has arrived in Glasgow with his daughter, Rise, a novel about trying to escape the past and forging a new future, set in the Highlands, and most recently The Sound of the Hours.

This latest novel is set mainly in the Italian town of Barga during the Second World War, and amidst much acclaim from readers and reviewers alike, one reviewer said that: ‘If you can imagine Captain Corelli’s Mandolin meets Catch 22 you’ll have some idea as to what The Sound of the Hours is like… and it’s also a timely reminder that any discussion about the best contemporary Scottish novelists should include Karen Campbell.’

Listen to Karen Campbell on the Read All About It podcast HERE


1. Favourite book from childhood:
Smokey House by Elizabeth Goudge and Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses

2. Favourite book from teenage/university (formative) years:
Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon

3. A book you would recommend to anyone:
How to be Both by Ali Smith

4. A book you couldn’t be paid to read again:
The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

5. The last book you read or are currently reading:
Surfacing by Kathleen Jamie