Gillian Galbraith was an advocate specialising in medical negligence cases and was the legal correspondent for the Scottish Farmer magazine. She has also written on legal matters for The Times. Now a fulltime writer of fiction, Gillian lives with her husband, young daughter and assorted animals and bees near Kinross. What was the best thing about being an advocate? It’s a very stimulating job – you have to quickly come to grips with the facts and put together a convincing argument. I learned something new every day. And what’s the best thing about being a writer? When things are going well you can lose yourself entirely. Writing becomes more vivid than actual life for that moment. Not to mention the freedom to drop everything and walk the dogs. Considering the number of male detectives in crime fiction, why did you choose to make your main character a woman? I find women tend to be more curious about people, increasing the scope for using psychology as a detection tool which intrigued me. There are lots of fictional male detectives and if fiction is to mirror life then there should be female ones, too. How has Alice Rice changed over the course of the Alice Rice Mysteries? Alice is smart and capable, but she’s also trying to make it in a macho world. She’s more confident in general and, even when she doubts herself, she has enough belief in her own judgement to pursue her own lines of enquiry. If you could give Alice one piece of advice, what would it be? Expend less of her energy on her job and more on her life.