SCOTS author Christopher Brookmyre is suspicious of people who disapprove of technology — especially if they bang on about the harm it is causing the younger generation.

“I don’t think it is harmful at all,” he told The National. “No matter what technology and subcultures develop among young people, older people will disapprove of it. They are just reprising the same garbage you had with rock and roll in the 1950s.

“Like anything there will be the benefits and dangers of overuse but for the most part when I see the ways in which young people connect with each other and the way they understand each other it makes me think they are a lot more sensitive to each others’ feelings and needs than our generation was.

“There are upsides and downsides of anything but if you have brought up your kids to realise that it’s rude to fidget with some device at the dinner table then I don’t see a problem. If they are brought up to pay attention to people in front of them they are going to do that.

“My instinct is always to embrace new technology and I am suspicious of people who disapprove of it.

“When I read all these podgy, middle-aged men writing about ‘snowflakes’ it seems to me that they are just angry they are no longer young.”

IN his book, Want You Gone, which comes out in paperback on Thursday, Brookmyre’s protagonist is a surprise.

It is a crime novel based on hacking but rather than trudge out stereotypes of the white, male adolescent who spends his days on computers, Sam Morpeth is a 19-year-old female.

“It was more interesting to me to make her a girl, as computers are often perceived as very male world which is not necessarily the case.”

Brookmyre says he also finds it quite easy to write from a young person’s point of view.

“My own inner teenager is not far from the surface and my son is now getting into his late teens so he is my ambassador to teenage culture,” Brookmyre explained.

As well as a tense, nail-biting plot, the book contains so much knowledge about hacking that it begs the question: is Brookmyre a hacker?

“Not that I would admit to,” he laughed. “It’s more that I was interested in computers from a very early age and interested in the sub cultures that grew up around computers. In the early days of computers, hacking didn’t mean hacking into systems, it just meant tinkering with computers. I was always interested in the elements of mischief and deception in that culture as these are the things I write about. The psychology of it appealed to me.”

NOTHING if not prolific, Want You Gone is not the only Brookmyre book that is attracting a lot of attention at the moment. Three companies are interested in developing for film or television his recently published sci fi novel, Places in the Darkness, and he has written a historical novel with his wife, Marisa, which is due to be published by Canongate in the autumn. Brookmyre is no stranger to sci fi as his novel Bedlam is all about entering the world of video games but Places in the Darkness is the first to be set in space.

“In other respects, I am on familiar ground as it is still a crime story – a very noir crime story – about bootlegging and underground gangs. It allowed me to explore things I could not have done in everyday life but is also about things that will still be a problem for us in the future.

“In the book, they are in the process of designing and developing the world’s first interstellar vehicle and the people that are working on it are quite optimistic and altruistic because they are not going to be around to see the fruits of their labour. But it is aspirational as well as people have very specific ideas of where humanity should be going so it is partly about attempts to prescribe human nature.”

THE book Brookmyre has written with his wife is a murder mystery set in Edinburgh in 1847 and involves the early days of anaesthesia.

While a few fall-outs could have been expected during a husband and wife collaboration, Brookmyre said it hadn’t been difficult at all.

“My wife had been an anaesthetist for 20-odd years then decided to do a masters in the history of medicine,” he explained.

“When she was writing her dissertation, she came across all this information and primary source material so between us we came up with the idea for the book.

“We thought we would write it together as there were things she was able to bring to it that I would not have been able to imagine, while I have the experience of writing novels.

“It turned out we worked very well together. My wife came up with much of the story and most of the characters and she would write from the point of view of one character and I would from the point of view of another then we would swap over. Now it is hard for me to tell who has written what.”

A series under the pen name Ambrose Perry is now planned, with the first book called The Way Of All Flesh.

BROOKMYRE is to speak at Rothesay Library on Thursday and also has a few performances lined up with his band the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers.

He sings in the band along with Val McDermid and Mark Billingham who also plays guitar. Luca Veste, the crime writer from Liverpool, is on bass while Doug Johnstone is on drums and Stuart Neville, from Northern Ireland, is also on guitar.

The band’s repertoire consists of songs about murder and crime such as Watching the Detectives and I Fought The Law.

They play Pitlochry Festival Theatre on February 17 and are at the Tramway during Aye Write on March 23.

In the meantime, Brookmyre is beginning the groundwork for a new crime novel as well as holding talks with TV and film companies so it may not be too long before a Brookmyre creation appears on our screens once again.