Written by Brandon Williams on Saturday, December 15th, 2012

Following an appearance as a guest speaker Sunderland University lecture, a woman in a blonde wig and a trilby hat poured ink on Scottish novelist Val McDermid.

“The last person in the queue had a very old copy of a non-fiction book I published back in the 1990s, then demanded I sign a Top Of The Pops annual with a picture of Jimmy Savile, which I didn’t want to sign because I thought it wasn’t appropriate,” she said.

“People ask you to sign all sorts of things at signings, and by that stage of the evening you really don’t want to get into any kind of ruck with people, so, generally speaking, if they insist on something that appears harmless you just do it.”

After signing the item, the woman believed to be in her 60s pulled the ink out and threw it at, covering her face and body. The woman then fleed the scene.

“It was very shocking,” said McDermid. “I was covered in black ink; my clothes were completely ruined, it was all over my face and in my mouth.”

“Everybody was completely shocked. I have been doing this for 25 years and I’ve never had anything like this happen. It wouldn’t put me off doing book signings because the overwhelming majority of people who come to my events are readers who are intelligent people.

“If it was an attempt to make some kind of point, no point was made.”

The investigation into the attack is currently ongoing.

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