Warning: Writer at Large

I need to tell you about a couple of events. First up, I’m thrilled to be reading at Pulp Fiction; a science-fiction/fantasy/cult bookshop in Edinburgh run with great passion and enthusiasm by Steve Rapaport. There’s going to be a discussion about the writing process led by Helen Jackson, and we’ll be joined by artist Paul Mudie, who will talk us through his wolfish work for the cover. Q&A to follow, signing of books (buy one on the night or bring one along) and maybe a few drinks after at the pub… Pulp Fiction is also host to an excellent cafe – seriously, try their chocolate brownies – so there should be plenty to grab your attention. Leather jackets optional – werewolves of all ages welcome.

FREE tickets available here or you could be very wild, and just turn up on the night: Wed 23 May, doors 6.30 – event 7PM, 43 Bread Street, EH3 9AH

The next day – Thursday 24 May – I’ve been asked to contribute to a debate titled ‘Other Worlds- Other Dimensions: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, do they have a place in Literature? at the Scottish Writers’ Centre, currently hosted at the CCA in Glasgow. Panelists include John Birch, Kirsty Logan, Gordon Robertson, Douglas Thompson (chair) and Neil Williamson. Entry is free, and I’ll have some copies of The Daemon Parallel with me, so please come up and say hello.

I’ve been out and about elsewhere too… Last week, I popped into Firhill High School and spoke to two s1 classes. After, I enjoyed being interviewed by four enthusiastic readers for Teen Titles. So, if you want to know the true story behind Mrs Ferguson or the Temperatori, you’ll need to track down the next issue.

The week before I was at Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre. A calm and quiet train journey took me from Edinburgh to Inverness – with lots of writing and reading en route, while glancing out at snow-capped hills – then a swift car ride along the edge of Loch Ness, up a steep single track road, and there it was…

An amazing location, and amazing weather too (check out the images below – much brighter than rainy Edinburgh).

I was there as a visiting speaker for The Pushkin Prizes (- a long-running award scheme that offers a week-long residential writing course to ten Scottish S1 or s2 pupils, and two from in or around St Petersburg in Russia -) talking about how I had worked towards becoming published. The hour long session flew past, with lots of queries to field from the young writers. They were a lively and engaged bunch, clearly passionate not just about writing, but about reading too. Tricky questions included whether I’d ever felt like chucking my novel in the bin (oh yes…), and whether I wanted to sell more copies than…

No.

We’ll maybe not share that bit. I guess you had to be there…

Tutors Cathy MacPhail and Gerry Cambridge (who also took the interior shots below) made me feel very welcome. I’d love to make another visit.

On the way home, I even got a little book-shopping done. The train was running ahead of time, and at Pitlochry station we were told we could all get out and stretch our legs. Lo and behold, just where in years gone-by you might’ve expected to find a stationers, or a kiosk selling inedible sandwiches, there was a tiny-but-delightful charity bookstore (see pics here). I had just time to snaffle a mystery novel by AA Milne (better known for his philosophical bears), and dash back before my train trundled off through the highlands…

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2 thoughts on “Warning: Writer at Large

  1. Wow, you are one in demand author! And Moniack Mhor looks amazing. But tell me, re: those pictures – were you running a writing workshop, or conducting a daemonic ouija board session? 🙂

  2. “Is there a plot?” “One knock for yes, two for no. Three for your work needs more editing.”
    I think I was gesticulating wildly while explaining something…

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