Thursday, 27 August 2009

More 2009 Author Events Online

We've just added another 8 audio events from the Festival for you to download.

New authors featured are Sharon Olds, Jackie Kay, Alasdair Gray, Kate Summerscale, Jacqueline Wilson (listen to the fantastic audience welcome!), Tracy Chevalier, Irvine Welsh (contains strong language) and Narinder Dhami.

Despite all these new authors, web stats say Louise Rennison is the most popular author so far today, although that may be visitors looking for this years event - currently we only have her 2007 event - otherwise Jackie Kay is the most popular so far.

More soon.

Look at our beautiful things.

Do you ever wonder what life would be like if it was entirely composed out of snatches of overheard conversation?

It might be a little like this:

'May I compliment you - you have a wonderful wife.'

'Buttons for eyes, no wonder he can't sleep at night.'

'No, I took the night bus, in order to spy on the owls.'

'It is alright my darling. He died, but he turned into an elf.'

'Inspiration? Inspiration? No, just a cigarette for me.'

'Wonderful audience, wonderful workshop and now...wonderful whiskey for me.'

"'Don't they have a section about true life when its really miserable, like when people put babies in cupboards...'

'And then they turn into wizards?'

'No, not Harry Potter: painful life fiction. No wizards. More crying.'"

"'Do you think the short story is dead?'
'Really? Why?'
'I write short stories. For a living.'"

'Can you let me know when the participants for the Peter Rabbit event arrive? You'll know them, they're the ones with the ears, the lettuce, and the distinctive spring in their step.'

'Can I just leave this here for a moment? Its only inflatable snakes and catfood.'

'Please don't let anyone open this door. I'm just popping into the luggage shed to put some proper clothes on.'

See? Life is distinctly more fun when experienced in literary soundbites.

Appetite for Writing

I’ve just spent the last couple of days making sure that the Creative Writing Expo went smoothly – a chance for editors, agents and the general public to hear some of the great writing coming out of Scotland. We had a delicious lunch reception to give the writers and publishers time to mingle – thank you Appetite for the spicy prawns and strawberry tarts. All involved seemed to have a good time, and the high quality of the writing got as many compliments as the food.

The event reminded me of my very first Book Festival launch party, five years ago. Itchy Coo were launching their Scots picture book Katie’s Coo (delicious free ice-cream) and had a life-sized cow that moo-ed for the children to play with. ‘Secret service’-style bodyguards swooped in to check out the Party Pavilion before First Minister Jack McConnell arrived to launch the book. The most memorable line from them – “The First Minister will pat the cow; the First Minister will not milk the cow.” Not even the hint of a smile…