Ness Book Fest is fast approaching and I’m delighted to be on the line-up.
I’ll be reading a snippet from a new short story as an introduction to Sarah Fraser’s event on Saturday 5th October. We’re both exploring past lives. I’ll tell the tale of two women accused of very different thefts; while Sarah will discuss her historical biography, ‘The Prince Who Would be King: The Life and Death of Henry Stuart’, a TLS book of the year.
Poet Paul Deaton has described The Garsdale Retreat perfectly: ‘a northern sanctuary for writers across the UK.’ Their programme offers fiction, memoir, poetry, playwriting and songwriting courses, tutored by writers such as Janice Galloway, Ian Duhig, Willy Russell, Jo Bell and many more… And the food, the bountiful food, is mouthwatering.
This short-story anthology explores love in all its various shapes and hues—from the familial to the erotic, from the illusory to the enduring— and includes writers such as Carys Bray, Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, Donal Ryan and Nikesh Shukla.
My short story, ‘Holdfast’, came runner-up in the Sceptre Loves Short Story Prize, launched to mark the publication of this beautiful anthology. And so, I’ll be reading from this story on Thursday 10th August, in Waterstones Gower Street, alongside the shortlisted writers and the winner Phoebe Roy. Roy’s story is now published in this new paperback edition. Please do come along, one and all, if you’re nearby. Come listen to stories that ask just how much the heart can hold…
(As for that rather lovely title? Zelda Fitzgerald: ‘Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.’)
Fifteen short stories and poems, all set in off-the-beaten-track Edinburgh, have been magicked into geolocated podcasts. Listeners, using the Podwalk app, can stray, escape, gambol away from the familiar tourist trail and experience Edinburgh as imagined by fifteen writers. Or, for folks who prefer to enjoy their literature on the sofa, in bed, at a café table, in the garden shed, you can listen to or read the stories and poems direct from the Echoes website on SoundCloud .
My story, ‘Pufferfish’, is set in Edinburgh’s Regent pub.
And so, I look forward to the launch next Tuesday, 16 May, and taking my first Echoes tour.
Tomorrow is Robert Louis Stevenson Day in Edinburgh – the annual celebration of all things RLS. This year’s theme is Stevenson on Screen and Stage and so the Scottish Storytelling Centre will be hosting a day-long banquet of readings and film clips. I’ll be reading from the wonderfully ghoulish short story ‘The Bodysnatcher’ around 11am. Other readers include Louise Welsh and my fellow Story Shoppers Kirsty Venters-Marks, Helen McClory and Pab Roberts. Do drop by…