Since it’s officially all over social media now, I’m beyond chuffed to announce that I’ve been chosen as one of 17 emerging writers for Story Shop at the 2016 Edinburgh International Book Festival. My response to the email, after a long socially draining day dispensing justice for jury service, was of course totally professional.
Yep, it’s finally here. Tomorrow, I’ll be on stage at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, reading my short story Loch na Bèiste for your delectation. There will be Highlands scenery. There will be foolish old men. There will be my favourite murderous beasties.
I’ve been quite zen about things up till now – everyone else in Team Story Shop has raised the bar performance-wise – but now I’m starting to freak out. I mean, I’m only at a renowned literary festival. Little old me, with a story from a wee corner of Wester Ross, conceived after a week of heavy drinking and the occasional intrusions from resident furry asshole YA Cat. I hope everyone likes what I came up with. If you do, please come tell me, or fill out a comment card on the table if you’re shy. If you hated it, then I’ll set my man-eating water-horses on you. Anyway, if you’d like to come, it’s tomorrow (26th August), Charlotte Square, in the Spiegeltent at 3pm sharp. (And if you can’t make it, there will be a live Periscope stream on the City of Literature Story Shop site, and a YouTube video later that day.) Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and wibble quietly in a corner before the Author’s Yurt embraces me with its multitude of free food and wine. Mostly, the wine.
The Festival season is well and truly underway, and that means the Book Festival is creeping ever closer. A few days ago, the three-minute excerpts of our Story Shop pieces were released, and you can listen to them all here. Go on, treat yourself, and if you liked the teasers then why not come along and hear the full story in person? It’s free, after all, and you’ll be supporting all of us local writerly types. (And if you don’t come and I have to read to an empty venue, I’ll be VERY SAD AND WISTFUL.)
By the way, I can only apologise in advance for the fact that sixteen of us Story Shop writers have lovely sexy voices, and I sound like a squeaky fifteen-year-old boy. Or, if you prefer, “my target audience”. In fairness, I recorded my extract in a very hot corner of City of Literature HQ, fuelled only by tea with my fellow Story Shop writers and a large bubble of anxiety. But full credit to the lovely Colin Fraser, who did a rather marvellous job of making me feel at ease, and also providing bonus help with Gaelic pronunciation. Maybe one day I’ll write something that doesn’t require basic proficiency in a foreign language. Ahem. Anyway, give the excerpts a listen, spread the word far and wide, and come along every day from the 13th to the 29th August to listen to great stories. Or I’ll keep posting GIFs of Taylor Lautner. Why yes, I’ve been rewatching Twlight even though it’s the most trope-ridden, wet-rag-protagonisted pile of nonsense ever. Stressing about Story Shop requires switching off my brain for a bit. And Taylor Lautner.
In less than a month, I read my story at the Book Festival, so I thought I’d write a little bit about myself. That little bit grew into something longer and angstier, and was inspired by a couple of other Story Shop writers opening up about identity, belonging and comfort zones which you can read here and here. So, here goes my attempt. Warning: contains Pokemon GIFs.
I seem to be 20,000 words into this year’s Camp NaNoWriMo and haven’t given up in frustration. If you’re very (un)lucky, I might do what I’ve done in previous years and post an unedited extract of the monstrosity. For now, here’s what I’ve discovered, as I limp through the notorious second week…
Where did the time go? It’s nearly July, so that must mean it’s time for another harebrained NaNoWriMo project. This time, it’s *drumroll*… a contemporary YA.