Eurovision 2017: the big review

The Eurovision decorations are up, the alcohol’s stockpiled, and Twitter’s prepped for meltdown. So, like years gone by, here’s my (vaguely YA-themed) thoughts on the class of 2017. I wouldn’t bet based on this, but if you happen to win a fortune, feel free to give me a cut of the cash.

Brace yourselves for a cheese torrent – I promise normal blog service will be resumed in a few days with my first #BroodyBFF challenge. (You might want to mute my Twitter until Sunday if you hate Eurovision, though…)

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Review: Catcher in the Rye

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is that I never read Catcher in the Rye at school. To tell the truth, they made me read Heart of Darkness instead and so I think that’s pretty lousy now. But now that I’ve read this literary classic, I got a few thoughts about it.

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Story Shop: Teaser Excerpts Online

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.)


Or angry like Taylor here.

Or angry like Taylor here.


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.


I should stop watching these films. But, y'know.

I should stop watching these films. But, y’know.