So, I heard you like short stories…

…and it’s your lucky day. The Edinburgh International Book Festival might have finished, but I haven’t shoved the kelpies back in the stable yet. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you all about my fantastic Story Shop appearance in the next post, but right now I have a little something for you…

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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.

 

Finding home

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. So, here goes my attempt. Warning: contains Pokemon GIFs.

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Impostor syndrome, or ‘no, you really ARE a writer’

This blog needs the dust blown off it, eh? I’ve been a bit swamped with work and editing, plus this week’s been a strange mix of VIP events I managed to get into, from the Science Festival launch to a book launch featuring several Floris authors. And when I went to the latter, I was struck with the thing all writers dread: impostor syndrome.

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How fairies ruined my car, and other stories

I’m back from my little Highlands adventure, mostly intact save for a tick bite and somewhat sore leg muscles, probably not helped by running in the inaugural City of Literature egg and spoon race. The things I do after a few free glasses of wine. A few people at the salon asked why this month’s namebadge said ‘Ask me how fairies ruined my car’, so I thought I’d explain it in a bit more detail. Be warned, though- it’s really actually honestly true. And creepy.

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Work in progress

It’s World Book Day, so I split the morning between catching up on my YA reading and watching this brilliant Authors Live webcast with Anthony Horowitz. Among the pro tips he gave budding writers was avoiding writer’s block by doing something else, be it shopping, going for a walk or visiting a museum. With novel edits more or less done and no day job to do, I decided to try out the theory and head to a castle out in the sticks. And lo, half an hour later and I was in a grassy meadow with the Surface, bashing out words. Three hours later and I had most of my Camp NaNoWriMo wordcount for the day. So, like last November, here’s a whole bunch of totally unedited words for your delectation…

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