In my line of work, people occasionally send me press releases about interesting booky things that are occurring. I received such a missive yesterday from the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust on the subject of a season of events celebrating Iain Banks.
This morning I got up early (for a Saturday), inhaled my wheat biscuit shaped breakfast cereal, made a cup of tea, and headed for my computer to answer questions about 12 books in 12 months from the people of the internet. (And various friends and family who had agreed to submit questions based on several days of plaintive nagging).
I ended up doing this for about two and a half hours, and as well as answering questions I stuck up some never before seen (not even here on the blog) snippets from June, July, August and September’s books. After all, it’s only good manners to offer news sources an exclusive when they offer to interview you.
And do you want to know what the best part is?
If you were busy (there were plenty of excuses – people I know were variously working, watching the rugby, asleep in bed, away on a psychology field trip for uni, attending the West Port Book festival, and paint-balling at a stag do in Wales) YOU CAN RELIVE THE WHOLE MAGICAL EXPERIENCE. It’s right here on The Edinburgh Reporter website, and later on today the text will even rearrange itself in chronological order.
Isn’t technology marvellous.
One thing that came out of the session was further confirmation of something a lot of people have said in the comments here and via Twitter; that I should definitely switch November and December’s genres. This will mean I can do NaNoWriMo this year without having to become Alan Moore (something that’d take years of work, and anyway he doesn’t do his own drawings). The only question now is, what can I write about in a literary fashion? I’ve a feeling I’ll be blogging about that in the next few days…
This morning I went to my first reading of the Edinburgh Book Festival, where I was greeted at the Spiegeltent by a man wielding free coffee. I have never been more pleased to see anyone – I really needed some coffee. I didn’t realize how much until I tried to milk it with another jug of coffee, at which point someone asked me if I was there from The Scotsman. I take heart that whoever is covering the book festival from there is as dazed and confused as I am first thing.
Suitably caffeined I sat down to await the arrival of the author, Joe Dunthorne (probably best known for his first novel, Submarine, which was made into a film this year starring Paddy Considine and Maria out of the Sarah Jane Adventures). All around me people were reading; which is a truly beautiful thing but it made me feel like a bit of a freak because I was scribbling away in a notebook. In red ink, no less. I consoled myself with the fact that some of the best novels are written in red ink, even though I have no evidence to support such a statement.
Then the man himself appeared, optimistically clad in shorts, and explained a bit about the reading he was going to do from his new book, Wild Abandon. The scene was based in a commune in the Gower in South Wales, he said, and contained a lot of different characters (as is the nature of such places).
It was really good. Continue reading “Joe Dunthorne at Edinburgh Book Festival” →