Sometimes a novel sings, but will it fly? Of Crawdads and River Songs.

Ali Bacon / Books and Other Things

If you haven’t read Where the Crawdads Sing, I think you may have heard of it. At the last count it had 53,000 ratings on a certain review site (which I assume equates to many, many more sales) or you could check it out on the ‘unaffiliated’ Goodreads. I’m not going to write a full review but I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Kya, abandoned by her parents to make a life for herself in the marshlands of North Carolina. Kya finds the key to her future when a boy neighbour teaches her to read but she still can’t escape the prejudice of the local community. It’s a great read and worthy of making the impact it has achieved.

However for me the biggest question it raised was how another book of similar character and equal power has remained largely unnoticed. It’s some time since I read…

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Brigid’s Day celebrations at Glasgow Women’s Library.

As far as Irish patron saints go, St Patrick gets all the attention. He's a man. Enough said. However...he's not the only patron saint of Ireland and Brigid is gaining ground and momentum, particularly given her saint day is rightly being used to celebrate the creative talents of women in the arts (and all women… Continue reading Brigid’s Day celebrations at Glasgow Women’s Library.

Uncategorized, Writing

Birthday beginnings, ‘The Lions of Lisbon’

It's my birthday today, and consequently it's a good time to talk about beginnings. My actual beginning to be precise... I shall explain. Last year, Professor Willie Maley, founder of Glasgow University's Creative Writing Masters along with  Philip Hobsbawm, asked me to contribute to The Lions of Lisbon, A Play Of Two Halves, being published by Luath Press… Continue reading Birthday beginnings, ‘The Lions of Lisbon’

Film, Uncategorized, Women, Women in Sport

Royal Television Society Scotland nominations!

I was thrilled this week when the nominations for this year's Royal Television Society Scotland awards were announced. The RTS awards are the gold standard of achievement in the television industry recognising excellence across the entire range of programme making and broadcasting skills. Two (yes, two!) films that I wrote, produced and directed have been shortlisted for an award. Tartan… Continue reading Royal Television Society Scotland nominations!

Family, Uncategorized, Writing

“All fiction begins in a lived truth” says @katetempest

I was back at the Mitchell Theatre in Glasgow last night, this time attending an Aye Write! event featuring Kate Tempest, hosted by the brilliant poet Holly McNish. My friend Beccy and I settled into the packed theatre, a room tense with creative anticipation. We soon found out that the passion was well-placed. Kate, well… Continue reading “All fiction begins in a lived truth” says @katetempest

Family, Uncategorized, Writing

Grief is an emotional amputation.

Grief is a monster. A parasite as heavy as sin that clings brutally to the emptiness that loss exhumes. It steals your breath, shocking your body at every turn, luring your soul into the slow tide of darkness. A bleak and endless eruption of eerie silence it rises methodically to the surface, piercing any hint of… Continue reading Grief is an emotional amputation.

Uncategorized, Writing

Scottish fiction isn’t boring, it’s bold and beautiful.

This week, I read an article in the Herald which quoted Scottish publisher Adrian Searle (of Freight)  as saying that "Scottish fiction can be really boring".  Like many others my first reaction was to be a wee bit miffed at the headline. The quote apparently attacks the fiction that I, and many other excellent Scottish authors, passionately support. A few… Continue reading Scottish fiction isn’t boring, it’s bold and beautiful.


The true meaning of life…

I was really privileged to be invited, (as a VIP guest no less) along with my colleague Stefanie Smith, to the Raith Rovers Football Club annual Hall of Fame event at the Adam Smith Theatre in Kirkcaldy on Monday night. The invite came from Ally Gourlay, a remarkable man who never fails to amaze me. Ally… Continue reading The true meaning of life…