The muscles of the poplar trees beat about, and the warm night is full of calls, or there is worn-hour haze, but invisible so in a darkness like this, a rain green darkness, and feet follow unseen feet across uncertain ways, between high and waving grass, spatters of mud on legs, boards, slipped shoes and sighs, until at last a light…
read the full flash/prose poem here.
(my portrait by Chris Close at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, taken by D.)
Thank you to everyone who came along to events I was speaking at and to the organisers – Blackwell’s Edinburgh, the wonderful (as always) EIBF, and Amnesty International. Back to quietly writing things.
Here’s a story from Mayhem & Death in Books From Scotland’s Festival edition:
‘A room can have disorder or stains in it. But this room does not, will not. All is in order, now. Let’s take one last look, one long breath in and out. A room in a story cannot be a haunted room, unless the writer puts the ghosts in there, or the suggestion of ghosts into it.’
read the full thing here.
Small sidenote: If you’ve read Mayhem & Death and have opinions on it, please consider leaving a review somewhere to help others make up their mind on whether or not to take a chance on it. If you have a Goodreads account the book can be found here.
(my books for sale at the EIBF bookshop)
A few places to see me reading this week:
Tomorrow, at Blackwell’s Writers at the Fringe (Blackwell’s Edinburgh), from 6pm, with Jonathan Whitelaw, Sam McColl, Noelle Harrison and Robert J Harris (free!). Tickets here.
Friday, at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (Writer’s Retreat), 6.30pm, with the excellent Camilla Grudova (£8/£6). Tickets here.
Saturday, at the Amnesty International Imprisoned Writers Series at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre), with Roxanne Bouchard, Gina Miller, and Gunnar Staalesen (free) tickets available in box office on the day.
At the first two I’ll be reading from recently published Mayhem & Death– at the Blackwell’s I’ll be reading a story in that collection dedicated to my father. In the third, I’m reading the words of an activist silenced in Edrogan’s Turkey.
Here’s an interview with me on writing, darkness, little fish and knife fighting in the afterlife:
You’re now published by one of the most exciting indie presses around, 404 Ink – how do you think the rise of micro presses like this have changed the literary landscape, and what has it meant for you as a writer?
I think small presses have made it possible for the literary scene to be more diverse than it would otherwise be – they are like little rockpools carved out by hand, full of life…
read the full thing here
A kind, sharp review of Mayhem & Death appeared on the Never Imitate blog:
Deep within the bowels of her carefully chosen words, reflections of the ordinary are made dark, lonely, threatening. However inspiring the view on the surface of an individual’s life may be, under McClory’s piercing gaze its desolate depths are revealed.
This is, the reviewer says, a good thing. Read the rest here.
Hello all –
It’s been a while (The Unsung Letter is on hiatus for a little bit) but I thought I’d share some places where I’ve been lately.
I spoke to the Times, The Herald, and the Sunday Post and you can read the interviews through the links.
Most recently Alistair Braidwood of Scots Whay Hae and I had a chat all about Mayhem & Death, On the Edges of Vision, Flesh of the Peach, travel, rejection, loneliness, grief and making art – and Jeff Goldblum, of course. Have a listen here. It’s a good long one, so maybe make yourself a cup of tea first. Mayhem & Death was reviewed on Scots Whay Hae here.
This week, Kate Kiernan tells us of a book of short stories examining transness and human nature in general:
In many ways [redacted]’s short stories succeed in establishing a trans subject whose transness is meaningfully enmeshed within a broader human (and, indeed, non-human) community; the revolt of her characters is not a queer one per se (a constructive expression aimed at a status quo) but a natural one (a destructive expression of who they are).
Read the full piece here.
As ever, you can sign up to receive The Unsung Letter straight to you inbox right here.