The Day After

(credit to the Edinburgh International Book Festival and Heather McDaid for the image)


So I appeared last night at the Edinburgh International Book Festival alongside Meena Kandasamy, with the event chaired by Lee Randall. I was challenged by the high standard of engagement from Meena, Lee and the audience alike. Here’s a thoughtful piece covering the night from Heather McDaid.


Now the pressure’s off and I can just enjoy going to events myself. Ahh.

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Interview with Rebecca Smith + Edinburgh Book Festival


Make yourself a cup of tea and have a wee listen to this interview with Rebecca Smith – she asked some very thoughtful and probing questions and got me thinking hard about Flesh of the Peach in terms of sentences, plotting, grief and identity.


And a wee reminder that I will be appearing alongside Meena Kandasamy at the Edinburgh Book Festival at an event chaired by Lee Randall TOMORROW EVENING (oh my goodness, already?). Tickets are available here.


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The Unsung Letter No. 30

Something of a landmark number this week, as Anneliese Mackintosh brings us the book she wants to sing of:


[redacted] is part of the Dedalus Euro Shorts series. Apparently, this series is for ‘short European fiction which can be read from cover to cover on Euro Star or a short flight.’ Upon seeing this, I must admit, I felt slightly less queasy. At a time when the future of Europe is so uncertain, it felt reassuring to be holding a book by a publisher who appears to support cultural exchange, and the sharing of art and ideas between countries.


Sign up for The Unsung Letter here if you haven’t already. A once a week missive in which a different book lover tells you of a book you must read but might not have even heard of. The archive is lengthy and beautiful.


Sidenote: Mackinosh’s new novel has just come out (link in the letter) and I’ve just read a good review of it over here, if you fancy learning more.

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The Unsung Letter No. 29

This week’s Unsung Letter comes to us from Julie Vuong, and features a multitextual Scottish novel I enjoyed very much myself. A sample from her piece:

The result is a joyously eccentric book, which revels in its faux-Victorianism, and delights in revolting and charming the reader in equal measure.


Sign up for the Unsung Letter here. The Unsung Letter is a weekly tinyletter in which a different book lover pushes an underhyped book into your consciousness. The archive is now getting up there, so make yourself a cup of tea and check it out if commitment is something you need time to consider (you won’t be sorry if you do sign up, since you can always unsubscribe anyway with anonymity and speed if fantastic book recommendations by living authors prove to be not for you).


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Not the Booker Voting


The voting process for the Not the Booker award has begun in earnest. Flesh of the Peach is on the very long longlist, and needs your votes via the link I’ll include below- if you are kind enough to lend them.


Here’s how it works (copied from one of the moderators)


[yourusername] – Vote # 1 – [Book title only]*
[yourusername] – Vote # 2 – [Book title only]*

[A review of one of the two books. We’re looking for something like 100 words, give or take, but we’re very generous regarding the word count. Only one review is required, but we’d love to hear your thoughts on the second book too.]

[Anything else you want to tell us, including a review of your second book. We’ll read it all, I promise.]


*Book title only. We’d don’t need the author or publisher at this point. If you’re voting for a book included on the long list, we already know that. If you’re voting for a book not on the long list, we’re not going to read your post (or tally it) anyway.

Here are the most important rules to remember:

Vote for two and only two books, from two distinct publishers.
–Vote for two books by same publisher – discarded.
–Vote for only one book, or more than two books — discarded.
–Vote for any book not on the long list – entire vote discarded, even if one of the books is on the long list


If you vote for Flesh of the Peach I will be won over a million times. It’s a small book, and like other Freight titles has suffered from the recent troubles the press has gone through – including losing its publicity and marketing officer. I don’t want to fling my sob story at you – there are so many other small press books that could do with a boost. And that’s what this prize is for. Putting in a word for the small gems.

If you do vote, follow the guidelines so it counts. Vote for two titles from two separate publishers from the longlist And let me know? I’m going to try not to stress about it. I know I’ll be glad if the list is composed of other small press titles, things that folk should hear of. That’s the point of a prize, to highlight the good, as much as can be done.


Voting link is here, god rest ye merry gentlemen and so on. I’m going to go off and read so my heart doesn’t burst.


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The Unsung Letter No. 28

This week Carrie Lorig brings us a poetic, form-shifting take on a poetic, strange, politically-engaged book made to be ephemeral:


What do we do with the book that appears and exists differently? That screams as it crumbles.


Intrigued? I can almost guarantee that you will not have heard of this one. Sign up for the Unsung Letter if you haven’t yet. A book recommendation weekly, but a different author/reader/book pusher each time.

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ScotLitFest workshop + some reviews + an interview


The second #ScotLitFest is coming up this weekend!


There are lots of things planned for this online book festival (for the full catalogue check out their website)  – my event is an online flash fiction workshop, taking place on Facebook on Sunday between 1-2pm (BST). To sign up for a place, tweet ScotLitFest (through this link) and ask to be added. Alternatively, contact them through the ScotLitFest Facebook page. There will be writing prompts, a bit of feedback, tips for revision and a recommended reading list to help you with your writing, and I can’t wait!


In other news, there have been a few thoughtful, generous reviews of Flesh of the Peach recently – including The Writes of Woman, The Bottle Imp,  Scots Whay Hae and The F Word. For more, check out my Press tab, recently updated.


Naomi at The Writes of Woman interviewed me when I was down in London, and she had some fantastic questions for me.  Make yourself a cup of tea and have a listen. The real star may be my hands, which are animated by a force I do not understand.


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