Edinburgh Here I Come

Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014 Brochure Cover


During the Festival Fringe we have regularly rented a house or flat in some cheaper part of Edinburgh to accommodate family, friends and company members while my husband Tim puts on a show at the Traverse.

This means a part of my August has often been spent in a mad rush of shows, galleries, and keeping the children happy (Edinburgh Dungeon, Zoo, etc.) while the old man works. Hours, perhaps even days, have been spent eating chilli nachos and drinking Hendricks and tonic in the Traverse Bar, waiting for the next show, or for Tim to be interviewed, or meeting actors, playwrights, directors and bookers from around the world. It has always been fun, but it has also been frantic.

Edinburgh Book Festival, located in a collection of marquees in the delightfully bosky Charlotte Square, is my bookish retreat from all that Fringe madness.

It is an international festival with a stellar line up, and I have always been a grateful and enthusiastic punter. First as an aspiring children’s writer-illustrator, then as an aspiring novelist, then as a published novelist.

With my kids, I have seen many great children’s authors and illustrators there, including Michael Rosen, Jacqueline Wilson, Sara Fanelli and Lauren Child. My youngest and I once attended a fantastic young people’s screenwriting session by William Nicholson (he of Gladiator). I have also slunk off either on my own or with my older two to see many adult authors, including Esther Freud, Julie Myerson, Jeanette Winterson, Ali Smith and Lionel Shriver and I’ve done dozens of writing workshops there over the years, too.

But I  have never, ever, had access to the hallowed authors’ yurt. Oh, except the one time my then-publicist Sam “I-can-fix-it-for-you” Eades got me in as one of Neil Gaiman’s extended posse. Yeah. That was pretty cool. And it’s true, there’s free EVERYTHING in that yurt.

But what I mean is I have never had access to the yurt as an appearing author.

But guess what? Thanks to Sam, (by way, I like to think, of a parting gift to me before she left for another publisher):


So, in a couple of weeks’ time, I am taking Tim up to Edinburgh (he’s not doing a show there this year) on my ticket. We are staying in a nice hotel, just the two of us, (the children having for the most part, grown up), and I am appearing with Jean Hanff Korelitz to talk about the things we’d rather forget, in relation to our two latest novels, You Should Have Known (Jean) and The Long Fall (me). I’ve just read Jean’s book, and it was, quite literally, unputdownable (if my next one is late to hit the shelves, I have Jean to blame for taking me away from it for two whole days).

If you’re around town, do come and see us. We’re on Mon 18 Aug, from 8:30pm – 9:30pm in the ScottishPower Foundation Studio. More info here.

I’m also proud to be reading for the Amnesty International Imprisoned Writers series at 5.30pm on 17 August in the Royal Bank of Scotland Garden Theatre (free event).


While we’re there, we’ll also (*plug*) be taking in Lorraine and Alan (*plug*) 1.30pm, 30th Jul- 25th Aug at the Pleasance. Why this particular show? Because, having grown up eavesdropping in the Traverse Bar, my Nel has written and directed it. That’s why. And it’s bloody good, too – a modern retelling of the Selkie myth with live music, real water, and hundreds and hundreds of plastic bottles (*plug*). Go and see it.

Blog Review Round Up

Some of the quotes. Click on the image to enlarge it

Tonight is the launch party for The Long Fall. I’m too excited to write today, so instead here’s a round up of all the lovely bloggers’ reviews so far. I have been completely knocked out by the support of the blogging community – not . . . → Read More

Blog Tour Day Seven: Extract

Well, we’re exhausted after the geographically challenging but enormously exciting Long Fall Blog Tour. It’s going to take weeks to recover!

The final stop off is in rural Herefordshire at  Chocolate Chunky Munkie, blog of Jenny, 34. Her favourite genres are Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Dystopian, Vampires and Shape Shifters, but luckily she . . . → Read More

Blog Tour Day Six: Dos and Don’ts

Sorry, this should have been posted yesterday. I was in York, though, doing a panel for the Festival of Ideas, ten days of over 120 mostly free events,with talks from world-class speakers, performances, exhibitions and interactive experiences for people of all ages.

I was talking about fly fishing.

Not really. I was talking about crime . . . → Read More

Blog Tour Day Five: Extract

My friend Ms Emma Kilbey finds a particularly shocking passage…

After a serene, heatwave-smoothed passage back home across the Irish sea, today’s Blog Tour stopoff is Erin’s Choice.

Erin is 23, and loves books. Her favourite genre is chick lit, but thankfully she can sometimes be persuaded to read the odd bit of crime fiction, . . . → Read More

Blog Tour Day 4: My Top Five


So, to celebrate publication day, the blog tour stops off today at The Madwoman in the Attic, A great blog by Lisa D in Ireland. Lisa is a book obsessive, and writes for websites, print and radio. History is her passion and she’s currently working on a novel set, like The Long Fall, in . . . → Read More

Blog Tour Day 3: GIVEAWAY!

This is not a watercolour! It’s my photograph of the actual view from a beach in Ikaria.

Today, the Long Fall Blog Tour van stops off at The Book Trail, with a great article about the travelling aspect in the book and a giveaway.

Born out of a love of books and travel, The . . . → Read More

Blog Tour Day 2: About the cover

Today’s blog tour stops off at From First Page to Last. This fantastic blog is the brainchild of Janet, who says of herself:

I’m…a 36 year old, wife to one, mum to two. I work in legal publishing, so I spend all day reading legislation.  I have a thing for reading and so I . . . → Read More

Blog Tour Day 1

Although it seems like only yesterday that I bought a new frock for the launch of Tarnished, I’ve got to go out shopping again, because it’s publication week for my next novel, The Long Fall. 

But it’s not all about the frocks. So here’s a bit about the book:

The central question for me when I started . . . → Read More

Rant on piracy

It seems a bit mealy minded to put up an angry post after such a long silence. The current lack of airplay has been down to Dark & Stormy festival, about which more in a bit. But I need to get this off my chest.


I have become increasingly outraged at the whole piracy issue. I have . . . → Read More