Fringe Benefits!

Blackwells at the fringeOne of the nicest things about having written my book is being asked to talk about it. So there’s something extra nice about being asked by Blackwells bookshop to talk at their Edinburgh Festival Fringe events. Blackwells originally hosted the book launch back in January this year so its lovely to be invited back. Details below.

BLACKWELL’S EDINBURGH PRESENTS… WRITERS AT THE FRINGE

Thursday, August 4th at 17:45 TO Thursday, August 25th at 20:00

Date: Every Thursday in August

Time: 5.45pm for a 6.00pm start

Venue: Blackwell’s Bookshop, 53-62 South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1YS

Now in its ninth year, Blackwell’s Writers at the Fringe once again brings you the best in Scottish writing.Every Thursday during the Festival we invite a selection of Scottish performers to give us a taste of their work. New and unpublished works of literary art stands alongside established novelists, with any and all genres free to be expressed – from Scots poetry to cutting edge drama, from folk music to contemporary fiction, and all that is found in between.

Our 2016 line-up

Thursday 11th August

Bert Flitcroft

Harrison Hickman

Jane Tulloch

Martin McInnes

Billy Letford

 

 

Telling (Edinburgh) Tales!

edinburgh library

 

 

Central Library, Edinburgh.

Life is full of surprises it would seem. Librarian hath spoken unto librarian with the result that I was invited to view the Jenners archive at the Central Library in Edinburgh. Obviously, my novel, ‘Our Best Attention,’ is fiction but its location in a large department store was inspired by my time working in Jenners in Princes St, Edinburgh. I loved working there and it has long remained in my memory. However, the memories contained in the archive went back many, many years before I was born.

Among  the items I looked at was a complete inventory of the building from top to bottom. I was intrigued to find the ratio of shop floor space to the building as a whole to be really quite small. Only the first two floors were open to customers. The other four floors contained the staff bedrooms ( I found 102 of these!) staff dining rooms and a three bed sick room and medical room along with many workrooms and rooms with various other uses. Although this was a professionally produced inventory carried out by a London firm, it was unfortunately undated. Very frustrating. However, by careful cross referencing it looks like it must have been produced about 1906.

I also loved looking at the Christmas catalogues which dated back to 1902.  There was so much to look at in the archive that I plan several return visits.

I’m going to be talking about my novel and the background to it at the Central library “Edinburgh Tales” session on 21st September.  Look out for further information on the Eventbrite website.