Tag Archives: fiction

Patrick Gale, Eve McBride and truth at the Swindon Festival of Literature

7 May

Patrick Gale and Eve McBride

Patrick Gale and Eve McBride

“I come from a long line of priests. I owe a huge debt to the King James Bible. The language got under my skin. My Father spoke like a King James Bible. Today, I’m a doubter,” said novelist Patrick Gale.

“Mental illness overshadowed my life growing up. Our characters can go just like that from mental illness. I think that’s why I became a writer. I could escape into other people by writing.”

He was in conversation, yesterday, with novelist Eve McBride, fellow truth teller and lover of dogs.

“I suspect we both want to talk about dogs,” said Patrick earlier on Twitter; Eve’s Twitter name is 2bluedanes. “I have a dog in all my books,” said Patrick. Eve’s book, No Worst, There is None, explores the healing of grief from all angles, including by dog. Continue reading

What happened to the cat? Lynne Truss at the Marlborough Festival of Literature

28 Sep
Lynne Truss at Marlborough Literature Festival

Lynne Truss at Marlborough Literature Festival

“A thing of mine is to fall in love with one of my characters,” Lynne Truss divulges. “In Eats, Shoots and Leaves it was a colon.”

I’m hoping my grammar is all present and correct in this piece. I am a student of the eighties, after all, when sentence structure and spelling weren’t paid any attention.

But the book of grammar pedantry that made her a best seller wasn’t the main topic of conversation. Lynne loves writing for actors: “It’s my favourite thing.” She finds it hard to describe her latest novel (and the first one in fifteen years) so instead reads us a monologue, The Wife, she wrote for Radio Four, broadcast back in 2007. Continue reading

Of chickens and beards. Writers Workshop at Swindon Festival of Literature

20 May
Chicken going about her business at Lower Shaw Farm ©Calyx Pictures

Chicken going about her business at Lower Shaw Farm ©Calyx Pictures

Aims of a lit fest:

  1. Meet writers
  2. Hear about writing
  3. Think about what’s been written about
  4. Do your own writing
  5. Work out what to do with your own writing so others can
  6. Go back to number 1.

I’d done numbers one to three (a lot) and written (a lot) about the experience. Now it was time to come up with my own composition. Which was, as it turns out, something to do with chickens and beards. Continue reading

On Running

1 May
Naomi Benaron

Naomi Benaron

The only time I run is for the bus or the train.

I’m not saying I’m proud of this fact. And I’m getting to that scary age where running without some kind of stretching warm up is positively bad for my health. A long way, in fact, from the time where simply walking was just impossible. My five year old gives me this uncomprehending look when I tell him to walk (like when crossing the road), you know – that’s a run. Nope, that’s a skip. A walk is when one foot is still on the ground when the other one leaves it. Slow. Not fast. Still blank look. You know, like mum and dad. Oh – boring!

I’m also not a fan of watching sport. Maybe a bit of tennis. Perhaps even snooker though to be honest I’m not even watching the current world championships. (Whenever I watch it, Ronnie O’Sullivan loses. So I stopped. And he wins).

So when Swindon Festival of Literature director Matt asked me to chronicle the running event on the opening day (Monday 7 May) it was, at first, a dutiful ‘yes’ in response.

Then when he told me about the people taking part and their interesting stories, I was hooked. Continue reading