Holiday Bookends

Sorry for neglecting the blog recently. I’ve been trying to write my next novel and this has kept me pretty busy for the last few months. I’ve got the bare bones of something now, it just needs a lot(!) of editing done to it. I’ve had a wee break from it for the last three weeks as I’ve been on my official/unofficial (not quite sure) honeymoon. I’m hoping this means that I’ll come back to it with new eyes and go on an editing frenzy.  We spent our time off on a road trip through the Canadian Rockies (Calgary to Vancouver), then ended with a few days in Seattle. It was an ace trip, a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing. Although I took a break from writing, I had my notebook handy so maybe I’ll write a Canadian/USA themed story in the future, possibly one about my brush with scary security guards at Sea-Tac airport – ‘gather all your belongings and come with us, ma’am.’

Our holiday was bookended by two great gigs so here’s a couple of music videos in the meantime. One features in Trackman and one doesn’t but should (another of those damn I should have put them in the book moments…)

Stonehenge – what’s it all about eh?

So the writing took a bit of a hiatus at the weekend as we were visiting my sister. She’s an athlete and is based down in Bath as that’s where she trains. I’m trying to get the next novel written at the moment, but it’s hard trying to fit it in between the office job and jaunts down South!

While we were down there we visited Stonehenge, which I didn’t realise was so close to Bath. It’s one of those places I’ve always wanted to visit and, as the very helpful audio guide reminded me, it’s the setting of a famous scene from Tess of the d’Urbervilles.

To hear more about this press 44, that’s 4 then 4.

I’m a big fan of Mr Hardy, so I’m hoping that the mystical stones will inspire me in my writing as they did him. If nothing else, I can tick off yet another site from my Beatles pilgrimage list (Salisbury Plain).

Take my photo! George Harrison stood quite near here once!

Anyway here’s me and wee sis at Stonehenge (just after this was taken a Spanish lady asked me to take her photo, then made me take it again as ‘there were too many other people in it!’)


Scots Whay Hae podcast – in which I spraff about music, Stephen King and rabbits…

I spent a very lovely morning last Saturday with Ali and Ian from Scots Whay Hae and am delighted to be featured in one of the Scots Whay Hae podcasts.

I’m a big fan of the Scots Whay Hae blog and was very chuffed to hear that Ali enjoyed Trackman so much. You can read his original review of it here.

Anyway, please tune in to the podcast and listen to me chatting to Ali about my novel Trackman, as well as music, Stephen King, my love of the Beatles and rabbits amongst other things.

You can listen to it at itunes or RSS – hope you enjoy!

Rachel Sermanni restores my faith in music

My husband and I sat in the bar of the Pleasance Theatre last night having a drink before the Rachel Sermanni gig. They were showing some pish-awful music on a big TV screen including Christina Aguilera’s latest offering. Christina wears not very much, writhes around singing completely forgettable chart trash and has one night stands with men (including in a toilet cubicle – classy!) before killing them. She adheres to this awful idea of attractiveness where all women must look identical and have no unique qualities whatsoever – artificially blonde mermaid -style hair, caked on make-up, false eyelashes, orange skin. I found the whole thing very depressing.

Enter Rachel Sermanni – fresh faced, hair tied back, wearing jeans and a baggy jumper. She picked up her guitar and pretty much stunned the entire audience into silence from her first song onwards. She is everything a singer should be – talented musician, beautifully unique voice, endearing stage presence, exceptional songwriter and lyricist, not a clone.

I hope young girls aspire to be the next Rachel Sermanni and not the next Christina Aguilera.

P.S Her support act was the excellent singer songwriter Lidh from Anstruther – is there anybody from Anstruther who is not musically talented?

Trackman on Tour!

Just back from an exciting weekend where I got to pretend to be a rock star for a couple of days, on tour with The Wedding Present! Okay, well not quite on tour with them – my husband and I travelled on our own and camped instead of throwing TVs out of hotel windows, but it was as close to being on tour as I will ever get!

I was lucky enough to be part of the festivals curated by David Gedge and The Wedding Present – At The Edge Of The Sea in Brighton and At The Edge Of The Peaks in Holmfirth. This was my third year At The Edge Of The Sea in Brighton but my first on stage (not only doing a reading before The Wedding Present which was exciting enough, but performing on a stage which has been graced in the past by the mighty Dave Grohl!)

After Brighton it was onto Holmfirth (where I now know is where they filmed Last Of The Summer Wine) for At The Edge Of The Peaks. The venue here was an amazing building, an old cinema called The Picturedrome. Very cool!

I read The Wedding Present section from Trackman which I thought was appropriate, helped out by my husband who read as The Wedding Present fan to my Trackman.

We had a great time performing and tried not to look too starstruck as we ventured backstage and met David Gedge and members of the band Cud. We saw some great music too, not only Cinerama, The Wedding Present and Cud but also Nightmare Air, Martin Rossiter (of Gene fame), The Evil Son and David Ford.

The official photographer, Auwyn, took some cool photos which can be seen at her website.

I was tired out after two days ‘on the road’ but had a brilliant time. A big thanks to David Gedge and The Wedding Present for letting us be part of it all, I even managed to sell a few copies of Trackman!

Reading at Wedding Present gig

Music, Magic, Love.

I’ll be reading from Trackman on Tuesday 21st August as part of Luath Press Book Banter. I’ll be reading alongside Daniel Gray at Henderson’s on Hanover Street starting at 10am. Our event is called Music, Magic, Love – sounds good, eh? Come along and say hi!

Also a reminder that I’m reading at two mini festivals curated by David Gedge over the weekend of the 25th and 26th of August. At The Edge Of The Sea and At The Edge Of The Peaks which take place in Brighton and Holmfirth. I’ve been to Edge of the Sea as a normal punter for the last few years, so am really excited to be there as a performer this year!

Supporting The Wedding Present and other summer Trackman news.

Just back from another fun year at T in the Park. More mud than usual this year, but it certainly helps having parents who live in Kinross!

Anyway, I realised I’d better do an update of all my recent Trackman news, so here we go:

Big Tent Festival

I’ll be appearing at the Big Tent Festival in Falkland doing a ‘Meet the Author’ session. I’m on at 2pm on Sunday 22nd July in the Elm Yurt.

Edge of the Sea and Edge of the Peaks

I’m super excited (and oh so slightly terrified) to be reading at ‘At The Edge Of The Sea and ‘At The Edge Of The Peaks’ which are mini-festivals curated by David Gedge. Yes, David Gedge! Technically I will be supporting The Wedding Present!

Anyway I’ll be doing a reading in Brighton on Saturday the 25th August and again in Holmfirth on Sunday 26th August.

Scots Whay Hae review

Alistair Braidwood has kindly reviewed Trackman for his excellent blog Scots Whay Hae! I have been a regular reader of this blog for a while and am really excited to feature.

You can read the review here – it’s worth checking out just because Alistair has linked to a video by the wonderful Ben Kweller.

P.S I also have to admit that my mis-spelling of Alan Hanson was just poor spelling rather than a deliberate music reference, damn!

Kindle special offer

If any of this has made you want to check out Trackman, the Kindle version is on special offer for two weeks and you can buy it here!

Finally, a picture from this year’s T in the Park. Summer in Scotland, you gotta love it!