|Image: British Council|
I logged on to the Edinburgh Book Festival website first thing yesterday morning, but my hopes of an early scan of the 2010 events programme was dashed when I found out it was a 12 noon launch. I had to wait. It was tortuous.
Eventually the EBF launch press release was announced and by 1pm I’d had my first tentative scan through the PDF version of what August has in store. My first thought: deflating.
My first look at the programme is usually quiet an exciting moment, as I find out which local and Scottish authors are on their way to Charlotte Square, which of my personal favourite authors are coming, and which big names will be treading the boards. But there was none of that. In fact, it’s a pretty dire programme from a personal angle.
There’s a couple of notable exceptions such as Philip Pullman, Fay Weldon, Seamus Heaney and Lionel Shriver, but that’s pretty much where it ends. There’s nobody to get really excited about, no authors I’ve never seen that have always to meet, and many of the regulars I would always make the effort to see are notable in their absence.
The theme for this year’s event is “the new world order” and it seems there is a new order in the Book Festival management with new director Nick Barley making an immediate mark. U.S. writers will play a prominent role among the 750 authors from 50 different countries that will be available.
Barley aims to hold “an ambitious survey of American contemporary writing,” with more than 45 authors coming under the American theme, including Garry Trudeau, Bill Clegg, David Vann, Willy Vlautin, Leanne Shapton, Simon Rich and Adam Ross. They aren’t names I recognise so I’ll be looking to my Stateside writing buddies for recommendations. And how can anyone talk about contemporary American writing without Paul Auster being involved?
The next step is to get a hard copy of the programme and plan out my August in fine detail. There’s obviously going to be a lot more research to do before I order my tickets but in the lack of there being any magical “must-see” events, I still intend to get a lot out of it. It IS the Edinburgh Book Festival after all, and it IS my end of writing year, so there’s bound to be something good to come out of it—there always is.
My royalty statement came in from Smashing Press yesterday and it would appear there has been a rather hefty boost in my sales. It makes for odd reading.
Sales of my latest poetry book, SILLY POEMS FOR WEE PEOPLE VOL.2 matched sales of FRINGE FANTASTIC, so even though FF was released five years ago it still matches my newest work in terms of sales. What is really odd is that sales of POOLSIDE POETRY outstripped both by double the amount. It was traditionally my weakest selling book but for some reason has become popular. Long may it continue!
If you want to join in the mass celebration of my books head over to my website (or the BOOKS page on this blog) and order some copies. Here’s something to make it more tantalising for you: type in this offer code when you get to Lulu and you can get free ground shipping on purchases up to the value of £25. Offer ends 30th June. The code is: FREEGROUND305.
It promises to be a busy weekend when I get done with the day job later today. I’m hoping to grab a couple of pints in Clark’s and catch the England World Cup match against Algeria, and tomorrow I have a to-do list as long as my leg before my parents arrive on Sunday for a visit and a nice roast dinner.
If you’re an e-book fan, then you might be interested to know that my book, STELLA, is now available to purchase from Kindle. Click here to buy a copy of STELLA, the Kindle Edition, priced $5.29.
Gail Galbraith Photography is offering portrait shoots for £25 (knocked down from £40) if you book before 31st August 2024 and you use the word “Leith” in your query. For that you get a 1 hour session in her new studio in Leith, 1 free 8×6 print, an online gallery to show off to friends and family and where images can be purchase direct from, and all images from the shoot on a free low-resolution CD. (Subject to max of 4 people per session; each additional person is £5 each). You can contact Gail at firstname.lastname@example.org and view her website at: www.gailgalbraith.co.uk
That’s all for me just now. Peace out!
Go see Garry Trudeau — he writes DOONESBURY, which is one of the sharpest, most intelligent strips ever created.
Thanks Devon – he’s now on my list! 🙂