As a fledgling writer, I aspire to be published (anthologies don’t count!) in my own right and it will happen – one day. Having just selected the authors I wish to go and see at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August this year, many are Scottish but I’m not sure many are from my hometown, Scotland’s noisy capital city, Edinburgh.
I went on the hunt for information about some of my favourite Scottish authors that you may or may not have read:
1. Ian Rankin – he may not have been born in Edinburgh but I do class him as an Edinburgh man. He likes a wee dram in a fantastic wee ‘pint & a pal’ bar in town and of course he is the creator of my favourite copper, Rebus (now retired – or is he?). He has also created Malcolm Fox who I let into my little crime world niche and I like him just as much as the unfathomable John Rebus. He would be second on my dance card.
2. Nicola Morgan – a lady after my own heart as she seems to write exactly what I want to read. I first came across her when I read her novel ‘Monday’s are Red’ about two years ago. A fantastic story centred around the condition called Synesthesia – where your senses are knocked out of kilter e.g you always see the letter S in dark purple or the number 3 in red. A fascinating story. I am currently reading ‘Blame My Brain’, her research on the teenage brain, which I think will come in useful to me very soon and has also answered a lot of my own questions regarding myself as a horrible teenager. I might pass it on to my Dad to read!
3. Maggie O’Farrell – ‘After You’d Gone’ was the first book I ever cried at, completely blubbed the whole way through it, snot and all! I loved ‘The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox’ and I always recommend that to readers who haven’t read any of her work before.
4. Robert Louis Stevenson – the creator of Treasure Island, Strange case of Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde and so many other fantastic works of art.
5. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – he may have a very nice wee pub named after him but his legacy remains with Sherlock Holmes. Dare I say, even more so when Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman recently brought his fantastic story to life for the masses.
6. Irvine Welsh – a fellow Hibernian FC supporter from the East Stand – I admire his novel Trainspotting and always look forward with interest to what he will write next. It may be uncomfortable reading for some but to me, he is just writing about what others want to sweep under the carpet, pretending it’s not there. It’s life as we know it.
7. Alexander McCall Smith – he may have been born in Rhodesia but I see him sometimes enjoying the cafes of South Edinburgh, always with a smile, for the eager fans who politely bombard him for autographs. The No1 Ladies Detective Agency could not have started without him and we thank him for that.
8. Iain Banks – sadly no longer with us – his countless books have made him a literary legend in my eyes – The Wasp Factory, Consider Phlebas and The Crow Road to name but a few. He will be sadly missed – RIP Mr Banks.
So, there you have it, my list of authors who may or may not live in Edinburgh but make me proud and give me the confidence to carry on the path I have chosen. It will be long and I will want to veer off it many times, but I won’t. ‘What’s for you won’t pass you’ as my Mum used to say.
If you haven’t read anything by them before then the night is still young..fill yer boots, as they say.