I was very pleasantly surprised when, happening to mention on my FB private profile that I was off to Edinburgh, I was invited along to the Edinburgh Literary Salon by Linda Strachan.
This is a monthly get-together, above the Wash bar, of people with a more-or-less professional interest in books, writing, publishing, etc etc
As we were on holiday something had to be found to entertain the rest of the family but having sent them on a Ghosts and Torture Tour I headed off to meet Linda.
The main theme of April's get-together was collaboration - whether between writers or between disciplines ie writer + illustrator. There was a short presentation from Luke Williams and Natasha Soobramanien, two writers who've just finished working together on a book, The Echo Chamber, and afterwards we were free to mingle, ideally meeting new people. As I knew no one there, this was easy for me. I met Linda- obviously; an animator; a musician in search of a symphony; one of the organisers; and author/illustrator John Fardell among others - all welcoming, interesting people, ready to share ideas with a total outsider.
So what did we talk about?
- Blogging, specifically book reviews and whether they make a difference to sales/publicity
- the development of i-phone/pad apps for toddlers
- Enid Blyton
- the possibility and difficulties of expanding Linda's popular Hamish McHaggis children's book into England and abroad
- adapting novels for film and/or TV
- working from home without being constantly at the family's beck and call
- book festivals, their organisation - and sometimes lack of it
- the unlikelihood of swimming near North Berwick at that time of year,
basically the sort of thing I chat about all day on the web (well, maybe not North Berwick) but rarely face to face.
All in all, an extremely enjoyable evening - and I even got goodies to take away at the end of it - a taster of Linda Strachan's two teen novels - Dead boy Talking and Spider. I've read Dead Boy Talking (see here for review) but not Spider, the story of a teenage joy-rider. Having read the first few chapters I'm hooked and WILL read it - on order from the library right now!
and a leaflet promoting Edinburgh as City of Literature with a map showing places in the city with literary associations - from Robert Burns' lodgings to the cafe in which Harry Potter came to life. Having visited before, I knew of the many things to see and do in Edinburgh - but I've just discovered more!