Monday, 19 August 2013

Edinburgh Book Festival - Author event - Linda Strachan

This year's Edinburgh International Book Festival was our busiest ever, with tickets for four events - all for authors whose work we love. First up was Linda Strachan's in the Baillie Gifford Imagination Lab. We've met Linda before on several occasions when she's been wonderfully welcoming but have never managed to time our visit to Edinburgh right to catch one of her events, so we thought it was time we redressed that issue.

Linda is the author of many books aimed at both younger children and teens - and this event was aimed at the older end of her audience, specifically about her latest teen novel Don't Judge Me - a tale of arson, suspicion and judging people too quickly. If you aren't aware of it check out our reviews here - the Mole's and Maryom's

Accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation, Linda started by telling how she became a writer. She's NOT one of those people who, from an early age, dreamed of being an author. In fact as a child she believed her friend was far better at telling stories and at school she was labelled as lacking in imagination! She only came to writing much later, through a series of drawings that formed themselves into a story.

Linda talked about the thoughts and inspirations behind Don't Judge Me. The inspiration for Don't Judge Me came because we are always making assumptions about people, often those we only pass in the street, on little or no information - a series of adverts had been running showing how that happens.

In order to most accurately describe the setting of the fire she spoke to the Fire Service and was then concerned that it would explain to people how it's done but the spokesperson assured her that if people want to know then they can Google it anyway.  Surrounded by images and news items relating to the two threads, Linda set to work in her writing shed.

Her other teen books are Spider - a very powerful story about car theft and joy riding and how it wrecks so much more than property, but lives as well - and Dead Boy Talking - a similarly powerful story about knives and the outcome of carrying them.

Linda is currently working on a project with ROSPA who liked the approach in the teen books, the non preachy approach and showing what can happen rather than just saying don't do it!!  ROSPA have asked her to work on stories around accidents in the home environment generally and some aspects of fire safety are included.

I always find authors' research methods fascinating and Linda certainly doesn't believe in doing it from the safety of her desk but by getting out there on fire service training days or joining emergency ambulance crews on their rounds.

If you'd like to catch Linda for yourself, she'll be appearing at Bloody Scotland 2013  on September 14th and you can find more about Linda and her books on her website.

No comments:

Post a Comment