Edinburgh Book Festival 2014

Meeting Linda Huber

I was very pleased and excited to go to an event on the first day of the Edinburgh Book Festival 2014 with fellow writer, Linda Huber.

Edin book fest 2014 009Linda and I had not met in real life before so this was an exciting opportunity to get together while Linda was across from Switzerland where she lives, doing a publicity tour for the launch of her second book, The Cold Cold Sea. We discovered that as well as a love of reading the same authors, being Scottish, liking to eat and drink the same things, we also seem to like the black and turquoise combination for clothing. We came to the festival (unknowingly) colour-coordinated, as you can see 🙂

So August 9th was the first day of the Edinburgh Book Festival and the ambience and buzz at Charlotte Square was fresh and exciting. We browsed the book store, had coffee and sat in the sunshine soaking it all up while discussing reading, publishing, marketing and all things writing.

I had bought Linda’s new book, The Cold Cold Sea, and asked her to sign it for me. Here’s a photo of her signing her new book at the Edinburgh Book Festival.

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If you would like more information about Linda’s new book,
you can find the details by clicking on the book cover.

The Cold Cold Sea


Scottish Independence

As Linda and I are both Scottish but live outside Scotland (I live in England and Linda in Switzerland) it is quite a strange thing to be watching on the fringes as our fellow Scots and other people who are currently residing in Scotland thrash out what independence might mean for Scotland and will cast a vote this September.

Whilst we waited to go to an event at the Charlotte Square Gardens, we met by chance the lovely Sara Sheridan who had attended the 3 pm session called After the Referendum with Iain MacWhirter, an award winning journalist who has written a book called Road to Referendum.

Earlier this year Sara gave up four months of 2014 to devote to researching Scottish Independence and what it would mean to vote Yes. She is enormously inspiring and you can hear her talk about her research and what led her to change from No to Yes here at the Referendum TV site which is running as an experiment for the duration of the Edinburgh Festival. You have to register for the site in order to watch the video but this only takes a few minutes to do. Sara appears from about 18 minutes in.

The voices in our head

I hadn’t thought I’d be able to visit any sessions at the book festival this year, but Linda had purchased two tickets to see the 5 pm session on the 9th – The voices in our head and I was delighted to go to it with her.

Mathew Quick, Edward Carey and Nathan Filer are all authors who write or have written characters who have mental health problems, some of whom hear voices. However, the authors talked about the importance of presenting these characters as fully rounded human beings and not human beings who are defined by labels. The authors described how they themselves hear the characters they are writing about in their own heads. This broadened out into how readers hear the voices of characters they read about.

It was a fascinating discussion, chaired by the author Charles Fernyhaugh, and the event is part of a wider scientific study of hearing voices. Writer, Pam McIlroy, brought to my attention the link to an article in The Guardian about this scientific study – Hearing voices: what’s your experience when reading?

Magical Times

After an amazing day, on the way back south to Newcastle upon Tyne where I live now, the moon, which is full and indeed, a supermoon‘ today on 10th August, hung beautifully in the sky over the borderlands between Scotland and England.

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2 Replies to “Edinburgh Book Festival 2014”

  1. Unlucky with the outfits 🙂 Nice summary of the event. Really should get my bum off my chair and go to a book festival myself.

    1. I think you would really enjoy it Rob – especially if it were a sci-fi one 🙂

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