Glasgow Writers: Allan Wilson
Allan Wilson is a busy and talented Glasgow writer; always working on short stories, novels and plays. His short story collection Wasted in Love raised quite a stir when it was published by Cargo in 2012, including being shortlisted for the Scottish Book of the Year in 2012. Apart from his own enthusiasm for writing, Allan is committed to encouraging children to write and as a founding member of Scotland Writers FC he has some novel ideas on this topic.
What Allan’s Up To?
“I’m writing a lot of short stories that might eventually become another collection. I’m publishing some of these in magazines and journals at the moment and a few have been published in PUSH – a magazine based in London and sold at football matches and gigs. It’s run by a writer called Joe England and features writing, artwork and interviews. It’s exciting to be part of something that isn’t governed by anything other than what the editors deem quality work. If I can’t make money doing the type of writing I care about then I’ll do it anyway and try to make any cash I can by doing jobs. I prefer this way of living to compromising the work or my own values for cash.”
“I’m working on four or five novels that are at various stages in their development. If I keep working then eventually they’ll be finished. I’ve promised a novel to my publisher and friend Mark Buckland at Cargo. Hopefully I can get something to him soon but it’s a slow process. Cargo have been great with me and are giving me time and space to finish the work. Getting the time away from paid work and other commitments to do the work isn’t so easy though. It’s hard to batter out a novel on a lunchbreak. But I’m in a good situation. I’ll find the time and it’ll get done. Most writers are in this situation where they need to eat as well as write. It’s the reality and there’s no point in complaining. I love writing and feel that it’s the small way I can make the world a wee bit better so it gets done in spare moments. I’m trying to work out a way where people can make the money needed to live and also have sustained time to write. I can’t think of anything apart from drug dealing and if I did that then my wife would be annoyed.”
“Plays are something I’ve started getting into but I don’t feel that confident yet. Same with poetry. I write a lot of it but nobody has ever seen it. And I’m working on a film with my pal Doug King who is a filmmaker and has a company called 14C.”
Allan is also delivering Creative Writing Workshops at Booked! Festival of Words 2015 West Dunbartonshire Council
The other thing writing wise I’m into is the Scotland Writers Football Team. This started as a bit of fun but it’s been something that has seen us invited to play football and do readings in England, Sweden and Austria. Eventually I’d like this to become something that the community can get into and I think i’d try to run it along the lines of 826 Valencia in San Francisco or Fighting Words in Dublin – basically something that encourages kids to involve themselves in something creative and develop this side of themselves and then they’ll get to play football as well. The way 826 Valencia does it is through writing and then the sideline is a pirate shop where the kids can get all geared up in swashbuckling type pirate outfits. I think in Scotland that football is a good way to get kids interested.
Set against a backdrop of menial employment, escape into alcohol and an unflinching belief that life has the potential to offer so much more, Wasted in Love explores the tragedy and humour that exists in the everyday lives we lead. Whether they are starting out in life or having a cold moment of realisation, Allan Wilson’s poignant vignettes are powerful, unflinching in their honesty and full of dark humour. We see the real world of love; couples fight, break-up, make-up and fall in and out of love. Lies, suspicion and betrayal haunt them. But when they come together in love, can they escape and rise above their problems?
”NO LIFE is too small, no thought without meaning. Whereas James Joyce gave voice to the commonplace, and signalled its celebration, Allan Wilson out-Joyces Joyce with his celebration of the mundane.
His 19 short tales, each brief enough to be read with a cup of tea, are modern stories for the Twitter generation. Jabs of prose, life cast as footnotes, fading footprints, each going nowhere, more in longing than expectation.”
“Quite frankly, it’s a brilliant book, well crafted, authentic and necessary.”
“He reads like the real thing…a terrific debut anthology.”
Buy: Wasted in Love
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- Maggie Graham
- Brian Hamill
- Paul McCafferty
- Louise Welsh
- Dave Anderson
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- Frankie Gault
- Elaine Reid
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- John Hamilton May
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- Paul McQuade
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