Mary Irvine’s Blog: Booked Festival 2016
West Dunbartonshire Booked! Festival 2016
Sold out! So stated the website from which one purchased tickets for the above annual and most successful event of an eclectic (love these Greek words – wonder why!) mix of authors and their works. Having lost out on the earlier visit of Irvine Welsh to Dumbarton library I ensured I hadn’t missed the opportunity to get the tickets I wanted. Would have loved to go to all of them but tempus fugit and there are so many festivals around/coming up one really has to restrain oneself! Am very disappointed not to be able to attend an innovation this year on Monday, May 16th – see attached flyer. Already ‘booked’ that date. So much to do, so little time. Oh dear, I feel a digression coming on so will bring myself back to the business in hand.
Gregor Fisher and Melanie Reid, Dalmuir Library
The first of my choices was at the Dalmuir Library, large enough to accommodate some 70 plus comfortably but small enough for the speakers to engage informally with the audience. The speakers were Gregor Fisher, actor and comedian, and Melanie Reid, journalist. The subject of the talk was Gregor’s biography, ‘The Boy from Nowhere’, a book Melanie described as ‘a complicated story telling of the mysteries and coincidences of his life’. The two speakers complemented each other, relating between them the story of how they met and eventually decided on the voice of the book. Melanie’s first attempt had been in the first person but it didn’t seem to work. As Gregor said ‘Just tell it!’ He’d also decide he didn’t want a ‘soppy’ book or a tear-jerking ‘misery’ books so prolific in recent times. He did refer to one in particular which caused great amusement amongst those familiar with said book. I will not repeat the reference for fear of being sued! Couldn’t comment anyway as I avoid such books like the plague – sorry for hackneyed simile. I’m not actually but it’s polite to say so!
M/S Melanie commented wryly she’d thought at one point the book should be entitled ‘Travels with Gregor’, as the research for parents, both birth and adoptive, involved several long – and often traumatic – journeys. Gregor spoke lovingly of his ‘real’ (i.e. adoptive) mother and of how he’d felt ashamed of the initial hard time he gave her, at the age of 14 when she told him he was adopted.
The presentation was amusing at times, poignant and informative. Gregor, as one would have expected, engaged with the audience, striking up an instant rapport and Melanie kept him on track. The evening concluded with the signing and sale of books, tea/coffee and a chance to chat.
Congratulations to all concerned in the evening’s organisation. A most enjoyable 2 hours and it was all free courtesy of West Dunbartonshire libraries (and, I believe, Creative Scotland). And for something completely different I attended the millennium hall to hear Erwin James… More of which later.
‘A Boy from Nowhere’ is available on Amazon, hard copy £9.50, kindle £9.99. A paper back is available at £7.99 from June 2nd, 2016.
Although Fisher is credited as the author and Reid as the contributor the impression from the talk was that Reid was the actual writer. Am I missing some nuance here?
This section: Books, Talks, Poetry Events, Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene
- Book launch: The Light Acknowledgers by Gerry Cambridge
- Telling Invents Told Lis Rhodes
- Thomas A Clark: Poet Artist Curator at Creative Converstions
- Charlie Gracie, Donal McLaughlin and Finola Scott CCA
- Mary Irvine: Book Week Scotland 2029 – Events in West Dunbartonshire
- Nina Allan Speculative Fiction Writer – Creative Conversations
- Then And Now & What Could Be: Housing Rights & Solidarity CCA
- Libre / To the Four Winds Alliance Francaise Glasgow
- The Siren Awakes Book Launch – Linda Jackson review by Pat Byrne
- Publishing Scotland: Book Week Scotland 2019
- Book Week Scotland 2019
- Write Lines with In Motion Theatre. Book Week Scotland 2019
- Ghost Signs of Glasgow, Glasgow City Heritage Trust
- Words and Music: The Sound of Young Scotland
- Express Yourself Halloween Party 2019 Project Cafe
- Book Launch: The Siren Awakes by Linda Jackson
- Scottish Writers’ Centre Dove Tales: Dia de los Muertos
- Night of Scripts, Music and Song
- Penetrate: Translate Reading Group: Five Measures of Expatriation by Vahni Capildeo CCA
- Adura Onashile: Artist and Playwright, Creative Conversations