‘Say it with words.’
‘There is a book inside everyone.’
‘You’ve have a story to tell.’
‘Write a novel in thirty days.’
If only it was that easy. Lockdown and stagnation has been harder to contend with. Some authors have penned two books or more. Some of us are busy promoting our books. With no book launches in person, zoom has taken over. Screen time has gone up exponentially. And writing? Well, fits and starts is all I can confess to.
June 1st started fine with a lovely poetry writing class with Open Book. A few poems penned and drafts to work on.
I watched in awe Jhumpa Lahiri’s new work in Italian and her translating the work back to English. A Pulitizer Prize winning author whose works I admire.
We enjoyed a lovely new ice cream parlour opening in our little town. Melts Milngavie had an excellent choice of tasty flavours and and added a little sweetness to our lives.
June 11th was an exciting day as I was part of a panel, on Publishing Scotland’s ‘The Scottish Books Long Weekend.’ Chaired by Russel McLean it was a great conversation with authors Robbie Morrison and Diarmid MacArthur. You can watch it on You Tube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2W2QP203Ja0&list=PLsuF2Hvv-PhuABK6zGMFnfyAABclG8Hiv&index=4
The following week on June 16th the Ullapool Book Festival screened my chat with Chris Dolan on ‘Murder at the Mela’. His questions were well prepared and incisive and he made the conversation really interesting. The hour flew by. A prolific author, writer, musician whose new book is out now. He’s written some episodes of ‘Taggart,’ need I say more?
On 17th of June I got this on Facebook, a lovely review of ‘Murder at the Mela’ to wake up to. From Jaya Kumar. “I just loved reading your book. I am actually not very fond of the crime genre. I love your book because it was not just about crime. There were so many other elements in it, all dealt with so well. The characters were so true to life. I love how you brought out so many facets of life in Glasgow. I loved DI Patel! I loved how you brought out the relationship between him and Usma – all the difficulties they face and then his finally getting tempted into a relationship which would be so much easier to nurture – I’ve seen that happen to a friend of mine, so it’s so true to life. I loved the feisty Nadia – wish she didn’t have to die, but then there would be no story if she hadn’t! I love the way you brought out the stages in the development of Hanif’s character. His desire was to belong and almost getting initiated into fundamentalism, and his final rejection of that, for a better and more normal life. I never guessed the murderer, and that is the mark of a good thriller! All in all I think it’s a wonderful book! Lots more about the book that I liked but I’ll stop here for now….”
On 19th June Cathy Mc Sporran an OU lecturer, author and friend sent a really surprising news about my book being on Book Riot. Murder at the Mela was in this selection along with Ali Smith, Jackie Kay and Aminatta Forna! 9 Braw Contemporary Scottish Books That You Must Read> https://bookriot.com/contemporary-scottish-books/?fbclid=IwAR2gN9_aXwLfAC-ye02xRJ8x9N2d_P3QIqejnNKJbutf2X8ovjVGLOReSuI
I never knew of Book Riot so decided to google them. This is ‘about them “Book Riot is the largest independent editorial book site in North America, and home to a host of media, from podcasts to newsletters to original content, all designed around diverse readers and across all genres.”
June has been busy with other interesting matters. My writing group Bearsden Writers are busy preparing for a ‘Writing Festival ‘ on August 21st. An exciting new venture that we hope would continue every year. Look at the lovely poster on our website.
It may not be ‘Flaming June’ but a very productive and interesting month. Roll on July.