Friday, November 19, 2021

Out and about in the big world

It was Scottish book week this week, the authors were out and about. Nothing odd about that, but these were the first events for some of us for  18 months or so, in some cases  it had been over two years since we had performed in public.

Nobody really knows why the powers that be have the book week so late in the year as the weather is terrible, it deters all  but the most determined fans from attending.
 and then the ferries go off at the last minute.

 This is the way Douglas and I looked at the start of lockdown.
(I do write fiction!)

Below is how we look now.

This was us at the event in Paisley library.
The real library is a huge sandstone building, with mezzanine walkways and books everywhere. It's being refurbed at the moment, and has been for 4 years or so. This is a portacabin in the carpark swimming pool. No, I mean the  swimming pool car park.

It didn't take long for us to reach for a drink. Due to covid, the audience were not allowed a refreshment.

It was rather nerve wracking being in front of an audience again. Quite a few authors have doubts as to recalling the anecdotes,  not being able to answer the question or simply, not remembering what the book was about.

The audience had to be socially distanced, the windows had to be open ( it was bitter cold).
It made for an odd atmosphere.
While they were fiddling with the mics, I audience if they were confident again in coming out, they all nodded.
But the limit was 30, so those not confident were not there!

The next night I was hosting a launch in  the function suite of a pub. 
The launch was about the book Retribution Road and  we were also raising money for  the Firefighters Charity.

Having a laugh in the corner before the event kicked off.
Private function so no social distancing,  no masks, lots of drink,  windows closed.
Most Scots are now on their booster ( 3rd Covid jab, plus a flu jab if you want it)

If a member of the audience guessed correctly how many sweary words were in the book ( 93 000 words) they could win a bottle of Monopole and ten tunnocks caramel wafers. Not camel wafers, as a vegetarian, I could not condone such a thing and the audience got the hump.

The event quickly got underway.

I read out some of the great reviews John had received for his book.
Not all of them were written by his mother...

For my event I was talking about this book. Well I was supposed to be talking about this book. I have now written six books  since that one - couldn't recall a thing about it.
'What was the inspiration for this book?'
No idea!
The book in my mind is the one on the computer at the moment - deadline  is a week today.
In quiet moments, my mind flips to the next book WT 'The Girl Who Wasn't There', in the way that what happens in this book will have repercussions in the next one.

I heard two intellectual people talking at the launch about a book that had seven years to write and they were surprised, with the depth of the book that it hadn't taken longer.

The number of sweary words was 88 by the way! Most of them began with an f!

Caro Ramsay



  1. I not only share your feelings on our times, Caro, I've gone so far as to share your words on my Saturday post! Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Regarding length of time to produce and depth of the books, an article a couple of years ago in the New York Times surveyed critics, editors, and writers Of literary fiction.

    Among among such types, the consensus was that authors who wrote more than a book every 10 or 12 years were justly disdained for being too facile. Those quoted in the article all seem to think that no really worthWhile fiction could be produced in less than a decade. MMMMMM.

  3. It was good to get back out to a book event in person, rather than viewing them on Zoom or Facebook. There is something special about being in the room with the writer. They are always fun events.