‘Over 800 authors from over 45 countries in 750 events for adults, teens and children.’ That’s straight out of the Edinburgh Book Festival programme, which looks more like a heavy-duty glossy mag than an events list.
If you live within striking distance of Scotland’s ancient and beautiful capital city and you like/love/read/write books, then there is no keeping away in August. Charlotte Square Gardens, in the west end of the New Town, becomes a tented village with auditoria, bookshops, coffee/ booze/ food outlets, picnic tables, benches and loungers on the grass in the middle of the square, posters of authors who have graced the Square with their presence over decades. Names like Muriel Spark, Solzhenitsyn, Brendan Behan . . . And more lately, Alexander McCall Smith, Ian Rankin and J K Rowling (all three of them residents of Edinburgh today). Sounds idyllic.
Children issue forth from an hour with their favourite author, clutching things they have made or written or drawn or bought, a gaggle of excited voices and wriggling bodies. Wonderful to see that every generation, even this tech-saturated, over-entertained one, still loves a good book and the thrill of meeting its writer.
If you’re anywhere near Edinburgh this month, don’t miss it. And look out for me. I might even buy you a coffee!
Check out the programme at: www.edbookfest.co.uk
Fran Brady has been writing for ten years and has three published novels for grown-ups, a novella for children and a laptop full of short stories, monologues and poems, the result of being a member of two writing groups. She also edits WordWise, the quarterly magazine of the Scottish Fellowship of Christian Writers.
She is, among other things, currently working on finishing and planning the marketing for her fourth novel, which is set in the Hebrides in the 1920s.