Friday, 4 December 2009

Cathy Forde: Virtual Writer In Residence

As you all know, Cathy Forde is currrently our Virtual Writer In Residence. Every month Cathy drops by the blog to tell us what she's been up to. Here's what she's got to say this month...

Last week I was on holiday, trying to absorb enough vitamin D from the Portuguese sun to see me through the next four months in Scotland. I loved having blue skies on tap for a few days although being away meant I missed the Royal Mail Awards for Scottish Children’s Books. Well done to all the winners, especially Keith Gray, my predecessor as Virtual Writer in Residence for the brilliant Ostrich Boys.

Going on holiday anywhere for me is about catching up on reading, and I always try and choose something that I wouldn’t normally go for. So many people have recommended Steig Larsson’s crime novel The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, that I bought it, expecting the ultimate unputdownable ( is that a word?) novel. Was I disappointed? I struggled through it. On the other hand, I knew nothing much about Sarah Waters’ The Little Stranger, but found myself completely drawn in to its spooky clutches. It is beautifully written and very readable, with a huge crumbling house as the setting for the story. It was the perfect novel to read before I deliver my fourth writer in residence podcast on SETTING, and it made me think of all the other books I have read where location is a character in itself.

I am off to Fife next week to give a creative writing talk with Scottish Book Trust and last month we went to spanking new Bishopbriggs Academy where I was asked some of the best questions ever from the audience. A great visit, and I am looking forward to going back there in March next year, especially now that I know where the new school is. Silly me drove to the old one and wondered why it looked so run down and forlorn.

By the way, this is my ‘Christmas blog’ although I haven’t had any time to think about all the shopping malarkey yet. It must be the Festive Season though because supermarket carparks are full, Glasgow city centre is heaving ( with people carry Primark bags), ‘Mistletoe and Wine’ is playing on a loop in M&S. Also, my sons have started snooping around for the Christmas presents I buy throughout the year, then hide away. When I came home from Portugal they were half way through Season One of First Blood. I had hidden it at the bottom of a box of other presents for them. Would you ever do that you your mum? Okay, so I did it too, but not when I was 20 like my elder son!!!

Happy Christmas.

Find out more about Cathy's residency on our Virtual Writer In Residence pages.

Other news:
Chris and Heather are about to head off on tour with author and illustrator David Roberts to Dumfries and Galloway and East Renfrewshire.
C.J. Skuse's Pretty Bad Things is coming out in March 2010. Take a look at this exciting trailer...


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