On Friday night I had the great pleasure of attending a reading by three of my fellow Unbounders. It was held in Spoon Café in Glasgow who very generously opened late for us. Spoon Café is run by Unity Enterprise to assist people with disabilities or social disadvantages and they're doing a great job. The café itself was very inviting and a perfect venue for the evening. I met so many charming people and I loved talking to them all, though it's unusual for me to spend that much time talking to strangers - and about myself no less!
The first reading was from Ian Skewis, author of A Murder of Crows.
Some of you may remember that Ian hosted my own reading and he was wonderful. Well, he was just as great on Friday night. HIs reading was very powerful - an excerpt from the point of view of a character with dementia. It was very unsettling. I can't wait to read the book when it is released later this year.
A Murder of Crows is the story of Detective Jack Russell, who is on one final case before retirement. Instead of a missing persons case that he expects to solve easily, he is thrust into the hunt for a serial killer who seems to know more about the detective than he should.
Ian was followed by Helen Taylor, reading from The Backstreets of Purgatory
I almost didn't include this picture because it's so blurry but, for me, this just sums up the entire evening - a lot of joy and laughter. Helen's book is described as "a tale of art, insanity and irn-bru" and that humour runs all the way through it. Every line that Helen spoke conjured up Glasgow in my mind and the tone reminded me of Christopher Brookmyre. Helen was embarrassed at reading some of her work out in front of her mother-in-law which gave us all a good laugh. I pledged my support as soon as I got home!
Finally, we got to hear from Blood on the Banana Leaf by the lovely Tabitha Stirling.
Tabitha is so very warm and friendly. This was the first time that we met and instantly I felt as though we had been friends for life. She has a beautiful reading voice and it held me entranced as she read the excerpts form her book.
Blood on the Banana Leaf follows the stories of four different woman living in Singapore, two maids and two madams. The narrative voice is perfect with the slightly broken English and phrases that are unusual to us. From the excerpt on the website, it looks like a sad and brutal tale and yet I can't wait to read it and find out what happens to these women.
I would recommend giving any one of these books a chance and pledging your support. I am humbled that we share a publisher and I am able to meet and spend time with such talented people. Go on, treat yourself and buy one of these books.