Thursday, 24 February 2011

The Liberation of Maw Broon

Years of reading American crime fiction leads me to think of the early morning flight from Glasgow to the East Midlands as being "the red-eye", when really it should be the "shiny suit and laptop case" - bunches of tired looking business people heading south to do what business people do. Save for the shiny suit I was not out of place coming back from our Glasgow book launch (see last posting). J. David Simons' The Liberation of Celia Kahn was duly launched, with 143 people being made very welcome by Debbie and her staff at Sauchiehall Street Waterstone's. Following a talk and a reading, David was interviewed by Rodge Glass before we decamped to The Tearoom at The Butterfly and Pig. Oh, and we'd had music before the launch too.
There were a fair amount of writers present, including Michael J Malone who's joining our list next year. There were also others from the industry - from Saraband, Cargo and Waverley to name three. The Waverley people told me how many copies of Maw Broon's Cookbook they'd sold in the last five years. It did make me think it was time to explore the Robin Hood Gourmet Venison Cookbook, but no - these Scottish-based publishers have a great advantage in cultural icons like the Broons known better by every Scot than they know their own family.
I was glad to see Eleanor Logan at the launch, especially as we were in Waterstone's which has just made her redundant after a long spell as Scottish manager, which followed her time as Scottish manager of Ottakars. I'd have thought with so many branches in that increasingly different country the chain would need a national manager, but what do I know. I hope she gets another job in the trade soon.
I picked up the programme for Aye Write ( which includes our Zoe Wicomb discussing her/our new book The One that Got Away with Louise Welsh. I have to say that this year's festival looks like the most interesting programme of any book festival I've seen.

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