I love Edinburgh. Whoever designed it apparently decided that you would be able to to see all the dramatic buildings much better if you crumpled the landscape like this.
It’s a beautifully precipitous city, with lots of drops, leaps and skylines standing on tiptoe.
The Edinburgh International Book Festival celebrated its 30th year by featuring unprecedented amounts of me. (Translation: it was the first time I’d been invited.)
As authors we got our own private yurt. (I don’t have pictures of it, since nobody was allowed to take photos inside. As shy, retiring little animals, we had to be allowed a shady, comfortable retreat where we could graze in peace without being startled by photography.)
On Saturday 17th I was lucky enough to appear on panel with the brilliant China Miéville (author of Railsea, Un Lun Dun and The City and the City). The event was expertly chaired by Charlie Fletcher (author of the Stoneheart trilogy). We discussed the joys of the subterreanean, ampersands, divination through theft, railway tracks as symbols of infinite possibility, YA fantasy as rebellion against over-protection, skewing a reader’s sense of the normal and the role of romance in fantasy.
Later that afternoon, I took part in the Imprisoned Writers Series, organised by Amnesty International and Scottish Pen. This daily event gives attending authors the chance to show solidarity with persecuted, imprisoned or censored writers around the world, by reading out their work or a piece about their lives.
The evening was spent at the Macmillan Children’s Books Edinburgh Festival Summer Party. Fireworks from the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo were just visible through the window, and I lost track of time while comparing volcano reminiscences with Rebecca Cobb.
Over the weekend, I even had time to see a Fringe comedy show with the lovely people from Macmillan, and catch some of the street performers…
A wonderful weekend, though I’m still sorry that I missed these beautiful and mysterious book-birds.