Tuesday, 20 September 2016

How was Bloody Scotland? (part 2)

https://www.bloodyscotland.com/

Day 2: Saturday 10th September
This was going to be a busy day! Not only was I booked in to see three shows, I had my Spotlight slot too.

The preparation for my Spotlight slot was not helped by the fire alarm going off at 4.45am (false alarm) but nonetheless, I arrived as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as I could for the rehearsal, and met some of the other Spotlighters: Les Wood, Shelley Day and Michael Grothaus. Rehearsals went well and once we were finished, I had a quick tea with Les Wood (a fellow physiologist as well as a writer!) before heading off to see Alex Gray interviewing two forensic pathologists: Dr Marjorie Turner and Dr James Grieve. Another excellent session, mixing information, humour and some serious aspects too.

Next up, at 2pm, was me! I met up with Gordon Brown again about 15 minutes before the session was due to start and we went up to the green room for me to meet Fred MacAulay and MC (Monica) Beaton. They were both so kind and supportive and put me at ease before we headed for back-stage to get miked up, ready for the show. Gordon went on to introduce MC Beaton and Fred MacAulay while waited (terrified) in the wing. Once they were on stage, Gordon introduced me, and I was on!

Amanda Fleet Fred MacAulay MC Beaton
Me on stage with Fred MacAulay and MC Beaton

Amanda Fleet
Me, mid-reading

The reading went well (so everyone has told me!). Fred MacAulay was kind enough to plug my book again once I had gone off-stage to get the mike off. The show was brilliant. MC Beaton has had an incredible life and Fred MacAulay was the perfect interviewer.

Afterwards, I was asked to join them in the signing room (where I largely watched MC Beaton sign hundreds of books and my husband natter to Fred MacAulay, though a few people bought copies of my book too). Again, the two stars couldn't have been kinder to me.

Fred MacAulay, MC Beaton, Amanda Fleet
L-R: Fred MacAulay, MC Beaton, me (still looking a little star-struck)

Signing over, it was off to The Golden Lion to see "Searching for the Truth" with Mary Paulson Ellis, Tim Weaver and Amanda Jennings - a session I thoroughly enjoyed, not just for hearing the three authors talking about their work (which was fascinating) but also a real feeling of inspiration from them.

The last session I attended was Chris Brookmyre (again!) and Stuart Neville being interviewed by Caro Ramsay. They were discussing their female characters in their latest books and they also each read a section of their new books, Black Widow (for which Chris had just been awarded the McIllvanney prize) and So Say the Fallen. Before they started, I saw Les Wood do his Spotlight slot, reading from his book Dark Side of the Moon; another fabulous reading that was very well received.

All in all, it was a fantastic experience! I met new authors, caught up with people I knew, managed not to fluff my reading, came back laden with books, and full of some wonderful memories.

My haul!

Roll on next time!