salons and salonistas

It turns out that I love talking about Sedition. Who knew! But I also like listening to what others make of my girls, and of course their fathers, mothers and Monsieur. At a Glasgow book salon on Wednesday, there was much quizzing about the genesis of the book and the ending. In truth, I don’t know where the darkness comes from, except that in the recesses of my mind there lurks all manner of stuff. All imagined. There’s nothing whatsoever autobiographical about Sedition. Imagination can often lead to much weirder places than experience, and following your imagination is what gives novel writing its particular pleasure (and pain, too – writing is a painful business). So, my imagination led and I followed. Readers, naturally, are curious. They want to see backwards, as it were, to before the book. I try not to be evasive, but sometimes evasiveness is nearer the truth than a straight answer.

Anna Burnside runs her salons in true Glasgow spirit: thought for her salonistas (hot soup of a brilliant purple hue – ’twas beetroot, a startling vegetable); thought for others (the Maryhill food bank); and thought for the book. She sets the tone of the conversation. No holds barred. Wonderful meaty stuff. At the end of the evening, you don’t simply leave, you emerge. My girls and I felt properly ‘saloned’. Thank you, Anna. Thank you, fellow salonistas. It was an honour.