Scotland Photo Album

IMG_0287The ten days I spent in Scotland, giving readings, meeting with book groups, visiting bookstores, and doing signings, was so much fun. A beautiful country full of warm, welcoming people. Dour Scots?  I didn’t meet a single one. And haggis? Guys, that stuff rocks.

The main reason I went to Scotland was an invitation from the Edinburgh International Book Festival. The festival is held at Charlotte Square, a private park that opens its wrought iron gates for 17 days in August for the event. Tented buildings are erected along the perimeters for the readings, lectures, performances, and book sellers. The big bookstore where I signed books is to the left in the above photo. And the statue is of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s consort. The photo captures a rare moment when a seagull was not sitting on his royal head.

Here are some more photos from my time in this beautiful country:

Benjamin Johncock and I sign books after our Edinburgh Book Festival panel, and then…
One week later, my former MFA student Rowan Hisayo Buchanan at the same table signing her first novel Harmless Like You
…one week later, my former MFA student Rowan Hisayo Buchanan sits in the same signing area after her panel. Harmless Like You is her first novel and it marks the beginning of an exciting career.
Here are both UK editions of A Reunion of Ghost–soft and hard cover–on the “Reading Today” shelf at the Book Festival. Always fun to see one’s book in a big, busy book store…
…but sometimes it’s even more fun to see one’s book in a small shop in a small town where they’re limited by space and have to be choosy about what they stock. This is the Waterstones Book Store (think Barnes & Noble in terms of national scope, but independent bookstore in terms of the way each individual shop is run) in Aviemore in the Eastern Scottish highlands. This copy of the book is all dressed up in its “Waterstone Book Club” sticker (Waterstones chooses 6 books a year for the honor) and some kind words from the local booksellers. Also, if you buy A Reunion of Ghosts in Aviemore, you get another book at half price! Might be worth the trip! And finally…
...the Haggis collection from, I think, the menu at our hotel outside Aviemore, in a wee village called Boat of Garten. Haggis pakora! Haggis lasagne! I, for one, would recommend the haggis with neeps and tatties (or turnips and potatoes). Good stuff.
…while I’m suggesting things to read, here’s the Haggis collection from the menu at our hotel outside Aviemore. The hotel was in a wee village called Boat of Garten, but had a surprisingly excellent restaurant. We skipped the Haggis at this stop, but look at this international flair. Haggis pakora! Haggis lasagne! Something for everyone. Well, okay, maybe not everyone. Where is the haggis matzah brie, I ask you?? In the end, however, I would recommend sticking to the basics and ordering the haggis with neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes). Really good stuff. Kind of like stuffed derma. Honestly, haggis could really use a better publicity team.