This weekend it was my Mum's birthday, so we took a trip to surprise her. Last time I surprised my Mum for her birthday she burst into tears and said "This reminds me of the time your Granddad arrived with a lorry load of horse manure." This time, she just cried. Result.
My parents live in a complex with a lot of other...ahem...people of a certain age (most of whom, apparently, are dangerous when in possession of a mobility scooter, if these signs are to be believed. All of them knew about my visit as my Dad had told everyone except my Mum. One of them stopped me in the hallway to chat. The conversation, as is its wont, turned to crime fiction (it turns out he's an Ian Rankin fan). "Are you the lady who writes books?" he said.
"Well, yes, I suppose I am," said I.
"I'd love to read it," said my new friend.
"Weeeeeeell, there's a lot of swearing in it."
"I don't mind."
So I went into my parents' flat. "I need to get your copy of OLD DOGS to give to Brian."
"What?!" shrieked my mother. "You can't do that." She jumped off the chair (and with her dodgy knees too) and barged past me. "Brian, you can't read our Donna's book."
"It's full of bad language. You think she's a nice girl, but she's not." She did, however, have an alternative solution. She went back inside and brought out GO TO HELENA HANDBASKET. "Here, take this one. It's weird, but there's less swearing."
Ian Rankin doesn't understand his first book.
An interview with Kate Atkinson. And a couple of reviews of STARTED EARLY, TOOK MY DOG.
More on the fight to save Conan Doyle's home.
If you're in Brighton on 20 November, you can go and see Louise Welsh.
The Coast Reporter has an article on Grant McKenzie.
William McIlvanney is taking a break from crime to write a book about Sean Connery.
KansasCity.com on Alexander McCall Smith's CORDUROY MANSIONS, The Musings Of A Dreamer on Iain Banks' THE WASP FACTORY, and Reading For The Joy Of It reviews Quintin Jardine's BLOOD RED.
And, finally, apparently, Scotland has more book festivals than anywhere else in the world. Yay for us!