RG: Definitely seeing Chuck Palahniuk a couple of years ago. It was a sold out one in the big main venue and he blew up, then threw around sex dolls. Not very reverential, but people loved him. Extremely charismatic, no bullshit, very positive, fun, but not afraid to be serious sometimes.
SWH: Who are you most looking forward to seeing this year?
RG: I really want to see Robert Alan Jamieson, though I don’t know if I’ll be able to. His new novel Da Happie Laand is coming out on Luath Press I think….he’s a really underrated Scottish writer of the 80s and 90s, and this is his first book in 15 years. He’s been working on this for that long. We should treasure talents like Alan Jamieson. He’s responsible for encouraging many young Scottish writers when they most needed it. Kevin MacNeil is a great example of that.
SWH: You’re heavily involved in The Year of Open Doors short story collection. Can you outline and explain the events at the Festival that are linked to the book?
RG: Well, we have three events – one, on the 21st, is a straight ahead book festival event. We have Micaela Maftei, a brilliant new writer, along with Kevin MacNeil and Doug Johnstone, doing short readings and discussing the book with me. Then we have two events as part of the new Unbound stand taking place in the Spiegeltent in the event. We have two Open Doors nights: the first is on August 22nd, with the likes of Kapka Kassabova, Sophie Cooke and Helen Lynch (there’ll be lots of us that night, all doing short turns), and then on the big final night party, Alan Bissett, Ryan Van Winkle with literature, and my band Burnt Island and Adrian Crowley playing music. That’s the launch for our Chemikal Underground audiobook, which I’m really excited about. That should be a real belter. Get yer tickets early folks! (Please excuse the salesman talk…force of habit…)
SWH: Can you say anything about future projects that you are working on, either fiction or otherwise?
RG: The next one is Dougie’s War, a comic coming out on Freight Publishing, they of Gutter Magazine – it’s published on September 16th and we’ll be doing events for that over the autumn and winter, and hopefully further on too. It’s really a book about PTSD – a soldier’s return from Afghanistan to Glasgow. The artwork is by a fantastically talented artist called Dave Turbitt, who we’ve borrowed from a certain rather successful BBC sci fi show….
SWH: How important do you feel that book festivals have become in the promotion of literature?
RG: Very. You’re expected to take your work to the world now, and as Scotland has so many festivals, you have to be part of it to remain relevant, I think. Also, that has an impact on the work itself, as it can become more direct from the influence of having to perform it. I like that development. I think it’s been good for my writing. You can’t just hide away in yer garret and pray for cult staus to come along….you have to engage, with readers and publishers, with people who read and love books.
Rodge Glass and Scots Whay Hae! 13/8/10
Rodge Glass’s books are available from Amazon and all good book shops.
You can find all about the music of Burnt Island at chaffinchrecords .