Three Is The Magic Number: The Scots Whay Hae! Podcast Talks To Louise Welsh…

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The latest podcast is an interview with one of our favourite guests, the writer Louise Welsh. Previously she has been on to talk not only about her earlier fiction, but also the joys of reading Robert Louis Stevenson, and all thing Empire Cafe. Her latest novel, No Dominion, is the final part in her Plague Times Trilogy which began back in 2014 (not, as Ali suggests, five years ago) with A Lovely Way To Burn, and continued in 2015 with Death Is A Welcome Guest.

The conversation focuses on the central themes in the trilogy, which include family, Louise_400x400morality, society, and what could happen in the face of a global pandemic threat. Just the usual. Louise also reveals the influences on each book, including the Scottish literary connections in part three, and admits that recent political events, at home and abroad, had some bearing of the final draft No Dominion. There is also talk of ghost stories and opera. What more do you want from a podcast?

This is the 83rd SWH! podcast, so if you are new round these parts there is quite a substantial back catalogue for you to discover. If you aren’t yet a subscriber you can do so, (or simply listen) at iTunes or by RSS (but you’ll need to have an RSS reader to do so). You can also download the podcast by clicking on the relevant link to the right of this post, or, if you want it right here, right now, you can listen on…

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..or on YouTube:

As a little podcast post extra, here is Louise reading the aforementioned Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘The Bottle Imp’ which she recorded for Scots Whay Hae! and the ASLS as part of the Strange Tales collection:

Simons Says: The Scots Whay Hae! Podcast Talks To J. David Simons…

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In the latest podcast Ali talks to writer J. David Simons, initially about his latest novel A Woman Of Integrity but also his ‘Glasgow To Galilee‘ trilogy (see bottom of page) and the near perfect An Exquisite Sense Of What Is Beautiful. It’s always interesting to talk with David, and the conversation turns to his life as a writer and the colourful and varied path he has travelled along the way. The two also discuss, publishing, promotion, and the problems with both, and there are questions from a very special reader/listener. All this and much more.

They also meant to, but clean forgot, discuss the Scottish Book Trusts’ Bookfellas initiative that, in the Trust’s own words, “..brings together 50 men and aims to raise £50,000 to ensure that everyone in Scotland has the same opportunity to thrive through reading and writing. We want to encourage more men to read for pleasure and highlight the importance of dads reading to their children”. You can find out just what David is doing along with many other writers, here, and Ali gives further details in the podcast intro.

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Almost unbelievably, this is SWH! podcast #82, so if you are new round these parts there is a substantial back catalogue for you to discover. If you aren’t yet a subscriber you can do so, (or simply listen) at iTunes or by RSS (but you’ll need to have an RSS reader to do so). You can also download the podcast by clicking on the relevant link to the right of this post, or, if you want it right here, right now, you can listen on…

..SoundCloud

..or on YouTube:

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Spoken Word & Music: The Scots Whay Hae! Podcast Talks To Andrew Greig…

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For the latest podcast, Ali headed to Edinburgh to talk to poet, writer and musician, Andrew Greig. The first topic of conversation is Clean By Rain, the CD of spoken word and music Andrew has recorded with musician Brian Michie.

As you’ll hear, music has always been very important to Andrew, providing the sparkUnknown-1.jpeg which lead him into writing, and this latest project (& his next) provide a wonderful symmetry to his life so far.

The two also talk about his poetry and prose, particularly his debut novel, Electric Brae, and a favourite of Ali’s, Fair Helen, which prompts an unexpected musical interlude. It was an absolute pleasure talking to Andrew (right), and we hope you experience similar feelings while listening to what he has to say. Continue reading

A Life In Pictures: The Scots Whay Hae! Podcast Talks To Alasdair Gray & Kevin Brown…

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The latest podcast is a fascinating conversation with two previous guests, the writer and artist, Alasdair Gray, and the driving force behind Songs For Scotland, Kevin Brown,

Kevin is curating ALASDAIR GRAY’s Life in Pictures: the Exhibition. Paintings, Drawings and Prints, 1951 – 2017 (27 July 2017 – 12 August 2017), which will feature a selection of Alasdair’s art at London’s Coningsby Gallery, and he tells us all about the what, why, when and where’s.

Alasdair discusses at length the trials and tribulations of his previous exhibitions, how many contemporaries felt the pull of London, what inspired him to illustrate his writing, the importance of protecting public art, and much, much more. He even gives us some insight into his latest project, a very personal take on Dante’s Divine Comedy. This is a rare chance to hear one of Scotland’s greatest artists talking in some detail about his life in pictures. Continue reading

Crime Time: The Scots Whay Hae! Podcast Talks To Writer Douglas Skelton…

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In the latest podcast, Ali and Ian met up with writer Douglas Skelton, initially to talk about his Dominic Queste novels, The Dead Don’t Boogie and Tag – You’re Dead, but the discussion touched upon so much more.

They talk about Douglas’s ‘Davie McCall’ series of novels, his non-fiction, the importance of secondary characters, Glasgow’s fascination with crime, the influencv_bjIISIe of the novels of Ed McBain, Shane, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and the greatest TV show of all time (TM) – Hill Street Blues.

As you would expect, if you have read Skelton’s recent work, there are plenty of cultural references and enough “film buffery” to keep everyone happy, or at the very least the people in the room.

Douglas knows of that which he writes as he has done the hard research for real-life crime books such as Glasgow’s Black Heart and Dark Heartand as such the podcast is a must hear for anyone with an interest in crime writing, but will also appeal to a much wider audience, just as Douglas Skelton’s novels do. Continue reading

Lying Live & Singing True: A Scots Whay Hae! Podcast Extra – The Launch Of Ten Writers Telling Lies…

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The latest podcast is a sister to our recent interview with Pat & Jim Byrne and Samina Chaudry about Ten Writers Telling Lies. It’s a live recording from the launch of the book at Cottiers Theatre featuring readings from many of the writers as well as music from Jim and Graham Mackintosh. We were going to edit it down but soon realised we couldn’t leave any one or any song out, so this is the full director’s cut.

If you’d like a copy of the book and the accompanying CD you can buy them here. Continue reading

The Art Of Deception: The Scots Whay Hae! Podcast Talks Ten Writers Telling Lies…

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In the latest podcast Ali talks to Jim and Pat Byrne and Samina Chaudry about Ten Writers Telling Lies,  a music and literary project which has various writers and poets work collected together, as well as having them collaborate with Jim on accompanying songs.

On the podcast you’ll not only hear all about the project, its beginnings and how it has grown, but there are also a couple of examples of Jim’s songs, as well as Samina reading her short story, ‘Taxi’. It’s a fascinating undertaking which deserves to be read and heard by as many people as possible. Continue reading

Back And Forth: The Scots Whay Hae! Podcast Talks To David Keenan…

bHQj2XzwFor the latest podcast Ali spoke to writer David Keenan about his novel This Is Memorial Device. Anyone who has read the Scots Whay Hae! review of the book will know how highly we rate it, and it’s fascinating to hear David talk about the influences behind it, why it was always going to be an Airdrie novel, the reasons the book is structured as it is, and so much more.

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The two race through many subjects, including the legacy of post-punk, the importance of the art and music of Scottish small towns and David’s compulsion to write. This includes further novels, his journalism, and non-fiction,  (England’sHidden Reverse  is especially highly recommended) although whether talk of a West Of Scotland take on Lord Of The Rings is serious we’ll leave for you to decide.

We’re calling it one of the most interesting and engaging podcasts yet, but listen for yourselves and see if that’s a bold claim or not. If you aren’t intrigued enough by the end to read This Is Memorial Device then, frankly, we haven’t done our job. Continue reading

Stranger Than Fiction: The Scots Whay Hae! Podcast Talks To Documentary Maker Lou McLoughlan…

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The latest podcast has Ali talking to director and cinematographer Lou McLoughlan. We could pretend that it has been perfectly timed to coincide with the first week of this year’s Glasgow Film Festival, but in all honesty it’s an interview we’ve been trying to organise ever since watching Lou’s fantastic feature documentary 16 Years Till Summer, one of the best films of 2016.

You can read the Scots Whay Hae! review here, and see the trailer at the foot of this post, but it’s worth listening to the director talk about the making of it first as it will add to the viewing experience, and spoilers are carefully avoided.

The two also talk about the practicalities and difficulties of making documentaries, and then with getting them to an audience, particularly a Scottish one.

There is also chat about Scottish storytelling, the Highlands and Islands as a ‘seductive space’, the importance of music to a film, how filming real life will always offer up the unexpected, and much, much more. Continue reading

For Jean: The Scots Whay Hae! Podcast Talks To Catherine Czerkawska About The Jewel & Jean Armour…

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For the latest edition of our now annual Burnscasts, Ali and Ian travelled to the Bard’s own country in South Ayrshire to talk to the writer Catherine Czerkawska about her latest novel, ‘The Jewel’. It’s a historical novel which examines Robert Burns’ relationship with his wife, Jean Armour, and does so from Jean’s point of view.

It’s a fascinating book which looks at a story rarely told, and Catherine talks in detail about how she approached the not inconsiderable task of getting to know more about Jean and Robert’s family life, and to try and get Jean’s ‘voice’. Continue reading