Kirklandia Is Cooler Than Portlandia

I’m working on my third book and its super secret super serious.

No seriously it’s super serious.

Aye Write is up next week! I’m performing my one man show HOW I BECAME KIRKLAND CICCONE. I’ve toured it around Scotland for the last year, getting rave reviews so it feels nice – and right – that it should be taken to Glasgow.  Funnily enough it took me a little while to reach Glasgow, because I spent most of 2013 in North Lanarkshire trying to win the Catalyst Book Award and 2014 in Edinburgh trying to break into their Teen Reads Scene.  Success on both accounts!  I’m going back to Edinburgh next week for a visit to Tynecastle High School.  I hope they get my sense of humour. During one school visit, I announced to the fab teachers:

“I am Kirkland Ciccone. I am a man trapped inside the body of a man.”

I found that funny, so did the teenagers. The teachers must have thought I was a possessed mad man, albeit one with fabulous taste in clothes and literature. But you never know how audiences will regard you, because there are no rules for audience behaviour in terms of involvement.  Some audiences laugh out loud and clap and cheer happily, pleased to be out of Math class for an hour.  Other audiences are quiet, reserved and thoughtful.  I never really know how to approach the differences at first, but – and this is true – you always know how well an event has gone by…how many people follow you on social media!  Strong book sales are ideal too, but I find the reaction can be properly gauged afterwards.  I’m a bit spaced out most of the time anyway, inside my own world. My world is full of references and pop culture, and long time readers and fans will be able to take part after they see me live.  I could never just turn up to an event and read a page out of a book.  It’s unthinkable for me!

The new schedule for Yay! YA+ went online yesterday.  I’ve spent a lot of time and effort organising Scotland’s first book festival solely dedicated to YA fiction.  At some point I’ll post a blog about why a festival in Scotland had to happen.

YAY YAY YAYIt has been an absolute dream to do this festival.  I’m terrified it will be a disaster, because we want to continue this and make it bigger each year.  I write YA because I love the genre and writing YA – the best job in the world – is something very precious to me.  I’m able to combine my background in theatre with my writing and hopefully do something really cool…and with this festival I can bring a gang with me.  It’s about time we were taken seriously.

So what do I want to be?

I only want to be what I want to be. I am a real terror of being filed, categorised, stamped, pigeonholed, or branded. That’s why I love YA books. YA can be anything. It can be everything. I find that idea really liberating and properly punk.

And finally, to end my blog about all the things I’ve been doing recently, I’ve sent away for special posters in honour of my stint at Wee Write/Aye Write.  They’re limited edition and I’ll give them away to anyone at my events who want a poster.  They should arrive in the next day or so, and when they do I’ll put them up on here for you to see.

K x

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