Category: Blog


  • Celebrity Skin by Hole

    Celebrity Skin by Hole

    This album is indestructible. It wouldn’t be allowed to fail even though everyone and their cat had already written off Courtney Love as a hasbeen widow who had her finest work subcreated by Kurt Cobain. You can’t imagine how much Courtney was disdained in the years before Celebrity Skin was released. The letters page of […]

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  • I prefer American book art and here’s why…

    I prefer American book art and here’s why…

    The list of sites on my bookmark is precisely four strokes of my fingertip long. One touch takes the page halfway. The second goes further. By the fourth I’m at the bottom of the list. My bookmarked sites are literally all about books. Most of them American literary pages that I read every day, keeping […]

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  • The Dreaming by Kate Bush

    The Dreaming by Kate Bush

    Madness as music is The Dreaming by Kate Bush. Later, she’d talk about the record in terms of the audience reaction, telling an interviewer that people regarded it as her ‘she’s gone mad’ album. Kate Bush is everything to so many people, but all we really know of her, the actual artist, is the stories […]

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  • Money matters, he said

    Money matters, he said

    The worst question you can ask an author is how much we make. Oh, the question can vary slightly, but the reply is almost always the same. “Don’t expect money if you want to be a writer,” I say, my tone always on the mild side of weary. If writers were paid by the hour […]

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  • G.F.S.U. by Lolita Storm

    G.F.S.U. by Lolita Storm

    I found Red Hot Riding Hood sitting on the New Releases shelf at HMV in Glesga, waiting for me because no one else knew it was there. listed influences on MySpace sold them immediately. Betty Boo. Girls Aloud. Suicide. Shampoo. Even Sigue Sigue Sputnik, for God sake. What? I thought. How can a band this […]

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  • Library lurking for a living

    Library lurking for a living

    Most authors I know also have part-time jobs on the side as well as other means of making money. None of them are criminals or slum landlords. Not yet, anyway. But writing has never been the most reliable way of earning a living, which means we need to get out and find work in the […]

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  • Off The Page 2022

    Off The Page 2022

    I’ve always wanted to do Off The Page and now I am. I’m appearing live at Fallin Library on 27th May at 17.30. You’ll get the full experience. Tickets are limited so book soooooon. I’ll see you there. #OffThePage #books #shows #Stirling @stirlinglibraries

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  • The Brenda Walsh Hatefest ’93

    The Brenda Walsh Hatefest ’93

    Television is the great pacifier, a true switch on/switch off experience. But what if there’s a character in your favourite fictional escape you absolutely cannot stand? These days, whole communities have sprung up online, massive groups dedicated to the phenomenon of ‘hate-watching’. The internet has allowed us to connect over our shared hatred of fictional […]

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  • Wogan, 1985. The Grace Jones Moment.

    Wogan, 1985. The Grace Jones Moment.

    One image has stuck to my brain from childhood, one of many, but this one stayed a little stronger and lasted a little longer. For years I remembered a figure wrapped in bandages in front of a microphone. The lights moved, the music started, and they – whoever they were – slowly began to unpeel […]

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  • Cut by The Slits

    Cut by The Slits

    Everything I learned about London came from an album called Cut by a band named The Slits. I bought it at Avalanche Records in Glesga, while at college, one eye on my work, the other on a city that always pulled at me. London needs no explanation. For me, London birthed punk. The real punk. […]

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