Last week was a cracker for press coverage at Birlinn books. Neil Forsyth started it all with an interview on BBC Breakfast News on the subject of spam email and a great little plug for the hilarious Delete This At Your Peril (did you follow this on BBC Radio 4? VERY funny programme. Still on catch up if you hurry!). Six days of coverage for Alistair Moffat’s the Scots: A Genetic Journey followed in the Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday; an interview with Alistair on BBC Radio 4’s the Today programme AND on STV’s The Hour; plus of course an episode of his radio programme based on the book on BBC Radio Scotland.
And the unique and quite fabulous Alexander McCall Smith was on fine form with an exhausting schedule of events and interviews. Monday saw Alexander with his publicist in Hexham for an event with Cogito Books. Tuesday was Newcastle for interviews and an event with North Words at the Tyneside Cinema. Wednesday was London and interviews followed by our annual event for Daunt Books in Marylebone High Street and dinner at the very nice Galvin Bistro de Luxe on Baker Street. Thursday morning took us to the BBC studios for Breakfast Television interview with the lovely Bill and Sian, then a lunchtime event for supporters of Pelican Post with the lovely Clemency Burton-Hill and a quick drive over to Bath for the Bath Festival and an event with Decca Aitkenhead. Friday was a signing in Bath at Toppings Books before a flight back to Edinburgh in time for a packed house at an event in St Mary’s Cathedral. We finished the week with an event and interviews in Glasgow for the Aye Write festival. All went incredibly well.
Exciting times at Birlinn Ltd. Scott-land by Stuart Kelly is BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week from 16 August 2010! This is a gem of a book, thoroughly enjoyed by readers – whether they are an expert on Walter Scott, have a passing interest in the man and his work, or just want to know more about Scotland and its relationship with England – none more so than MSP, Michael Russell… ‘The book is (in my view and I use the term very rarely) a contemporary masterpiece – absorbing , clever, intuitive, scholarly and enlightening. I feel I know more about both the author and the country, or perhaps to be accurate I have more questions ( and perhaps more worries) than I had before, though I have also had a great measure of entertainment in getting to that state… a magnificently intelligent book which will help and engage many others too.’
NOT TO BE MISSED, find it on BBC Radio 4, Monday 16th – Friday 20 August 2010, 09.45–10.00 (or on BBC i-player).
Sunday morning was spent back at the Borders Book Festival. Glorious sunshine and very good ice-cream. Alistair Moffat was talking with co-author Dr Jim Wilson about their work in progress, a book to be published by us here at Birlinn on Census day 2011 (1 April). The subject is the DNA history of Scotland and Alistair and Jim kept the audience (another packed tent-theatre) absolutely gripped as they talked about the Viking ancestry of the Orkney and Shetland Islands, the similarities between the DNA of the Scots and the English – and the differences, the journey of the first Africans who left that continent and populated the world. And all uncovered from generous members of the population offering their spit into tiny pots for the purposes of research.