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Book Talk: Lucy Ribchester, Elisabeth Gifford, Lucy Hughes-Hallett

February 5, 2015

In our first set of interviews for 2015, Ryan Van Winkle talks to Lucy Ribchester, Lucy Hughes-Hallett and Elizabeth Gifford about suffragettes, mythology and the fascist poet who wanted to create his own utopia.

Lucy Ribchester is the Edinburgh-based author of the recently-published The Hourglass Factory, her first novel. As well as being shortlisted for this year’s Costa Short Story Awards, Lucy is a previous recipient of a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award. The Hourglass Factory tells the story of Frankie George, a young reporter who becomes entangled in the messy, passionate worlds of the circus and the suffragettes when she meets Ebony Diamond, a mesmerising trapeze artist who uses her skills to fight for votes for women. Lucy opens up to Ryan about her inspirations, the fascinating world of those early suffragettes and why it took her five years to finish the book.

Elisabeth Gifford is the author of Secrets of the Sea House, a fascinating novel which explores the interaction between history and myth. Based in the Hebrides, the book looks at the mythology of the islands and of the sea, and what happens when the two appear to come together in the form of a dark discovery. The book enjoys a very definite sense of place, and Elisabeth chats to Ryan about the culture of the Hebrides, the link between the sea and those who live by it, and the responsibility she felt in dealing with such an interesting culture. Elisabeth’s new novel Return to Fourwinds is out now.

Finally, Ryan speaks to Lucy Hughes-Hallett, a Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction winner and author of The Pike: Gabriele d’Annunzio, a searing biography of the man who believed he was the greatest Italian poet since Dante. The book was awarded the 2013 Costa Book Award for Biography of the Year, and the subject matter is certainly eye-opening. d’Annunzio was a creative, daredevil and fascist whose life goal was to establish a utopia based on his political and artistic ideals. Lucy talks Ryan through the intensely thrilling world of this strange man and the way his life unfolded.

Podcast contents

00:00 – 01:09 Introduction
01:10 – 13:19 Lucy Ribchester interview
13:20 – 19.08 Elisabeth Gifford interview
19:09 – 29:33 Lucy Hughes-Hallett interview

Book Talk is produced by Colin Fraser of Culture Laser Productions.

Ryan goes Turbo with Valve Magazine

March 28, 2014

I’ll be reading with some fine folks who have had stuff published in Valve Journal, an excellent literary compendium. Come hang with us on Friday April 11 at The Poetry Club in Glasgow.

Your favourite literary journal (right?) is having a night of fun at The Poetry Club to celebrate all the good people we’ve come across since we began in 2011.

Rounding up some of our favourite writers published in Valve over the last three years, we’ll kick off with readings from some of Scotland’s most dazzling literary talent (and no, we’re not biased at all).

You’ll be treated to words in sentences from:

Moustache owner and mighty wordsmith RYAN VAN WINKLE

Paisley’s finest poet GRAHAM FULTON

MARY MCDONOUGH CLARK, surfer of emotions and ideas

Scottish Book Trust New Writer’s Award-winning LUCY RIBCHESTER, and

Ever-entertaining observer of geriatrics on public transport ANDREW BLAIR

After readings there will be some good old fashioned Valve fun then dancing ’til the wee hours with a DJ set.

Come and be merry with us.

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