Posted by: gillarbuthnott | August 21, 2014

Bookfest Blog #3

imagesI’ve had great fun over the last couple of days doing my own events. The strawberries behaved beautifully on Tuesday and allowed me to extract their DNA in front of an intrigued crowd who asked some really sophisticated questions about DNA and what we can do with it. I hope there have been lots of people extracting DNA from fruit and veg in their own kitchen as a result! On Wednesday I spoke to pupils from Edinburgh, Fife, Ayr, Lenzie and Mull (I hope I haven’t missed anyone out…) about some ways to approach their own writing. They were a great audience, asked lots of perceptive questions and I hope lots of them will be entering this year’s Pushkin Prize.

I’ve been spectating too, listening to Val MacDermid twice in two days: once on her crime fiction and secondly on her reworking of Northanger Abbey as part of The Austen Project. She is always incredibly entertaining and has given me a new phrase this year, which she quoted from E L  Doctorow; ‘driving in the dark’ writing. This is what I do all the time in my fiction ie not planning, and only being able to see a little way in front of you.  Sounds so much better than ‘making it up as I go along’.

If you follow this blog you’ll know that my DNA book ‘What Makes You You?’ has been shortlisted for the Royal Society Young People’s Book Award. You can listen to an interview with me if you follow this link.

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