Greetings, creatures! I come bearing good news – Goblin won the Saltire First Book Award 2017. I’m delighted. I had some tough competition, so it’s a real honour to win. Many thanks to the Saltire Society and the judges. Writing may seem like a solo effort, but it takes many people for a book to come together, so my thanks to everyone who’s supported me and championed Goblin over the past few months. Massive congratulations to Scottish Book of the Year winner, Kapka Kassabova, and all the other winners and shortlistees.
Winning the Saltire First Book of the Year is a great boost at the end of a quite a difficult year after what happened with my previous publisher, Freight Books. It’s also particularly lovely news just before Goblin is republished by the wonderful creatures at Saraband today. You can buy it in your local bookstore and online:
Amazon: paperback and ebook
Hive: paperback and ebook
Given the subject matter of Goblin, I’ll be donating part of the prize money to the fantastic Tribe Animal Sanctuary Scotland (TASS), Cats Protection, and Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home. If any of you creatures can spare some money, please donate and help their brilliant work (TASS have an amazon wishlist, and if you’re in Edinburgh you can pop by their tattoo shop with a donation).
Goblin is one big love letter to storytelling, so here’s to all the fabulous storytellers in the world. Long may you flourish. Praise the lizards!
You can listen to Kapka and I on Edi Stark’s Winter Weekend (around 37 minutes in).
Peter Ross wrote this incisive review of Goblin for the Guardian:
“Dead things can’t die; weirdos always find each other… It is a celebration of freakery, of creating one’s own family; a meditation on trauma and loss and abandonment (in both senses of that word) which, somehow, is never bleak. Goblin brims throughout with a kind of reckless joy.”
Alistair Braidwood at Scots Whay Hae! has written a lovely, thoughtful review of Goblin:
“Perhaps the central theme of the novel is respect. Goblin treats everyone she meets, human and animal, as an individual and equal until they prove to be otherwise. It’s a book which should be read as widely as possible as it has at its heart the same kindness and compassion as its central character, attributes which are underrated in fiction.”
The Skinny have included Goblin in their Christmas gifts round-up:
“Empathy is all that ever stands between us and carnage, so be kind.
The Perfect Gift For: Your vegan-ish friend who seems like they don’t fully know what they’re doing. Your friend who’s still kind of messed up from Okja.”
The Bookseller: Rankin and McDermid urge halts to Scottish Arts Cuts.
I signed an open letter asking that funding cuts to literature be halted, and commented to the Bookseller:
“All too often I hear the arts dismissed as a frippery and a luxury, but the arts and storytelling were a lifeline for me when I was growing up, and I know it’s saved the lives of many others. If only the privileged can afford to pursue a career in the arts, then our culture will be myopic and impoverished. Arts funding is incredibly important.”