Review of May Event: Gordon Brown

By Irene Ross

Our guest speaker at the Reading Room in May was Gordon Brown, author not politician, as he was quick to clarify. Gordon is from Glasgow and, after University, spent many years working in marketing roles before finally making the jump to pursuing a career as a full time writer.

Gordon’s talk was hugely entertaining, veering from humorous tales of finding inspiration in strange situations to key intelligence on writing and editing. He painted a wonderful verbal picture of watching a fight between two Glasgow drunks and observing the complete disengagement of the only other customer in the bar and then posing the typical writer’s question of ‘What if?’. Ultimately this led to the first of his series of books about Craig McIntyre, the possessor of a very strange skill. He also has a series of crime novels based in Scotland (Charlie Wiggs series), with an accountant as the rather unlikely lead protagonist.

Having books set in the UK and in the US, he is well placed to highlight the potential pitfalls in terms of vocabulary, location and editing of mixing the two. He also regaled us with tales of his own shortcomings when, even after several readings and major editing, the eagle-eyed reader spies the error which everyone else has overlooked – even down to making his hero go to the wrong side of the platform on the Glasgow underground!

He is one of the founding members of the Bloody Scotland book festival and touched briefly on its history, although he was unable to give us too much information on the 2019 festival, as he was speaking to us before the official launch. For more details on the event, which takes place from 20th to 22nd September in Stirling, see

Gordon finished the evening by reading one of his short stories to us. A tale which had us laughing out loud but had a gruesome twist in its tail! For more information on Gordon and his work, see his website at:

Join us at Edinbane Hall on Tuesday 25th June for our next meeting, featuring performance poet Harry Gallagher and an open mic session.


Tues 30th April

Notice of AGM and speaker on Tuesday 30th April

The Reading Room AGM

Tuesday 30th April 7.30 pm at Edinbane Community Hall.

Ian Williams will entertain us as soon as the AGM is over..

Everyone welcome so bring a friend or two along.

AGM 2019 – Notice and Agenda

The Annual General Meeting of The Reading Room (Seòmar Leughaidh) will be held on Tuesday 30th April 2019 at Edinbane Community Hall during the April Meeting.

The meeting will begin at 7.30 p.m.


  1. Apologies for absence
  2. Minutes of the last AGM (24/4/18)
  3. Treasurer’s Report
  4. Chair’s Report
  5. Election of committee members
  6. Election of office bearers
  7. AOB

Please submit AOB items to a committee member in advance or email on or before 23rd April 2019.

AGM 2019 papers will be available here shortly.

Irene Ross

Helen Fitzgerald at the Reading Room – a review by Rachel O’Connor

The Reading Room was pleased to host author Helen Fitzgerald at our recent May meeting. Originally from Australia Helen now lives in Glasgow with her family. She has had an interesting journey to becoming an author which began with screen writing where she said she learnt a lot about the planning and structure of writing until she realised her passion really lay with writing novels. In fact her first novel ‘Dead Lovely’ started life as a screen play before Helen decided to turn it into a novel and Helen talked about how she visualises her stories on TV and how each scene will play out.

Helen has written 12 books. She’s in the middle of finalising her most recent work ‘Worst Case Scenario’ and we were lucky to have her read some of it to the group. The story is influenced by Helen’s previous job as a criminal justice social worker and was a mix of gritty storylines mixed with black humour.

TV rights to one of Helen’s novels have actually been snapped up by the BBC. ‘The Cry’ has recently been filmed with Jenna Coleman and will be showing on our screens in September.

Helen was a very generous speaker sharing with us her insights on writing and publication and giving advice to those budding writers within the group.