Tell us about your connection to Wigtown and to Wigtown Book Festival
Wigtown is a bit like Brigadoon. It is all that exists when here, and like it never existed when away. It has proven completely irresistible to us. I am an author and storyteller, my beloved is the minister of Kirkcowan and Wigtown Parish Churches and our son is an avid reader.
Sum up your festival experience in 5 words
Just two words: Exhilarating. Exhausting.
What is your favourite festival memory?
It is a little known fact that over 2,000 children and young people are brought into the Wigtown Book Festival through its schools programme each year. I am privileged to welcome them (350 kids at a time) and warm them up for the authors to follow. We rock the main marquee with funked up folk tales and fables, silly songs and laughter- all of which echo throughout the nooks and crannies of the town. We have cooked wolf stew, met the silliest man in the world, pulled up a ginormous turnip, sent a giant troll down a raging river, met a rapping squirrel, made a delicious imaginary peanut butter and jelly sanny and tried to answer the existential question of why the old woman swallowed a fly- to no avail. And, we have done it all while dancing the Bugaloo with brilliant authors like Debi Gliori, Philip Aardagh, Shoo Rayner, Sarah MacIntyre, Stuart Reid . . . to name but a few. The memories that originate during the bookfest, often resonate throughout the year as I am regaled by silly songs (complete with an American accent) while shopping, walking across the street, or visiting schools. Once a group of children even rang my doorbell and carolled me with a song I had taught them. Favourite festival memory? The kids. Priceless.
Who would be your dream author to appear at the Festival?
Garrison Keillor (who hails from my neck of the woods)
Dav Pilkey- but only if he brings Captain Underpants with him!
Give us one recommendation or top tip for Wigtown, the Festival or D & G
Wigtown is not just for book lovers, but for life. The Festival is not an event, but an experience. Dumfries and Galloway is not a destination, but a dream.