5 Questions with Debi Gliori

4 August 2014

Tell us about your connection to Wigtown and the Book Festival

I'd never been to Wigtown until I was invited a very long time ago to take part in the Book Festival. That was when the children's events took place in a tent in a church hall. See? AGES ago. But I was smitten. And that was the year you had Mark Lynas talking at the Festival about climate change which was a game changer for me. I came home from Wigtown a changed woman. Many years later, I managed to distil that experience into a children's book about climate change - The Trouble with Dragons. Since then, I’ve seen the Festival grow in wonder and extent and become the established festival that it is today. It has miraculously managed to hold onto its youthful innocence and charm, which makes it utterly unique. But mostly I love Wigtown for being a festival set in the perfect autumn, harvest festival town. For being surrounded by shining seashore. For friendly people. For books and reading being the absolute focus of this place for this time. 

Sum up your festival experience in 5 words

Transformative, warm, buzzy, expansive, engaging.

What's your favourite festival memory?

Vast fried breakfast in Shaun's kitchen the Sunday the sinks blocked catastrophically. I felt like Wigtown family. The proper authors sit at a linen-clad table and eat lobster, but only family get bacon and eggs in the middle of domestic meltdown. People - you are GOLDEN. And I do so hope your plumbing got sorted out.

Who would be your dream author to appear at the Festival?

JRR Tolkien. Ideally. But if necromancy isn't your strong suit, I'd be awfully chuffed if you could rustle up Stephen King. Then we could play some disreputable rock and roll together at Wigtown's Got Talent, and I could fulfill my lifetime ambition of playing with the Rock Bottom Remainders. ( *sigh*)

Give our visitors one recommendation or top tip for Wigtown, the Festival or D&G

Be open; don't come with expectations of what a festival should be, let Wigtown show you its secret heart. It's nothing like anything else. It is truly transformative.


Debi's website can be found here