Best-selling authors splashdown in Tarbert
Travel tales and crime capers trip off the pages in the latest chapter of Tarbert’s book festival next week.
Headlining, the fifth festival, at 11am on Saturday at Tarbert Arts and Leisure Centre, is travel author and BBC Grand Tours presenter Paul Murton.
He is making waves with his west coast exploration extravaganza – The Hebrides, which included voyages to 80 islands.
One of the festival founders, Lisa Tuttle of Torinturk, headlines the final session on Sunday afternoon
The American author, who moved to Argyll 22 years ago, has written in many genres from science fiction to historical detective fiction. Her latest work is set in 1890 – The Curious Affair of Jesperson and Lane.
On Tuesday Lisa told the Courier: ‘The festival has grown from a conversation at a Loch Fyne Christmas party.’
The islands theme is carried into the afternoon when Alan McKirdy, author of Argyll and the Islands and Landscapes in Stone,
digs up the region’s geology in an hourlong talk.
Cartographer and geographer royal for Scotland, Charles Withers, author of Mapping Scotland’s Islands, continues the day’s theme, but brings the festival back to the surface, in mid-afternoon on Saturday, in his illustrated trip of the maps of the islands.
Earlier, on Friday, at Tarbert Academy, Dr Ken MacTaggart, from Inveraray, author of the bestselling Haynes Manual for Astronauts, will take a giant leap for the festival when he gives pupils’ tips on travel to the outer edges of the solar system.
Dr MacTaggart is joined by Theresa Breslin, whose latest book, of about 40, The Rasputin Dagger, is set in the revolutionary times of the Romanovs.
The flavour changes at Springbank distillery’s Stonefield Session on Saturday evening. After the whisky tasting at 7pm, the festival takes a darker turn into the murky world of Christopher Brookmyre’s fictional investigative journalist, Jack Parlabane. Crime and Nourishment at the Isthmus on Sunday morning starts with an early brunch before Charles E McGarry unmask’s Leo Moral.
In McGarry’s novel The Ghost of Helen Addison Argyll action in a majestic landscape forms the background for his detective to weave his magic.
Lisa Tuttle added: ‘The festival is different every year and it is a matter of getting the balance right.
‘There are many book festival’s in Scotland, but it is a great chance to meet the authors and the end of October is a much better time for Tarbert.’
Author and Tarbert Book Festival founder Lisa Tuttle.
Above: Astronaut’s manual author Dr Ken MacTaggart. Above right: The Astronaut, Owners’ Worshop Manual cover.