Author event with Shona MacLean
At our May meeting, our speaker was local author S G Maclean, whose latest book The Bookseller of Inverness is now out in paperback. Shona’s award-winning historical crime fiction is widely acclaimed and very successful, so it was rather cheering for an audience of writers to hear that she'd experienced rejection after rejection, and had even thought of giving up, before her first book was accepted by an agent. She told us to keep trying, and to remember that success involves a bit of luck and good timing (an intern had picked her manuscript out of the slush pile). Shona’s passion for her subject brings history and her characters to life, and her talk was thought-provoking and full of interest. For example, she spoke about the creative challenges of combining historical fact with imagined characters and stories, and of presenting the language and attitudes prevalent in the 17th & 18th centuries to a 21st century readership. And we learnt that choosing the right name can be much more difficult than you'd think.