I'm mostly based in Edinburgh, which was the first city to achieve UNESCO CIty of Literature status so it's a great place for a writer to be. Edinburgh's City of Literature Trust twice gave me the opportunity to read as part of their Story Shop programme at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, an experience that was an important part of my development as a writer. As well as the International Book Festival, Edinburgh also hosts smaller local ones, like the Portobello Book Festival, and numerous writing events from workshops and literary salons to book launches and author readings in one of the city's many bookshops. It's a wonder there's any time left to write.
When I need to escape, I head back to Ullapool for space and serenity, more bookshops and for its own gem of a book festival in May every year, or to Spain if I'm craving sunshine. I've travelled widely over the years justifying it as a search for inspiration but I've discovered characters are what really make a story for me, and human nature is pretty much the same wherever you go, so I'm looking for a new excuse to get out the passport. "Research" sounds promising in a non-specific kind of way...