Sunday 2 February 2020

Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo ~ Anne Pettigrew

On this quiet Sunday morning why don't you put the kettle on, make your favourite breakfast, and settle down for Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo

I'm delighted to welcome, author Anne Pettigrew

☼ Good morning, Anne. Happy Sunday!

What favourite food are you bringing to Sunday brunch?

I love brunch- time to chat. Shall bring Scottish Smoked Salmon of course, and eggs for scrambling!

Would you like a pot of English Breakfast tea, a strong Americano, or a glass of Bucks Fizz?

I’d like to bring you some Darjeeling- the Queen of Teas! Every time we visit the family we’ve supported in Northern India for some years they give us packets of the stuff. Delicious.

Which of your literary heroes are joining us today?

I am bringing along the brilliant plotter Christopher Brookmyre, and shall communicate with the Other Side to fetch the eighteenth-century Joanna Baillie, niece of Anatomist William Hunter, descendant of William Wallace and feted in her day as a ‘Shakespeare’ though sadly now forgotten. I’d also like to resurrect David Niven whose The Moon’s a Balloon remains the funniest thing I've ever read. So, we’re set for tips from Chris, tales of Joanna’s London salon with Wordsworth, Coleridge etc and old Hollywood gossip from David!

What’s the title of the book nearest to you?

‘When the Dogs Don’t Bark’ by Prof Angela Gallop- full of forensic stuff useful for a writer. She gave me a signed copy at Bloody Scotland.

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What’s the oldest book on your book shelf?

A Kilmarnock edition of The complete Works of Burns that belonged to my father. Sadly, not a first edition which would be worth a fortune.

Which book do you really want to read but haven’t had time for …yet!

I have a huge tbr list, but people keep telling me I must read The Catcher in the Rye.

Do you have a guilty reading pleasure, and if so will you tell us about it?

There are times you just want to be curled up and on a sofa beside a fire with mug of hot chocolate and escape into one of Simon Brett’s cosy mysteries or E.F. Benson’s clever Mapp and Lucia series.

If the house was on fire which book would you rescue?

My Dad’s Burns. He gave me my love for books and poetry. I’d also grab my Kindle!

Do you have a reading/writing playlist on Spotify, or a favourite CD to listen to when reading/writing? And if so will you share with us a favourite song or piece of music that makes you feel happy?

Probably because no study distractions were encouraged while growing up, I write in silence apart from the seagulls outside. My musical taste is eclectic, from Mozart to the Beatles- granted, a bit Yesterday, but after all, it was a Long and Winding Road to becoming a Paperback Writer! Sorry, couldn’t resist.…

Do you have a favourite place to settle down to read/write?

My son’s old bedroom for writing. It looks out the back of the house to a wood. For reading? Anywhere: planes, trains, sofas (see above), garden seats, beach loungers…

Give us four essential items that a writer absolutely needs?

A brain (though mine can be lacking sometimes…). 
A laptop (must be able to cut and paste, can't with a pen and notebook- how did Maureen Mitchell write Gone With the Wind?)
A Thesaurus (for when number one isn’t on the ball) and a husband or partner who makes the tea when you get lost in the plot! Not sure a woman needs a room of her own, as Virginia Woolf famously said. Many writers, like J.K. Rowling, have managed in cafes.

What can you tell us about your latest novel, or your current work in progress?

My first novel, Not The Life Imagined was blurbed (is that a word?) as ‘a multi-layered, darkly humorous novel exploring gender discrimination, sexuality and the power of friendship in sixties Scottish medical students.’ Its rollercoaster story with #metoo, discrimination, disappearing bodies and devious colleagues won me runner up in the Scottish Association of Writers Constable Prize 2018 and its crime elements won me a place as a Crime Spotlighter (fun be thought ‘up-and-coming’ at 69…) at the big Bloody Scotland Crime Festival this year. My book royalties benefit charity Plan International. Book two, a more specific crime/psychological thriller with the same main character as NTLI, Beth, has her uncovering a medical serial killer. It is with the publishers. My third book, set in Oxford, has a post-grad mother and daughter sleuthing a professor’s death and a student’s disappearance during the Iraq War. With my ex-tutor at Glasgow Uni and her editing group, I am being forced to produce chapters to a deadline! 

Ringwood Publishing

Glasgow-born, family doctor in Greenock, Scotland for 31 years, graduated from University of Glasgow (Medicine 1974) and Oxford (MSc Medical Anthropology 2004): worked in psychiatry, women’s health and as a journalist. In retirement took Creative Writing Classes at Glasgow University aiming to pen novels about women doctors- largely unrepresented in literature unless as pathologists/Mills & Boon. Member of several writers’ groups. Winner of short story competitions. Lives in Ayrshire

Twitter @pettigrew_anne

@jaffareadstoo #SundayBrunchwithJaffareadstoo

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