Janice books her place for festival debut

Janice Galloway
Janice Galloway

Uddingston author Janice Galloway is looking forward to making her debut at the Solus Festival as she loves interacting with other artists.

Janice shot to fame in 1989 with the publication of The Trick is to Keep Breathing and has gone on to have her work translated into 11 languages.

The fifth annual Solas Festival returns to The Bield at Blackruthven, Tibbermore in rural Perthshire from June 19-21 with an eclectic mix of guests.

Janice joins other literary big-hitters Alasdair Gray, Liz Lochhead and James Robertson, and the line-up also features the likes of hip-hop performers Stanley Odd and Hector Bizerk, comedians Josie Long and Robin Ince, artists RM Hubbert and Shelagh McDonald and music group Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5.

For Janice it is a chance to leave the solitude of being a writer and find out what is happening in the wider arts scene.

She said: “I have done lots of book and literary festivals over the years and they are always great, but I am delighted to be asked to appear at Solus for the first time due to the number of different kids of artists who are there.

“When you are a writer most of your time is spent alone with your computer, but I really enjoy the collaborative process.

“When I first started writing plays I remember the playwright David Greig was very helpful in helping me learn how to turn a short story into something for the stage.

“I like working with other people as you have someone else to bounce ideas off, and I am looking forward to Solus because I will be surrounded by so many creative people and it is wonderful to see what they are doing.

“As an author you have to inspire yourself, but that inspiration can come at any time, you can be shopping in Tesco or standing at the bus stop when an idea hits you, so to be surrounded by such creative energy is sure to provide a spark.”

Janice’s new book of short stories Jellyfish is released on June 22, she admits the success of The Trick is to Keep Breathing created a pressure to live up to, but was never a story she wished to duplicate.

Janice said: “When I was a girl I wanted to be an actress, I didn’t know what it took to be one, but I knew that’s what I wanted to be.

“Unfortunately when I then had the chance I was rubbish at it, and even though I have written plays I have never been tempted to put myself in them, I leave that to people who can actually act.

“If you do something well then people expect you to keep doing it and you get stuck repeating yourself or you force yourself to do something completely different.

“After the success of The Trick is to Keep Breathing I knew that even though people would be looking for another one the audience quickly bore of the same thing and I am always conscious not to write the same book twice.

“I am always impatient to do something different so a collection of short stories is perfect, I am very happy with how Jellyfish turned out and I hope when people get to read it they will enjoy it.”

Janice’s 2002 novel Clara, based on the life of German musician and composer Clara Schumann, has just been translated into Slovenian and Janice was delighted to take a trip there to promote the book.

She said: “I find eastern Europe fascinating and although it seems everyone in Slovenia speaks English it was great to see my work translated into their own language.

“The Slovenian people take their books very seriously and a very cultured people so I find it an honour they are fans of my books.”

For more information about the Solus festival visit Solas Festival