Kirkland entertains in Kilsyth

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Local writer Kirkland Ciccone hosted an event in Kilsyth last week.

During the “meet and greet” at Scotia Books, Kirkland promoted his debut novel, Conjuring the Infinite, and showed off the Catalyst Book Award he won for it.

He also entertained his guests, including fellow writer Cathy McPhail, with a version of the humourous autobiographical slideshow he has been taking around schools in North Lanarkshire.

The slideshow, presented in fancy dress, covered his experiences growing up in Cumbernauld and how he became a writer.

He fell in love with books due to spending much of his free time in Cumbernauld library.

Kirkland shared thoughts on a number of his favourite books from that time, including the works of Roald Dahl, the Sherlock Holmes stories and Nancy Drew, as well as a few less fortunate examples including Cooking With Pooh “at least five people must have looked at that book and nobody questioned the title”.

Kirkland said: “I had a great time, and everyone enjoyed themselves. This is a good thing!

“I don’t think there’s an author on the planet who would step into a book event dressed as a mad genie with a LIDL bag in his hand. My humour is a bit wacky.

“I have four emails from libraries in Edinburgh, which is a big deal.

“I’m suddenly in demand, which you know isn’t an overnight thing.”

Following on from the success of Conjuring the Infinite, Strident Publishing are working on his second novel, due for paperback release on October 30.

He said: “Endless Empress: A Mass Murderer’s Guide To Dictatorship In The Fictional Nation Of Enkadar (because a crazy young adult book deserves a crazy title) will be out as a paperback edition in bookshops/libraries first, but it’ll definitely appear in digital form at some point afterwards.

“Endless Empress is quite a vicious little book, and I expect some controvery, possibly - but I swear I see it as a comedy.

“I have so much to say, and the younng adult genre is perfect for delivering my messages to the world.

“There is more to the teen reads scene than vampires and werewolves and John Green.

“Endless Empress is a high school massacre story, with the main protagonist being a teenage fantasist who decides that her own fantasy world is better than the real world...so she declares war on the real world, beginning with her hometown.

“And her little gang of misfits are only too pleased to join in, but of course you can’t live in fantasy forever.

“And that’s when they all turn on each other.

“I’m really proud of it.”