Alison Irvine, author of Cat Step, in conversation with Outwith Books


Wednesday 9th December

7pm -8pm

Zoom; join from 6.50pm in the waiting room


Alison Irvine’s latest novel Cat Step was inspired by interviews with former cruise ship dancers and elderly residents of a housing complex. Her first novel This Road is Red was based on true stories of residents of Glasgow’s Red Road Flats.

In this discussion Alison will talk about how she uses real life stories as a jumping-off point for her fiction and how this compares to the way she approaches her creative non-fiction writing. She will look at how to frame a story around the smallest of anecdotes or how to approach the writing-up of an interview that is scattered with stories and memories.

She will also discuss the ethics of working with other people’s stories and talk about some of the techniques she’s borrowed from oral historians such as recording and transcribing interviews and sharing transcripts.

Alison was born in East London and moved to Glasgow in 2005 to study on the MLitt in Creative Writing at Glasgow University. Her first novel This Road is Red was shortlisted for the Saltire First Book of the Year award.

She is the writer in the artist collective Recollective. Together they have documented the untold stories of many of Glasgow and Scotland’s people, buildings and places. Their most recent documentary project on Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom, Barrowland Ballads, was published in 2019.

Cat Step is published by Dead Ink Books: