Janice Galloway interview: ‘God save us from shows about one person’

Janice Galloway will be one of those performing at Nomenclature, a celebration of women in the arts, which takes place at Behind the Wall on Friday
Janice Galloway will be one of those performing at Nomenclature, a celebration of women in the arts, which takes place at Behind the Wall on Friday
  • Galloway will appear at Nomenclature, an evening of spoken word and music, celebrating women in literature
  • Author of several acclaimed books will read from latest work at Behind the Wall on Friday

Janice Galloway does not usually spend Friday nights in Falkirk - or anywhere else other than her writing desk.

The award-winning novelist finds producing a regular supply of fiction can easily become an all-consuming passion that leaves little time for going out.

I’m part of a more sophisticated country than I thought, in the way that we think about our politics

Janice Galloway

“I find writing takes up so much time that it gets in the way of everything else - like leading a normal life,” she laughed when The Falkirk Herald spoke to her this week.

The 59-year-old will make an exception to her routine when she appears at Nomenclature on Friday, an evening of music and spoken word performances taking place at Falkirk’s Behind the Wall, featuring several female performers, including Falkirk poet Janet Paisley.

“It’s good to get out and meet new people - and catch up with old friends - when you’re invited to things like this,” she added.

The event aims to be a celebration of women in the arts and literature and organisers are confident the event will prove a sell-out success.

Galloway, who grew up in Saltcoats, Ayrshire, and is now based in Glasgow, admits she accepted straight away when she learned of the invitation to take part.

She liked the idea of the all-women line-up, and the chance to catch up with fellow writers such as Paisley, who she has known for “a gazillion years”.

“God save us from shows that are just about one person,” said Galloway. “The fun thing with these events you have a much stronger chance of finding something new, something that speaks to you.”

Galloway, along with the likes of Liz Lochhead, was one of a new generation of Scottish writers who came to promience in the 1980s.

Her 1989 novel, ‘The Trick Is To Keep Breathing’, is viewed by critics as a modern classic and will be familiar to many senior school pupils who have sat Higher English exams since the turn of the century.

Galloway will release a new collection of short stories, ‘Jellyfish’, in June - but has yet to decide which of her novels or stories she will read from on Friday.

She is also working on a new full-length novel, to be released in summer 2016, and set in the southern Italy city of Napoli.

Aside from writing, she has been engrossed in the on-going election campaign - “it’s a massive stooshie” - and takes great delight in the renewed interest in Scottish politics in general.

“I’m part of a more sophisitcated country than I thought, in the way that we think about our politics,” she said.

“Events like Nomenclature, they are all part of it. It all links together.”

Organised jointly by Falkirk-based arts magazine ‘Untitled’ and ‘The Grind’ literary journal, Nomenclature begins at 7 p.m. Tickets, priced £7, can be bought online at www.untitledfalkirk.blogspot.co.uk.