1. What are you looking forward to most at this year’s festival?

I love the energy and exchange of ideas, experience and stories that comes when authors and readers gather together. This is my first visit to Wigtown so there is also the pleasure of finally visiting a place and festival I’ve heard so much about.

 

2. Where do you source inspiration for your work from?

The people I meet around the world through my work in conflict transformation and peace-building, my own very human experience, and the reading and research I do for work and pleasure. My most important teacher regarding conflict transformation work spent twelve years in the Maze prison for murder. His experience and how he worked with it has, along with many other powerful encounters, changed my thinking radically.

 

3. Your work deals with the idea of flaws strengthening the human character rather than weakening it. Are there any figures (real or literary) you can think of who have been labelled as a ‘flawed’ character to which you disagree?

Every human being is flawed to varying degrees, so there is no one to whom the label does not apply. I enjoy authors who capture the flawed complexity of being human. Hilary Mantel does this brilliantly in her portrayal of Cromwell. 

 

4. Who would be your dream author to appear at the festival?

How to choose among so many possibilities! For my regular Radio 2 book review slot on Clare Balding’s ‘Good Morning Sunday’ I’ve reviewed Rachel Joyce’s two books, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, and The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy. Both made me laugh and cry and were profoundly human. I’d love to hear Rachel talking about them.

 

5. Do you have any tips for aspiring young authors?

I don’t think I’m a good enough writer to offer tips, but I think if you love writing, you should write and keep writing. Whether or not your work is published you’ll have given yourself a great deal of pleasure.

 

Tickets are still available to Ruth Scott's 'The Power of Imperfection' at 4.30pm on Friday 2nd October. To book, please call the box office on 01988 403222. Tickets £7.