Kerry Hudson is back after the stunning debut,Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-Cream Float Before he Stole my Ma. She talks about her new book, Thirst, today at 3pm. 
 
Your first book had a great reception (and your second looks to be going much the same way!). What did you learn from that experience?
 
I was totally overwhelmed by the warmth and generosity of the response to my first book. As a young working class woman I was pretty much told at every turn that my voice was not one which people wanted to hear. As a result, even when I had a publishing deal with the mighty Random House my expectations were low. So it was incredibly liberating to discover there was a huge amount of compassion towards stories about young people on the margins, that there is a tremendous appetite for unusual or lesser-heard voices.    
 
 
What drove you to write Thirst?
 
I wanted to explore love, loneliness, the intersection between love and need. I also wanted to tell the story of the sort of people most of us walk by every single day and don't think a single thought about - security guard, an immigrant - and, like Tony Hogan..., I wanted to tell a story of hope, dignity and bravery in the face of hard things.  
 
 
What would you like to see more of in modern fiction?
 
It won't surprise anyone to hear I want to see society's broader spectrum reflected in literature. More writers from different backgrounds can only ensure a richer literary culture. This year I set up the WoMentoring Project (www.womentoringproject.co.uk) which offers free mentoring to talented female writers who couldn't afford writing development otherwise - my hope is the scheme will prize open the gates to the ivory towered kingdom of publishing at least a little bit.
  
 
What are you looking forward to at the festival?
 
First of all I've got to say it's been a wee ambition of mine to speak at the Wigtown Book Festival since I was first published so I'm dead excited to be coming to meet you all. On the day I'm appearing Robin Ince is doing his Big bad Book Club and he's a very funny man, so I'm hoping to catch him and then head over to see The Bevvy Sisters for a dram and a dance. See you on the dancefloor!