Tabby Stirling in conversation with Andrea Samuelson

Saturday 31 August

Venue: Stade Hall

14.00 to 15.00

Tickets: £7.50

Join novelist and publisher Tabatha Stirling in conversation with local author Andrea Samuelson.

It’s not often you meet someone who is so open and honest about everything life has thrown at them. 

Tabby was an addict, bulimic, anorexic and a cutter. Her darkness comes from a four-decade battle with Bi-Polar Disorder. “It has been an intense, exhilarating, intrusive and at times, quite terrifying ride and I don’t expect it to ever change.”


She trained and practised as a psychologist and counsellor however, her passion is writing. She is a published author, poet, book cover artist and has set up her own independent publishing company in Scotland where she lives. 

“There were endless years where I just didn’t care. I was happy for that overdose to come, for my heart to give out, for my body to be violated. I was in a station waiting room holding on for death.

The irony is that I am a naturally optimistic woman but the darkness and the ever present struggle to stay sane because of my Bi-Polar – seeps into every aspect of my writing and gives it flavour, colour and I hope, credibility. 

I fish in the blue-black depths of my characters – I raise their shadows and make them sing. Celebrating the murderous, the psychotic, the jealous, the rageful, the black, white and red of them.”

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear Tabby in frank conversation about her darkness and how she has thrown it into her writing.     

Tabby’s latest novel Bitter Leaves (Unbound) is a compelling expose of modern slavery in Singapore, where she lived for some years. Bitter Leaves vividly conjures up the world of rich ex-pat women and their maidservants in what is a dark but ultimately redemptive story.

There will be plenty of opportunity for Q & As and interaction with the two authors.

Tabby Stirling

Tabatha Stirling lives in Edinburgh, Scotland with her family and a depressed beagle called the Beagle. A published author and poet, Tabby signed with Unbound for her debut novel, Bitter Leaves in August 2016, and it is currently being serialised at The Pigeonhole.  She is a great fan of everything zombie, literary fiction, specifically beautifully written stories with a bit of menace (Lesley Glaister, Jean Rhys, Joyce Carol Oates), writing set in Asia & Africa, (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Doris Lessing, Gil Courtemanche) and epic fantasy that makes her want to beg for the trilogy (Robin Hobb, Pierce Browne, Hugh Howey, Angela Carter).  A delicious slice of historical fiction doesn’t go amiss either.

Her publishing credits include LITRO, Literary Orphans, The Nopebook, Scottish PEN, Mslexia, Camroc Fiction Press, Spelk Fiction, Feminine Collective, Twisted Sister and Sick Lick Magazine.  Tabby is a member of The Society of Authors and The Federation of Scottish Writers.  Tabby is also a contributor to the Unbound anthology A Wild & Precious Life  about addiction and recovery, edited by Lily Dunn and Zoe Gilbert.

Tabatha manages the imprints Stone Cold Fox Press and Skiddaw Books.

Andrea Samuelson

Andrea Samuelson is the author of Cradle Song, a book of poems about her great-grandmother’s incarceration in a mental asylum and her own hospitalisation for post natal depression. Andrea is currently working on a novel about Vivaldi and the Foundling Hospital of the Pieta. Her poetry has been published in the Rialto  and her short fiction has been published in Mslexia, Front and Centre and QWF. She won the Peterloo Poetry prize in 2009. She has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing from the University of Sussex and teaches Creative Writing at Bexhill College. 


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