Best-selling author of smash-hit Labyrinth, Kate Mosse, says she loves book festivals.
It is, she revealed, because such events help break the solitude a writer must cloak themselves in when working and lets them actively engage with their readers.
Many writers probably dread being buttonholed by fans of their work at events, but not so Mosse, who this week told us: “I’ve never been to the Borders Book Festival, but I’ve heard a lot about it and it sounds really good fun.
“I think events like this are a great way for readers to engage with writers they really enjoy, and they provide writers with a fantastic chance not just to meet readers, but also your peers and friends.
“And it’s great because writing is a very solitary business – by its very nature it is something private and personal.”
In Melrose, Mosse will talk about her work, life and new book Citadel.
The final instalment in her Languedoc Trilogy that began with 2005’s massively-successful Labyrinth, Citadel will be published just a few days after Mosse’s appearance at Melrose.
Citadel tells the story of Sandrine, a young woman drawn into the French Resistance.
Mosse and her family own a home in Carcasonne in south-west France, where the trilogy is set, and she says living in the region increased the burden she felt to faithfully depict events from a time that still provokes raw emotion in France.
“I never before had the experience of writing and weeping at the same time. There are still cafes in Carcasonne which certain people will still not go into because of choices made by their parents or grandparents during the German occupation.
“One of my anxieties was that the people of Carcasonne would be saying ‘who is this Englishwoman that thinks she can write our history’.”
But before she progresses on to anything else, however, Mosse is boning up on the novels of Rider Haggard for the festival’s Melrose Mastermind event.
“My subject is the Allan Quartermain books. Now that’s going to be really nerve-wracking,” she laughed.