A CELEBRATED rising star of Scottish fiction is to make a special appearance at Balloch Library at the beginning of next month.

Literary fans are invited to spend an evening in the company of Claire Askew, whose, first poetry collection, This Changes Things, was shortlisted for the Saltire Society First Book of the Year award in 2016.

Her debut novel, All of the Hidden Truths, has also received rave reviews.

It follows the aftermath of a shooting in a fictional further education college, committed by a seemingly-ordinary young man, who also kills himself at the scene.

A shrewd examination of the human condition, it is told from the point of view of three women – DCI Helen Birch, the shooter’s mother, and the mother of one of the victims.

The novel and her other work will be discussed at the event, which takes place on October 1 from 7.15pm to 9pm and is free.

Claire told the Reporter: “I was 10ears old, and attending a small Scottish primary, in 1996 when the Dunblane massacre happened. I remember it having a seismic effect on my school, my community, and on Scotland as a nation. Now that school and college shootings are, sadly, increasingly common in America, I hear people say ‘at least that doesn’t happen here in the UK.’

“But the people of Scotland know that it has happened - we’ve been through that shock and mourning.

“That I really wanted was for someone else to write a novel about this topic, set in Scotland - but no one did. In the end, I realised I’d have to do it myself, and All The Hidden Truths was the result.

“There are themes about parenthood, grief, responsibility, and how well you ever really know your loved ones. I imagine there’ll be some discussion of all those things, plus, I’ll see what questions the audience want to ask me.

“I’m looking forward to coming and talking to an audience outside of Edinburgh where a lot of my events have been, thus far. I’m looking forward to hearing how people receive the book elsewhere.”

To register visit eventbrite.co.uk/e/claire-askew-tickets-50391252593.