RLSDay Q&A: Carol Farrelly

Robert Louis Stevenson Fellow 2013

In the run-up to RLS Day 2014, Edinburgh’s way of marking Robert Louis Stevenson’s birthday each 13th of November, the City of Literature Trust asked several people with a special relationship to his work, to answer a few RLS-inspired questions.

by: Sarah Morrison – published 13 November 2014

Carol Farrelly was a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellow in 2013 and spent the summer in France working on her first novel, This Starling Flock. Her stories have been published in The Irish Times, journals such as Stand, Edinburgh Review and New Writing Scotland, and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. She been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, the Fish Prize and the Asham and she has won the international Lorian Hemingway Short Story Prize.Find out more at www.carolfarrelly.com.

RLSDay 2014 Q&A


RLS got around France on a donkey. If you had to tootle around Europe, which animal would you choose?

A border collie. Alert. Loyal. Up for a good hike or two.

Louis had some amazing adventures in the course of his travels – what’s yours?

I spent a wonderful year in Italy. Every day that year was an adventure, as I adapted to another culture which is so much more in your face and in your body than Scottish culture. All the glorious food and wine and architecture too. It rejuvenates you being somewhere new – time is slower and richer.

On revisiting a friend in Venice, we did motor boat our illegal way down the Grand Canal towards the islands on a starry night. That was a small and very beautiful adventure…

While we’re still on the subject of adventure, what travel ambitions do you have, and what haven’t you done yet that you wish you had?

I’d love to travel to South America – Brazil and Argentina. Also the Scandinavian countries. There’s a lovely contrast. As for ambitions as yet unfulfilled (there’s always hope!) I would like to learn to tango.

You get the chance to go to one RLS-associated place in the world – which would you choose?

Hmm, difficult choice… Tahiti!

Which RLS character – from any of his books – would you like to be for a day?

Alan Breck. Another adventurer. A man of principle, who would also enjoy a bottle of…

Yo ho ho and a bottle of…?



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