Thanks to everyone who came along to Tidelines 2018

we had a blast! With over 1,000 tickets sold over 4 days for 18 events we can confidently say that 2018 was our best year yet, and plans are already afoot for 2019. But no need to wait a whole year for more Tidelines – we have our next Tidelines Taster coming right up! Read on to find out more.

Some comments from the 2018 audiences:

‘Relaxed, informative, humorous, excellent’
‘Cosy atmosphere’
‘Fantastic speaker and first time I’ve been to Tidelines – defo be back’
‘Stories were great. Thought provoking.’
‘Wonderful stories. Held everyone’s attention.’
‘A very friendly atmosphere and a well-researched subject full of humour and anecdotes’
‘Fantastic talks, great venue.’
‘Interesting, informative, entertaining, thoughtful.’
‘Great atmosphere.’
‘Good idea, good crowd, great entertainment.’
‘Interesting account of a writer’s craft. Relaxed and entertaining.’
‘Well organised. Comfortable. Great author.’
‘Very accessible, good environment.’
‘Thought provoking, entertaining.’
‘Very poignant and moving.’

You can view the programme below or view the brochure here.

  • Tide Lines Band
  • Dane Love
  • Helen Bellany
  • Cameron McNeish
  • Fiona Gibson
  • AlexGray
  • Janice Galloway
  • The McDougalls
  • Pat Young
  • Douglas Skelton
  • Struan Stevenson
  • Carry on Sleuthing
  • Voices from the Jungle
  • Graeme Macrae Burnet
  • Francis Gay
  • Erlend Clouston
  • 50 shades of fiction
  • Pitch and Punt


Michael J. Malone

It’s Tidelines Book Festival time again – here in the beautiful harbour area of Irvine. Our volunteer led committee are all massive book lovers and we are delighted to present a programme guaranteed to delight bibliophiles of any taste.

Variety is our speciality and we invite you to stretch yourself with events like Fifty Shades of Fiction, our Murder Mystery Play, and past and present Scottish literary talents like Booker nominee, Graeme Macrae Burnet, and sessions that celebrate the peerless talents of Nan Shepherd and Muriel Spark.

And DON’T forget our Tidelines Taster events – one-offs that run throughout the year. We have favourites Chris Brookmyre and Stuart Cosgrove already booked for autumn/ winter – details at the end of the programme.

Anna Quindlen said,“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” To each and every one of you – welcome home.

Michael J Malone

Author & Tidelines Book Festival Trustee

Thursday 27 September

Festival Opening with Tide Lines Band

Join us for Scotland’s most upcoming multi-talented four piece band, Tide Lines, whose debut single, Far Side of the World charted higher than Beyonce, Coldplay and Adele. Heavily influenced by the trad music of the Highlands and Islands, and fresh from their sell out Spring tour and Summer Festival dates at Bearded Theory, HebCeltFest, Belladrum and more, we are delighted to welcome Tide Lines to Tidelines!

Thig còmhla rinn fhìn is Tide Lines, còmhlan cho mòr ann an Alba le ceathrar cho tàlantach agus gun do shreap iad air thoiseach air Beyonce, Coldplay agus Adele leis a’ chiad chlàr singilte aca ‘Far Side of the World’. An-dèidh dhaibh a bhith air cuairt shoirbheachail earraich agus aig na fèisean samhraidh Bearded Theory, Fèis Cheilteach Innse Gall, Belladrum is eile, tha sinn air ar dòigh fàilte a chur air Tide Lines gu Tidelines! Le taic bho Comhairle Siorrachd Àir a Tuath.

With support act of traditional music from North Ayrshire pupils.

Sponsored by North Ayrshire Council

7.30- 10pm at the HAC – £12/£10 concession

Tickets available from the HAC box office on 01294 274059  or  book online    

Friday 28 September

Fifty Shades of Fiction (over 18s only)

You have heard of Fifty Shades of Grey, now let Tidelines Book Festival introduce you to Fifty Shades of Fiction. An evening of cocktails, fun and naughty readings, hosted once again by Nippy Nora (parlour maid extraordinaire), author Gordon Brown (not that one!) and Claire Gray Wilson (Still Game’s Seonaid). Giggles guaranteed. Can you get through the evening without blushing?

Ticket price includes 2 free cocktails. Further cocktails available to purchase. Non-alcoholic cocktails available.

6.00-7.30pm at The Puffers Cafe – £12 incl. 2 free cocktails – over 18s only

Tickets available from the HAC box office on 01294 274059  or  book online    

Dane Love –  Scottish Frauds and Hoaxes

The story of five amazing frauds and hoaxes, including four from Ayrshire, part of the author’s The Man Who Sold Nelson’s Column and Other Scottish Frauds and Hoaxes. Dane Love has written about nineteen of the most audacious fraudsters in Scotland, including Arthur Furguson, who sold Big Ben. The Ayrshire stories are about the Buchanites, who started in Irvine, Rev Thomas Clifford of Ayr, The Burns Temple Hoax in Kilmarnock, and the Burns manuscript forgeries. Join us for an hour of subterfuge and skull-duggery in the company of one of Ayrshire’s most accomplished historians.

Dane Love was born in Cumnock, Ayrshire. He was educated in the town, followed by Jordanhill College of Education in Glasgow, from where he graduated as a schoolteacher. He currently works as a Principal Teacher at Irvine Royal Academy.

Dane has had a long interest in Scottish and, in particular, local history. He has spent many hours travelling around the country, researching for his books. His first book was published in 1989, since when he has written dozens more.

Dane Love is a member of numerous organisations, including the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Ayrshire Archaeological & Natural History Society, Scottish Covenanter Memorials Associations, etc.

Dane is married to Hazel, and they have two children, Dane (the third!) and Gillian. They live in the Ayrshire countryside, not too far from Cumnock.

6.00-7pm at HAC – £6

Tickets available from the HAC box office on 01294 274059  or  book online    

Cameron McNeish – There’s Always the Hills

Cameron McNeish is an established figure on the Scottish and British outdoor scene. As editor of TGO he increased circulation and established the magazine as Britain’s premier walking publications. He is the author of many books and presenter of many outdoor television programmes including on long distance walks. He contributes a monthly column to The Scots Magazine.

Join Cameron for an evening of outdoor appreciation and anecdotes as he candidly recalls the ups and downs of a full life, much of it in the public eye, much of it until now unseen. His best-selling book, There’s Always the Hills, follows Cameron’s journey from his childhood in Glasgow to a successful career in broadcast and journalism, living and working in some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth.

Sponsored by Air Na Creagan Mountaineering and Hillwalking Club.

8.00-9pm at HAC – £8

Tickets available from the HAC box office on 01294 274059  or  book online    


Saturday 29 September  

 Fiona Gibson – Tidelines Writing Workshop (Over 16s only)

Best-selling author Fiona Gibson shares her advice and tips on writing fiction – from getting started to finding a publisher – along with extracts from her latest novel, The Mum Who’d Had Enough. Fiona started her writing career on teen magazine Jackie, then went on to edit Just Seventeen and More!, where she invented the infamous Position of the Fortnight. Fiona lives in Glasgow with her husband Jimmy, their teenage daughter and a collie cross called Jack (her twin sons have flown the nest). Apart from writing, she also loves to draw, paint, cook and run, and is training for her first marathon.

Booking essential. 

11.00am-12 at HAC – £6 – over 16s only

Tickets available from the HAC box office on 01294 274059  or  book online    

Pitch and Punt – A workshop for new writers 

Are you a writer with an unpublished/self-published novel or story collection? Here’s a chance to step up to the mic and show us what you’ve got! Are you a book-festival goer interested in hearing something completely new? Come along and listen! With a panel of experts ready to share their advice and a networking opportunity included, this is for new writers and adventurous audiences alike. WRITER SPOTS BY APPLICATION ONLY further information here

1.00-3pm at HAC- Free for participants / £3 for audience members (incl. tea/coffee) – Suitable for over 14s

Tickets available from the HAC box office on 01294 274059  or  book online    

The McDougalls Singalong Storybook

Auntie Aggie, Morag and Max are back for Tidelines 2018 and are ready to bring stories to life through action, songs and musical mayhem. Dress up as your favourite fairytale character and get ready to clap your hands, stamp your feet and join in the fun!

2.00-3pm at Fullarton Connexions- £3 each or £10 per family of 4 (2years+)


Tickets available from the HAC box office on 01294 274059


Helen Bellany – The Restless Wave

Helen Bellany was partner and muse of the critically acclaimed artist, John Bellany. An artist in her own right, she and John were married twice and had three children together.
The Restless Wave, gives a candid insight into their marriage, their loss to one another, their second marriage and their life together to the end.
John Bellany’s painting The Dawn Pearl at Port Seton Harbour is currently on display at the Scottish Maritime Museum as part of the exhibition Maritime Perspectives: Collecting Art of a Seafaring Nation.




2.00-3pm at the Maritime Museum- £10 (incl. entry to Scottish Maritime Museum)

Tickets available from the HAC box office on 01294 274059  or  book online    

Erlend Clouston – Zen and the Art of Rucksack Maintenance: Nan Shepherd’s extraordinary journey from flaneur to the RBS fiver

Erlend Clouston worked for the Guardian for 19 years. He knew Nan for the first three decades of his life, and the last three of hers.

Here he takes a sideways look at the life, career and influences of this extraordinary writer, whose great work The Living Mountain is suddenly all the rage. Featuring Jefferson Airplane, Philip Marlowe, community singing and a one-man re-enactment of the bombing of Aberdeen, this event was an Edinburgh Book Festival sell-out.

3.30-4.30pm at HAC – £6


Tickets available from the HAC box office on 01294 274059  or  book online    

Voices from the Jungle: Stories from the Calais Refugee Camp

Calais refugees tell powerful stories of childhood dreams; genocides, wars, and persecution; the terror and strengths of their extraordinary journeys; the realities of the Calais camp and their hopes for the future. Join Majid Adin, one of the authors, who will tell his story, and reflect on his experiences. Corinne Squire, a co-editor, will describe the complexity of producing the book and will read extracts from other contributors in what promises to be an interesting and thought provoking event.


4.00-5pm at HAC – £6


Tickets available from the HAC box office on 01294 274059  or  book online    

Struan Stevenson – The Course of History: Ten Meals That Changed the World

Many decisions which have had enormous historical consequences have been made over the dinner table, and have been accompanied (and perhaps influenced) by copious amounts of food and wine. Struan Stevenson brings to life ten such moments in his new book The Course of History, exploring the personalities, the issues and of course the food which helped shape the course of history.

5.30-6.30pm at HAC – £6



Tickets available from the HAC box office on 01294 274059  or  book online    

Graeme Macrae Burnet – The Accident on the A35

No to be missed, Kilmarnock-born Graeme Macrae Burnet is one of Scotland’s brightest literary talents and Tidelines is delighted to welcome him to the Festival for the first time. Graeme’s first novel, The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau (Contraband, 2014), was longlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award and was a minor cult hit. His second novel, His Bloody Project, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2016, won the Saltire Society Fiction Book of the Year Award 2016, and was shortlisted for the LA Times Book Awards 2017. It has been published around the world.

His latest novel is a darkly humorous and sophisticated literary mystery, exploring the forgotten corners of small-town life.

7.00-8pm at HAC- £8

Tickets available from the HAC box office on 01294 274059  or  book online    

Janice Galloway – There’s something about Muriel: The Genius of Mrs Spark

Muriel Spark is one of the most extraordinary writers of the 20th Century, and 2018 marks the centenary of her birth. Prolific, needle-bright and sharp as a tack, her novels shine as brightly today as they ever did. Janice Galloway talks about the work, wit and no-nonsense style of one of Scotland’s most original writers, in an event suitable for both fans of Muriel Spark and for those unfamiliar with her work alike. This event is part of Muriel Spark 100 centenary programme. More information at





8.30-9.30pm at HAC – £8

Tickets available from the HAC box office on 01294 274059  or  book online    

Sunday 30 September

The Sunday Post’s Francis Gay – Through the Ages

Francis Gay – in the Sunday Post longer than Oor Wullie or The Broons – has become a fixed part of the Scottish cultural identity. But where did he come from, where is he going, and is he really 117 years old?

Join author and current incarnation of the Sunday Post columnist, David McLaughlin, for answers, readings, and a trip down memory lane. What a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

2-3pm at HAC – £6 

Tickets available from the HAC box office on 01294 274059  or  book online    

Alex Gray – Appearance and Reality: a crime writer investigates

Alex Gray was born and educated in Glasgow. After studying English and Philosophy at the University of Strathclyde, she worked as a visiting officer for the DHSS, a time she looks upon as postgraduate education since it proved a rich source of character studies. She then trained as a secondary school teacher of English.

Alex began writing professionally in 1993 and had immediate success with short stories, articles and commissions for BBC radio programmes. She has been awarded the Scottish Association of Writers’ Constable and Pitlochry trophies for her crime writing.

A regular on the Scottish bestseller lists, her previous novels include Five Ways to Kill a Man, Glasgow Kiss, Pitch Black, The Riverman, Never Somewhere Else, The Swedish Girl and Keep the Midnight Out. She is the co-founder of the international Scottish crime writing festival, Bloody Scotland, which had its inaugural year in 2012.

3.30-4.30pm at HAC – £6

Tickets available from the HAC box office on 01294 274059  or  book online    

Pat Young – I know where you live

If you love to read (or write) psychological thrillers come along and hear author Pat Young talk about her best-selling novel Till the Dust Settles and its sequel I know where you live. Find out why Lucie’s story starts in New York on 9/11 and ends in an Ayrshire village, and how an assault on her husband gave Pat the idea for that chilling title.

5-6pm at HAC – £6



Tickets available from the HAC box office on 01294 274059  or  book online    

Douglas Skelton book launch – The Janus Run

Scottish author Douglas Skelton will launch his latest novel The Janus Run at Tidelines. Douglas has written 11 true crime and Scottish criminal history books but is now concentrating on fiction.

The Janus Run is a New York-set thriller described as ‘Jason Bourne meets The Sopranos’. Coleman Lang is a man with a past he’d like to forget. But when his lover is found dead in his bed, he becomes the prime suspect and has to tap into long dormant skills to survive. With the law, the feds and the mob on his tail, he dodges bullets and bodies across the Five Boroughs.

6.30-7pm at HAC – free


Tickets available from the HAC box office on 01294 274059

Carry on Sleuthing – Murder at the Knickerage

Who killed underwear magnate Silas Bouncé? Following last year’s riotous success, Sleuth Letitia Luvibod returns in a new manic murder mystery and the audience can help unmask the killer – if they can spot the killer among the jokes, ad-libs, dodgy accents and a pantomime horse. Featuring crime writers Caro Ramsay, Theresa Talbot, Pat Young, Michael J. Malone and Douglas Skelton


8-9.30pm at HAC – £8


Tickets available from the HAC box office on 01294 274059  or  book online