‽ Interrogation – Kaite Welsh

As you may already know, INTERROBANG‽ is hugely excited to have the opportunity to team up with 404 INK again to launch the third issue of their literary mag: 404 INK – POWER.

And this is not least because we get to hear from one of our favourite writers and a star of 404 INK’s legendary Nasty Women, KAITE WELSH.

Kaite Welsh giving it some literature
Kaite Welsh: Superpower – being awesome

Kaite is an author,  journalist and professional lesbian. Her debut book The Wages of Sin, the first in a series of Victorian feminist crime novels starring fallen woman, medical student and amateur sleuth Sarah Gilchrist, was published in 2017. The second novel, The Unquiet Heart, is due out in August 2018. She covers LGBT issues for the Daily Telegraph, agitates for LGBT rights on national radio and has a colour-coded five year plan.

And these are her reflections on POWER

‽:  Knowledge is power. But if you could have any superpower, what would it be?

KW:  Honestly, I’d settle for being to do 100 squats without wanting to cry.

‽:  Oof! That’s bringing a tear to our eye. Moving on…! We love a launch. Can you remember what it was that launched you on your literary adventures?

KW:  These two plaques in the University of Edinburgh old medical school building – one to Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, and one to Sophia Jex-Blake, one of the first women to study medicine at Edinburgh. The idea of a crime-solving lady doctor in the 19th century was born then… (see the answer below for what happened next)

Unrecorded Sophia Jex-Blake talent: building narrative tension…

‽:  It’s the festive season. What, other than a copy of 404 Ink’s POWER, would make a good gift for a loved one?

KW:  A copy of my debut novel The Wages of Sin, out now from all good publishers. [Well, *certain* good publishers! ? – Ed.] Plucky Victorian heroines! Horrible Victorian medical procedures! Feminism! Murder!

‽:  Ricky Interrobang’s partner has already powered through it! Oh well. Back to the drawing board…. There are loads of great songs with the word Power in the title. Do you have a favourite that powers you up? Or failing that, a power ballad that’s a guilty pleasure?

KW:  The entire Girl Power album by 90s pop heroines Shampoo. The title song is this poppy anthem about violence and drinking and female friendship – you think it’s going to be this Spice Girls-eque lipstick and glitter version of womanhood and actually it’s this incitement to violence on alcopops. 

(note: Kaite endorses neither violence or alcopops – it says here – unless it’s the cranberry Archers they used to do in 2001.)

‽:  People are telling us how much they’re looking forward to the launch of POWER. Without giving too much away, can you tell us a little bit about what you’ll be sharing with us?

KW:  Vlogmas with a difference. And by ‘difference’, I mean ‘cursed advent calendar’. 

Sounds scary! But we’ll all get through it with an alcopop or two. Find out what happens when Kaite opens the doors of her cursed advent calendar at the launch party for 404 INK’s Issue 3: POWER this Friday, 8 December from 7pm at Summerhall. Get your tix here while you can.


Congratulations to our pals at 404 INK, who won the Saltire Society’s Emerging Publishers of the Year for 2017 last night. We’re sure you’ll all agree that it’s hugely well deserved.

Meala-naidheachd, 404 Ink!
Countdown to the National Trust for Scotland plaque starts here…

And congratulations to us for having the opportunity to host the launch of 404 Ink Issue 2: POWER in Edinburgh this coming Friday, 8 December. The mag includes work by Interrobang veterans, pals, and known associates Andrew Blair, Ever Dundas, Rebecca Raeburn, Ross McCleary, and Stuart Kenny, so we can’t wait to encourage people to get it in their hands.

Danger of levitation‽
Thanks to Flint & Pitch’s Cameron Foster, it looks great, too.

Even better, the launch event features performances from Ross, the incomparable Kaite Welsh, Siobhan Shields, and the fabulous Helen McClory – author of Mayhem & Death, coming March 2018 from 404.

We’re also promised wonderful music and more shenanigans, so get your tickets now, follow 404 INK on Twitter @404Ink, and STAY TUNED!!!

The launch party for 404 INK’s Issue 3: POWER takes place this Friday, 8 December from 7pm at Summerhall. Get your tix here while you can.


How Was It For You?!

We’ve had our First Time, and let us tell you, it was pretty memorable!

CUE: Applause!
Can’t wait for more Interrobang?! Scroll down for details about our forthcoming appearance at the Oxjam Edinburgh Takeover!

Thanks to our featured guests, Stuart A. Paterson, Kaite Welsh, and Ross McCleary. Thanks to our brilliant volunteer performers. Thanks to our intrepid “Margery” and “Gerald” for submitting to Jacques’ Big Two-Hander.

Thanks to Jacques Tsiantar for gently initiating Gerald and Margery into our recurring bit, and for handling the sound desk. Thanks to Ricky’s bandmate in Nerd Bait, Paul, for providing music. Thanks to Andrew Perry for these awesome photos, and for mucking in at the door. Thanks to the folks at Woodland Creatures for taking such good care of all of us.

Weren't they brilliant?!
“Gerald” and “Margery” prepare to shake hands vigorously for THE FIRST TIME!

Most of all, thanks to our audience for taking a chance on our first time as Interrobang?! – your enthusiasm really made the night for us! We think Stuart put it best:

Not a single appreciative, reverential ‘mmmm’ was heard after any poem. Great crowd, loud crowd, love it!

Now Interrobang?! is booked in for two more preview shows at Woodland Creatures on the first Friday of November and December. Keep checking in here or on our Twitter or Facebook for more details as they emerge. A cracking second night is already taking shape!

Do they like us?!
Great crowd! Except beardy speccy at the back!

But first, Beth and Ricky will be performing in a half-hour slot at the Oxjam Edinburgh Takeover this Friday, 15 October. Their set will take place at the Grassmarket Community Project, and begins at 2:45pm.

For its spoken word strand, Oxjam is particularly interested in

poetry and writing that experiments with music and material that addresses feminism or poverty

and we can exclusively reveal that Ricky Interrobang’s bit will hit at least two of these bases with the help of Nerd Bait. Beth Interrobang has some awesome stuff up her capacious creative sleeves, too!

But keep the JAAMs – they're fab.
Kick out the jams – it’s Interrobang?! time!

As a friend of Interrobang?! you can take advantage of discounted tickets at this link. And your ticket will give you complete access to five venues around Old Town and 30+ acts from Edinburgh’s music and spoken word scene!

All the money raised will go to support Oxfam’s Emergency Fund, which provides clean drinking water and sanitation to communities hit by disaster.

Big round of applause for you!
We hope to see you there!





The Interrobang Interrogation – Kaite Welsh

The last of our featured guests, Kaite Welsh, has taken a few minutes to complete The Interrobang Interrogation in time for The First Time tomorrow night. Thanks, Kaite!

No looking up the answers!
Kaite Welsh submits to the Interrobang Interrogation

Kaite Welsh is an author, critic and journalist. You may have heard her on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. Her novel The Wages of Sin, a feminist historical crime novel set in Victorian Edinburgh, is out from Headline in June 2017. She also throws a cracking Eurovision party.

And here’s how she answered our questions:

?!:  The theme of the first Interrobang is The First Time. When did you first realise you wanted to write?

KW:  I remember being around 8 and deciding I was going to be a poet. I stayed up all night once and wrote 26 poems, all of which were dreadful, and several pictures of horses to accompany them although most of the poems weren’t even about horses. People think I’m productive now, but when I was 8 I was on fire. In the end, my poetic abilities didn’t stay with me to adulthood – I was in my first year of uni when I realised that if I wanted to be a writer I had to, you know, write something and spent a few years writing short stories and experimenting with literary fiction (although it turned out that was just a phase).

?!:  And what’s the first book you remember reading?

KW:  The first book I remember being read to me was The Hobbit, when I was around 2 or 3. My mother read it to us as a bedtime story, complete with voices – I’m pretty sure that’s where Andy Serkis took his Gollum voice from. Then, when I was learning to read at primary school, I remember her taking this hardback Everyman edition of Jane Eyre down from the bookshelf, reading the first few pages aloud and saying to me “This is why you’re learning to read.”

?!:  What song would you like as your entry music? Or should we just choose something?

KW:  My wife and I eloped and I never got a chance to walk down the aisle to The Wedding March, so that or the James Bond theme. It’s my jam.

?!:  What are your most and least favourite words?

KW:  Most: “We’ll pay you.” Least “There’ll be terrific exposure!”

?!:  Anything else you’d like to share with us?

KW:  My first book, The Wages of Sin, is out next year. It’s a historical feminist crime novel about a fallen woman turned medical student turned detective in 1890s Edinburgh. It’s available for pre-order if you want to get your hands on it the moment it’s published, although like they say in the Bodyform advert, you don’t have to – you just can.

Thanks a lot to Kaite for indulging Interrobang’s Interrogation. Come along to Interrobang – The First Time on 7 October and find out why you learned to listen!

The First Time?!

7th October sees the first preview of a new monthly spoken word and music night in Edinburgh that has a slightly different flavour. What is INTERROBANG?!

Thanks, Sparta BlokeWell, not exactly. Read on…

INTERROBANG?! is a new spoken word and music night in Edinburgh. It’s not in competition with anyone – we’re fans of the Edinburgh spoken word scene. But, like we say, it’s a new thing with a new flavour. And you can participate!

INTERROBANG?! is democratic spoken word & music and meritocratic prizes. It’s a land of exclamation and question making and all the nuances in between.

Interrobang 0.1 is a preview. A warm-up. A soft opening. Your chance to let us know how we can make INTERROBANG?! something special to you.

Or in a field, in Hampshire.
I’ve left a very important part of my brain somewhere on Leith Walk

Interrobang 0.1 is three invited and established writers and spoken word performers, as well as three audience members who have brought along 5 minutes of material and been pulled out of the hat. They’ll all be entertaining us on the topic of THE FIRST TIME. And Interrobang 0.1 will also the first outing for what may be recurring bits.

Your hosts Beth Cochrane and Ricky Monahan Brown will be introducing, among others, ROSS McCLEARY, STUART A. PATERSON, and KAITE WELSH. But we need you, too – INTERROBANG?! is your show, and we’d love your feedback on how we can make it what you want to see.

Connect with us here, at Twitter @InterrobangEdin, on Instagram, on Facebook, and on Eventbrite.

And we’d love to hear your pieces on THE FIRST TIME!!

A TARDIS holds the capacity of Odl Trafford, 1976
A bunch of interrobangers

Interrobang 0.1 will be Edinburgh’s version of the Sex Pistols at the Lesser Free Trade Hall. You’ll want to say you were there. Bring a friend. Bring many friends. We can’t wait to introduce you all to INTERROBANG?!