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3 November 2014

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Ronald Frame

Profile - Ronald Frame

I had my first two short stories published in The Glasgow Herald when I was 17. For reasons I can't account for I didn't take up writing again for several years. When I did, it was more short stories which appeared. I think of them now as having written themselves: they just floated up to the surface once they were ready.

Some of those stories were published in a book anthology devoted to five new authors. Then my first novel was accepted for publication by another London publisher, and was joint winner of a prize for new young novelists. It was set in the early 1960s, and was about a journey taken through wintry Europe by a ten-year old girl and her parents; the tale was told by the girl as a grown-up, 20 years later.

Since then I have alternated novels (some of them big and sprawling) with collections of both short stories and novellas. Novellas can be thought of as either long short stories or little novels, somewhere between 90 and 150 pages, and you should be able to read them in one or two sittings - I am very fond of that length of tale, but think it has more popularity in Europe (or almost anywhere else) than here in Great Britain, and I wish I could persuade people to write and read more of them.

Many of my plays have been broadcast on BBC radio, including three series of a popular serial set in a huge spa hotel in the Scottish Highlands. I remember listening to radio dramas in my teens, and feeling that they let me use my imagination in a way that TV didn't. Radio was, and is, closer to you.

I have also written for TV: more plays and the acted-out portions of drama-documentaries (one on the Darien Scheme, a great disaster in Scottish history, and another on Oliver Cromwell).

One of my recent novels was chosen as Scottish Book of the Year.

My favourite subject at school was composition. It set my mind free, to go anywhere in the world and to become any character I wanted to be - and always felt to me a bit like a holiday!

Ronald Frame

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