HUNDREDS of book fans gathered to see one of Scotland's most prolific writers make his debut at a Glasgow literary festival.

Irvine Welsh addressed a sold-out audience at the Mitchell Library on Friday night to discuss writing, his most recent novel and where he gets his inspiration from.

Speaking at the Aye Write festival for the first time, the Trainspotting author and avid independence supporter entertained and fascinated fans young and old as he read excerpts from his new book.

He was quizzed by fellow author Kevin Williamson on A Decent Ride, his 10th full-length novel, in which he uses Hurricane Bawbag as a metaphor for independence.

"What the book was really about ... it portrays something which is supposed to be cataclysmic but really life goes on," he explained.

"When I started it, it was when the referendum had been announced.

"I didn't want to write about the referendum ... I could tell everybody would be really hyped up about it and there would be a really positive reaction from people and a lot of negativity floating around too.

"It was as if we'd all go off to the land of milk and honey or it could be a total disaster, but life isn't like that.

"Neither of these things would come to pass. I kind of used Bawbag as a metaphor for the referendum, or the idea of something transformative.

"We've got this kind of Bannockburn or Culloden mentality ... It's either a massive triumph against all odds or total disaster and self-flagellation."

The 56-year-old Leith-born author also revealed that he never reads his own books and said:" Once you're done you tend to not really want to see them again, they go out of your head a bit.

"Generally you don't want to go back to a book again because all you see is the flaws. You read it and think 'Why did I write that sentence?'

"You're never really satisfied with it but you get to the point where you can't stand it anymore and you hand it in.

"There's a tremendous sense of relief.

"All the things stuffed into your brain suddenly go and you have so much room in your life again - that's a great feeling."

Welsh was just one of dozens of authors featuring at this year's festival, including Christopher Brookmyre, Denise Mina and Allen Bisset.