Name: Louise Welsh

Latest Book: Death is a Welcome Guest

A Book That Made Me: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

The book that made me is also the first book I remember being read to me, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. Blind Pew twisted the arm of poor wee Jim Hawkins and demanded that he lead him to the old sea captain. He delivered the black spot, the captain fell in a swoon on the floor and the chapter ended. My father closed the book and declared ‘time for bed!’ - but there was no sleep for me that night. I had learned the visceral power of literature. I still like a book with a rip roaring plot, the kind of story that keeps you awake at night. Those are the kind of novels I aspire to write. I’m always happy when a reader tells me that something I’ve written has given them bad dreams.

Name: Hollie McNish

Latest Book: Nobody Told Me

A Book That Made Me: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis

There is no question what the first book was which truly blew my wee head off. I was about twelve. Read it every night in bed, torch under the covers style. Followed those kids through the fur coats into the snow. Fell in love with Mr Tumnus. Had my guts wrenched at his maltreatment. Sobbed into my pillow as Aslan moaned. Then sat open-mouthed, silent for hours in the pitch black of my bedroom as those lives I’d followed transfixed were dashed in one split second back into original childhood. I would sell my soul to re-live that shock; that first glimpse of time travel; that feeling of awe and endless possibilities. In my grannie's attic there was a wardrobe full of fur coats that led to a secret tunnel. That helped too!

Name: Chris Brookmyre

Latest Book: Black Widow

A Book That Made Me: The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

When I was growing up, in contrast to today’s wealth of Young Adult fiction, we were offered a diet of horribly anachronistic and patronising fare, which is why H2G2 was a revelation to my teenage self. I savoured its mix of science fiction, escapism and boundlessly inventive humour: it was an idiom that I related to on an almost genetic level, and definitely sowed the seeds of my own narrative style. Courtesy of a legendary ZX Spectrum game, it also intersected with my early love of video games, and my own game/novel cross-over Bedlam definitely had its roots in the misadventures of Arthur Dent.

Name: Stuart Cosgrove

Latest Book: Detroit 67:The Year That Changed Soul, and Young Soul Rebels

A Book That Made Me: Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jnr

One day at school our English teacher Mr Hopkins announced that he was going to recommend some books preceding his list with the cautionary warning that some of the titles had been censored. It was the perfect sales pitch, normally a bumbling man, he enjoyed a brief period of full attention as pupils jotted down titles they hoped would be racy, obscene or as close to pornography that the Scottish school's system would allow. It turned out to be a master class of great 20th Century American fiction - books by Upton Sinclair, John Dos Passos and J D Salinger. The one that stood out for me was Last Exit to Brooklyn. The title fuelled an already virulent passion for urban American subculture. Its structure was lively and its uncompromising portrayal of twilight bars, speed-balls and anti-heroic transvestites felt marginally more thrilling than Perth.

Name: Alexei Sayle

Latest Book: Thatcher Ate My Trousers

A Book That Made Me: The Sword of Honour Trilogy by Evelyn Waugh.

I always loved Evelyn Waugh from the first time I read Decline and Fall even though he was a right-wing alcoholic who hated the working class. The Sword of Honour Trilogy though is his masterpiece, a trio of books relating the wartime experiences of Guy Crouchback, priggish and diffident officer in the Royal Corps of Halberdiers. Blissfully funny and irredeemably tragic, the finest evocation of the wasteful and perverted nature of warfare. If I ever went on Celebrity Mastermind (which I never will) my specialist subject would be the Sword of Honour trilogy.

Name: Professor Tom Devine

Latest Book: Independence or Union: Scotland’s Past and Scotland’s Present

A Book That Made Me: Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

I read Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson when still a boy at primary school and it made an enduring impression on me. To someone at that age the book's first appeal was as a cracking good adventure yarn with a host of memorable characters. The evocation of the ?eighteenth century Highlands during the aftermath of the '45 was also stirring and colourful. That made a big impression. At the time I found school history tedious and uninspiring, but books like Kidnapped kept my interest in Scotland's past alive until I was able to discover the intellectual fascination of the subject when I became a university student.

Name: Luke Wright

Latest Book: What I Learned From Johnny Bevan

A Book That Made Me: Ten Years In An Open Neck Shirt by John Cooper Clarke

On December 12 1998 I saw John Cooper Clarke, Martin Newell and Ross Sutherland perform poetry on stage. I had no idea what to expect before the gig. It changed my life. Stand-up poets could make you laugh like comedians, enrage and engage like political speakers, and carve your heart into little pieces with their more tender poems. What's more they looked damn cool doing it. Until a recent reprint, Ten Years was a very rare book. I paid £40 for my copy and poured over it, trying to work out how he did it. It became a how to guide for my career.

Name: Colin MacIntyre

Latest Book: The letters of Ivor Punch

A Book That Made Me: Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson

I discovered this book at just the right time in my writing career and it has helped me find my voice on a page. The sparseness of the Scandinavian landscape – not unlike Scotland – seems to be reflected in the prose. It is narrated by an old man living alone in the woods of Norway, near the Swedish border. There are flashbacks to his childhood when a tragic event involving his friend forever shaped him. It is such a truthful, human voice, but brutally unsentimental. Even the dog in it stays with you. It inspired me to record a song, 'Out Stealing Horses', featuring King Creosote.

Name: Meg Rosoff

Latest Book: Jonathan Unleashed

A Book That Made Me: The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss

Apparently my mother first read The Cat in the Hat to me when I was two. This explains a lot, as it reads like a post-modern anarchist’s handbook. Taking him as my (somewhat terrifying) role model, I spent a lifetime carefully, painstakingly honing my skills so that I, too, could sneak into children’s homes when their mothers weren’t paying attention and convince them to do the wrong thing. It took time and effort, but I’m proud to say that nowadays I AM The Cat in the Hat.

Name: Phil Redmond

Latest Book: Highbridge

A Book That Made Me: Animal Farm by George Orwell

I read it during my formative teenage years, while beginning to recognise the gulf between the ‘you can achieve everything through education’ line, and the realities of the decaying post-industrial landscape I had to pass through on my way to and from my comprehensive school. It opened my eyes to the fact that all organisations, however revolutionary in intent, require structures to function and with that comes hierarchy and from that dominant and then ruling elites too often merge. It also set me on a path as a writer and programme maker to highlight and undermine the ever-present danger of the ‘us and them’ culture. People like Trump, Farage and co are the new Napoleons.

Name: Irma Kurtz

Latest Book: My Life in Agony

A Book That Made Me: Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne

I had decided go for a degree in English Literature in spite of my parents concern that it would get me neither a decent job nor a decent husband. We English Lit “majors” at Columbia University worked hard, all of us reading hard to pass exams, that is, until I opened Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne. Scampering next to Tristram through his eccentric odyssey opened my mind to lifelong revelation: good jokes go deep and the author of good jokes is no less a genius because he makes the reader laugh aloud as I was doing to the astonishment of the students around me in the college library.

Name: Leila Aboulela

Latest Book: The Kindness of Enemies

A Book That Made Me: The Hanging Ode of Antarah ibn Shaddad

I left school in Sudan with all ninety verses in my memory. Years later, when I started to write in English, Antarah’s Arab voice kept me company and urged me on. One of the grandest pre-Islamic poems that hung on the Ka’aba, it follows the conventions of its time – lamenting the beloved’s departure and boasting about the poet’s skills in battle. But Antarah’s bitterness ignites these lines into one long passionate sweep. Born into servitude, the son of a tribal chief and an enslaved Ethiopian, Antarah is the rebuked outsider. His ache for self-worth and freedom beats its way in every rhythm.

Name: Maggie O’Farrell

Latest Book: This Must Be the Place

A Book That Made Me: The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

I first read this while living in Hong Kong. I had just graduated and I walked into the British Council library, looked around me and was struck by the thought: I can read whatever I want. It was quite a revelation after the treadmill of studying for exams. I’d never read any Angela Carter before and it just blew me away: the audacity, the verve, the ingenuity of her writing. I remember thinking, I want to do that. I read it from cover to cover and then I turned it over and read it again.

Name: Matt Haig

Latest Book: Reasons To Stay Alive

A Book That Made Me: The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger

I have many books that shaped me and made me and my answer to this always changes. I would probably say, rather boringly, that The Catcher in the Rye was the book that first made me understand the power of what a book can do. That a book wasn’t there to simply educate, or entertain, but could actually speak directly to your soul. I read The Catcher in the Rye when I was about 13 or 14 which was the perfect age. Holden Caulfield became a friend to me. Someone who understood, and the words burnt into me from across the sea and across the decades and inspire me still, as a writer, to show how real and raw a novel can be.

Name: Adam White

Latest Book: Motown: The Sound of Young America

A Book That Made Me: The Death of a President by William Manchester

I was a Bristol teenager, obsessed with the visceral energy of Motown, when this was published. Manchester’s powerful prose and forensic detail matched the conviction of the music I loved, compelling me to understand its social and political context. I came to realise how the tragedy of Kennedy’s death advanced civil rights legislation under LBJ. Within a year of reading Manchester, I was subscribing to US political journals such as The New Republic, The Progressive and (to heed the “other side”) National Review. My loyalty to Motown endured and, in 1971, Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” finally reflected the America I was reading about.

Name: Alex Gray

Latest Book: The Darkest Goodbye

A Book That Made Me: The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

Why this particular book? Well, I think escaping into a different world with all the detailed description of setting and characters plus a dangerous quest were exactly what this fledgling writer needed. Middle Earth may not bear a great deal of resemblance to Glasgow where I set most of my crime fiction but the fight between good and evil appealed to my imagination then and spurs me on to this day. The fellowship's journey bears similar elements to a police procedural where dangerous killers are at loose and armed gunmen might be lurking around every dark corner like orcs or black riders.

Name: Frances Quinn

Latest Book: Quintessential Baking

A Book That Made Me: The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit

The Flavour Thesaurus is an ingenious and inspirational book. Following the format of the Roget's Thesaurus it is the first book to examine what flavours and ingredients work together best. It came into its own when I was coming up with ideas on the Great British Bake Off, sometimes providing too many pairings and possibilities! As well as being an incredible useful and informative point of reference, it’s also beautifully presented. Although containing no photos or illustrations, the stunning colour palette and pie chart design on the book's cover makes it both a kitchen and coffee table classic.

Name: Neil Mackay

Latest Book: The Wolf Trial

A Book That Made Me: Dracula by Bram Stoker

Dracula blew my tiny mind when I was 12 years old. From the opening scenes, as Jonathan Harker crosses the Carpathians on his way to the Borgo Pass and his rendezvous with the undead Count, I was a captivated and hysterical mess. I couldn’t bear for the book to end, and as a kid who had some odd idea about becoming a writer one day, all I wanted to do was create a novel like this which had the same power over readers as Bram Stoker had over me. Forget the TV and Hollywood versions of Dracula – not one has done this gothic masterpiece justice. No matter how old you are, if you haven’t read Dracula, go and read it right now, and lose yourself in the greatest horror story ever told. This book will last forever.

(This guy is the editor of the Sunday Herald, so we did not allow him to edit this article. Yours, Sunday Herald staff.)

Name: Janet Ellis

Latest Book: The Butcher’s Hook

A Book That Made Me: Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis.

Forced to care for her young nephew when his parents die, Mame has no intention of altering her indulgent, high living ways - involving plenty of alcohol and unsuitable men. Despite this, she is loving and caring and provides her charge with an education of sorts, albeit one without a certificate. When I first read it, I identified with Patrick, the narrator. He's an innocent who doesn't question his aunt's unorthodox childcare methods. Later, I realised Mame is actually all of us, struggling to appear grown-up while struggling with the adult world. It's fast, clever and, above all, really funny. As Mame says: 'Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving.'

Name: Bob McDevitt, Programmer Aye Write Festival

Latest Book: The Aye Write 2016 Programme

A Book That Made Me: Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

Sometimes books find you at just the right time and I read this series of novels in the early 90s when I was working in my first job in book-selling (organising book events as it happens) and had just come out. I remember identifying with the cast of characters (even though the books are set in San Francisco in the 1970s) and feeling that they echoed just exactly how I felt about the world. I was chuffed when Maupin returned to add to the series in recent years and I found that same sense of recognition now that the characters are older, if not necessarily wiser.

Name: Jackie Kay

Latest Book: Trumpet

A Book That Made Me: Memo for Spring by Liz Lochhead

I think we all read Memo for Spring, a whole generation of Scottish writers, particularly women. Up came the crocuses, the snowdrops, the possibility. Lochhead's daft Annie and the pool speaking, the clarity of the voices, the open hearted honesty, the you-shaped depression in my pillow, the way she wrote about loss, love, people. Ordinary people in her poems with Scottish voices speaking many tongues. Lochhead is one of those pioneering writers that not just opened a door but let others walk through. I still have my well-loved, well-thumbed Memo for Spring. The spring that is just round the corner, the one you never thought you would get to see. I know these poems off by heart.

Aye Write begins in Glasgow on March 10. For more information go to