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The Bookish Life of Kirsty Strain

Updated: Oct 5, 2022

Who are you, how do you know Claire and why does she think you’re cool?

I’m Kirsty Strain and I met Claire when she got in touch with me to work on her project, ‘The End’. That was the beginning of many wonderful adventures from taking a pretend dead body into the woods, to getting lost in the hills for 5 hours, to strapping on roller skates and rediscovering disco. I’m over the moon that we not only worked together but became fast friends. I think we both have that, ‘anything is possible’ quality and so definitely champion whatever idea or creative inspiration the other has to make things happen or simply see what happens when you pursue your ideas and motivation. I think that’s why I have many strings to my bow as an actor, writer, director and coach as it means I can tackle things from many different creative angles. It’s never a dull moment when creativity and adventure are so close to hand!

For details on my work as an actor and for all adventure related activities, you can follow my Instagram: @kirstystrain

For more information on my work as a voice coach and presentation skills trainer, you can check out my website:

What was the first book you remember? (Either reading or being read to you)

The very first book I remember was an inflatable one that I could take into the bath as a toddler. That was the beginning of me wanting to take books everywhere. My first memory of being really excited by books was when I discovered Roald Dahl. His books captured my imagination so fully and he wrote such vivid characters. I remember being given a collection and devoured them. I couldn’t sleep for having to keep reading on and on so I guess that was my first set of real page turner’s. Even now, it’s hard to pick a favourite, from Matilda, to The Witches, to The BFG and well all of them, I still absolutely love them all.

What are you reading right now?

I’m currently reading non fiction with ‘The Myth of Normal’ by Dr Gabor Maté and Daniel Maté. It’s extraordinary. I’m learning so much and would urge anyone who is interested in trauma’s relationship to long term health conditions and healing to give it a read.

My last fictional read was Duck Feet by Ely Percy and I loved it! It’s written in Renfrewshire dialect and follows 12-year-old Kirsty Campbell and her friends as they navigate life from first to sixth year at Renfrew Grammar school. There’s humour amidst the hard hitting moments that it tackles. It was like stepping back in time and it’s a brilliant read. I’m excited to learn that Ely is going to narrate an audiobook version.

Next on my list is, of course, to catch myself up on everything CS Duffy. Knowing already what a great storyteller she is, I can’t wait to get started!

Plan a dinner party with six fictional guests

This is tough. Only six? Ok well, I’m thinking back to my childhood and all the characters I loved then so if I could have this be a tea party and I get to be seven years old again then I’d like to bring together Matilda Wormwood, Ramona Quimby, Lucy Pevensie, Stacey McGill, Dorothy Gale and Jo March. Seven year old me would love this very much!

If you had to live in the world of one book (or series), which would it be?

It would be His Dark Materials for me. Surely everyone wants to meet and discover their own Dæmon, right?

You can read/reread three books for the rest of your life. What’s going on the list?

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (I’ve already read this at least six times. It’s definitely the one I recommend to people the most!)

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach (this was given to me as a gift by a very good friend at a time when I needed to read it so it will always have a very special place in my heart.)

The BFG by Roald Dahl (the kid in me loves it! Would you look at that, I guess I did pick a favourite after all!)

Thank you Kirsty!!
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