By Amanda MacMillan
BEST-selling author Irvine Welsh is hosting a special screening of his famous first novel to help raise funds for a Scottish charity and to get people in the mood for his new book.
The audience will also have the opportunity to pose questions to the Edinburgh-born author as well as the chance to be named in his new book, Skagboys, the prequel to Trainspotting which will be released in April 2012.
All proceeds from the competition and screening will go to SLA.
When speaking of his new book Mr Welsh said: “I’m limited to an extent because I have to use the same characters that were in Trainspotting.
“I get my names from the Edinburgh phonebook anyway so it makes no difference to me what they are actually called.
“People will know what kind of characters their name is going to be used for. It’s good to be able to help the charity in this way too.”
Trainspotting depicts the Edinburgh drug scene and one man’s struggle to get out.
The movie starred Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner and Jonny Lee Miller but Mr Welsh is not focussing on another stint on the big screen while writing his new novel.
He added: “If someone wants to come along and adapt it for screen that would be fantastic but it’s one step at a time. You can’t really think that too far in advance, it’s got to work as a book.”
SLA provides funding to a grass roots non-governmental organisation which runs projects in the south-east Indian state of Andra Pradesh.
The organisation cares for nearly 600 once destitute children in Homes-cum-Schools.
Mr Welsh said: “I’ve been a frequent visitor to India and have visited several projects in Calcutta on behalf of UNICEF. Poverty is obviously a huge issue, but lack of opportunities go beyond essentials like food and shelter and employment.
“SLA is a small Scottish charity working in India which I thought was quite unusual.”
Scots nurse Gillie Davidson set up SLA after she led a youth group expedition to Tuni in south east India to help build a Home-cum-School for 120 children a decade ago.
She said: “Many of the children we care for have only managed to survive by scavenging in rubbish tips, or living on the streets where they are open to being trafficked into prostitution or forced labour. We give these children a chance in life.
“The main thing is education. With an education they can escape the poverty trap and become independent individuals. It’s a very challenging work we do but it’s incredibly rewarding. The children are amazing and they have such a zest for learning
“Irvine Welsh has been fantastic. He’s just such a lovely guy.
“He really cares about the underdog.
“It’s very exciting and I hope that with his support we widen the net of supporters and draw attention to the work that we are doing.
“We’re grateful to him and all the others who have given their time and talent to make a difference to the children we care for.”
Tickets are still available for the screening at www.sla-india.org