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19 August 2016, 07:20
Nicola Sturgeon has told how she went from being "an odd child'' who never contemplated being a politician to becoming Scotland's first female First Minister and a "frustrated rock star''.
The SNP leader said she was "a bit anti-social'' as a child, hiding in books while other children were playing, and aspired to be a children's author.
In a conversation with Scots Makar Jackie Kay at the Edinburgh Book Festival, Ms Sturgeon told how she moved from Enid Blyton to gritty Glasgow crime writer William McIlvanney before going on to study law.
As First Minister she is one of the most high-profile politicians in Europe, but she said being in the public eye has been very difficult for her family.
Ms Sturgeon admitted she calls political events "gigs'' and that she is ``a very frustrated rock star''.
She also expressed admiration for former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright's quote: "There's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other.''
Marsha Scott, chief executive of Scottish Women's Aid, quoted Ms Albright before asking what support the Makar and First Minister had from other successful women.
Ms Sturgeon, who appointed the Scottish Government's first gender-balanced cabinet, said: "That's a great quote.
"Politics could learn a lot from other disciplines about being supportive, even across the political divide... there is more that we can do to hold out hands of support and friendship, particularly to women of whatever political perspective we come from.''
Ms Albright later apologised for the quote, made at a campaign rally for Hillary Clinton in February, insisting she believed in what she said but that it was at the wrong time and in the wrong context.
Ms Sturgeon asked Kay about her performance for the Queen at the recent opening of the Scottish Parliament.
The First Minister said: "How did it feel, if I may ask, to perform that poem in front of Her Majesty the Queen with your communist republican parents sitting there?''
Kay said: "It felt pretty good, especially because there's a couplet in the poem which says, 'Good day Ma'am, Ma'am good day; good morning Helen and John Kay'.
"It seemed to me that was democracy in a couplet.
"I don't know if I managed to get away with that.''
Ms Sturgeon once said the future of the monarchy "should be decided by the Scottish people'' but later backed the Queen as Scotland's head of state.