Sunday, 24 December 2017

Christmas Wishes and some exciting news ...

I'm delighted to have been invited to take part in Hull University's three day English Literature Festival organised by The National Collaborative Outreach Programme. The Festival starts on the 6th February 2018 and is aimed at raising aspirations of students aged 13-18 across the Humber region by increasing their knowledge of careers in writing, publishing, illustrating, marketing, public speaking and much more.  A selection of panels and workshops are planned and full details will be available shortly on the website: and on the Twitter feed @Force_HE  #ELFHumber2018.

I am also looking forward to being part of the Bradford UK Indie Literature Festival, which is returning for a third year on the 28th July, and is once again being held in the fabulous Kala Sangam in the centre of the city.  This is a free event, with 40 authors in attendance, so there is sure to be a book to suit all tastes.  Details on how to obtain a ticket are on the UKindieLitFest website.

Kala Sangram, Bradford

As it is the holiday season, I have reduced the price of the Kindle version of my romantic suspense novel, The House on the Shore, until 3rd January 2018.  You can download a copy from Amazon for only 99p/99c instead of the usual price of £2.99/$2.99.

2017 is drawing to a close, so I would like to thank everyone who has attended an event or purchased a book and who has supported me in anyway, a very Happy Christmas and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year.  I hope to see you again in 2018.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Book Festivals and Research

Like many authors, I find it hard to write in summer.  There’s so much to do ... gardening, fruit picking, days out and holidays to take. 

But now winter is around the corner, time for me to knuckle down and work on the manuscript that has been lurking in the depths of my subconscious and computer for quite some time.  But, there was just time to squeeze in one more holiday before I dig out all the winter woollies from the bottom of the wardrobe and hibernate until spring.

If you’ve followed my blog you will know that I lived on a croft in rural Aberdeenshire for many years and have long considered Scotland my second home. So, it probably comes as no surprise that my destination of choice was Dumfries and Galloway.  I love the Highlands, the rugged beauty of the mountains, but the Scottish border country, and in particular, the Mull of Galloway also has a special place in my heart.

Mull of Galloway Lighthouse

Wigtown, a small town, once commercially important until the river Cree changed its course, has a fascinating history, due in part to the Wigtown Martyrs who were put to death in 1685 for their refusal to accept Episcopalian Church Services.

Martyrs Stone

Today, Wigtown is well known for another reason.  It is Scotland’s National Book Town with several bookshops, and each year holds a book festival. 

With 200 hundred events and workshops, for adults and children, with such speakers as Ian Rankin, Professor Iain Sinclair, Mairi Hedderwick and Gavin Esler, I decided to take some time out of our holiday to attend a few of the events.

I have long held the desire to write crime.  When I read in the Festival Brochure that Denise Mina, winner of the McIlvanney Prize 2017 for Scottish crime book of the year was attending, I knew that was one event I could not miss. Ms Mina is a Scottish novelist and playwright, and her latest book, The Long Drop is the true crime account of Peter Manuel, a serial killer who operated in Glasgow in the 1950s. 

Now, I have a confession to make, although I seen Ms Mina’s books in the local bookshop, I had never read one, until this week.  More than just a crime story, The Last Breath, kept me up all night wondering what would happen next.  As soon as I finish this post, I shall be scouring Amazon for more of her novels.

Not only am I determined to finish the romantic suspense novel I’m working on, but also to try my hand at writing a crime novel.  Watch this space!