Monday 6 May 2024

THRILLED - naturally!!!

 I did a talk at the HNS annual Conference two years ago - which was a fab thing to do and they were all so lovely. So, when I heard they were running a competition for first chapters of a full-length novel I thought I should support this by entering. I have lots of unpublished novels on my computer so I chose one from way back (written at least fifteen years ago) and threw it in. So pleased to be shortlisted in the category. Thanks to HNS for this.

Thursday 25 April 2024

EXTRACT from my new book!!!

 My new book, 'HOPE NEVER KNEW HORIZON', is due to be released any moment now and today, posted up on the website Books From Scotland, there's an extract from the book to give you a flavour of the thing. The book is being published by Taproot press - it has now been printed and copies are being dispatched even as I type this. Eeeeeeeek!!!!!

Saturday 20 April 2024


Some years ago I posted this link to a TED talk given by 'Eat, Pray, Love' author Elizabeth Gilbert. It's a fun talk about what I think of as the creative subconscious. It holds the idea that the creative genius is something beyond our control and so is something we cannot really take responsibility for. It's an interesting idea. Things happen in my writing - sometimes clever things and when I am called on to explain them I defer to my creative subconscious because that's the best explanation I have. And how do I access my creative subconscious? No idea. It either happens or it doesn't. I am not sure I have any control over it. This sort of fits with Gilbert's idea of how it works for her except she takes the creative force out of herself as a mysterious something in the air and maybe it helps her when she's writing and maybe it doesn't. Give this talk a listen. It's fun too.

Sunday 31 March 2024

Thanks to The Book Maniac!

 Last year a Canadian book blogger by the name of Shawn Mooney (known online as Shawn The Book Maniac) bumped into my wee book 'With or Without Angels'. He held an online chat with a fellow book blogger Lindy of Lindy's Magpie Reads. I was so excited at their inspection of my book, not least because they both loved it. They had a good discussion about some of the finer points of the book and what I had written.

Then a couple of weeks ago Shawn contacted me to ask if I would be a 'mystery guest' on one of his Friday shows - just to chat about my writing and/or my reading. I am an English teacher by training and experience and if there's one thing that's true of many English teachers, they love to talk about books and writing. I leapt at this opportunity, even though I do find it hard to talk enthusiastically on ZOOM... needing the energy of the audience in the room with me.

On Thursday - 4pm our time in the UK and 10am Shawn's time, we had a zoom chat that was fun and easy and I got to be myself. Shawn said afterwards that I did not seem at all nervous... but I was!!!

On Friday Shawn posted the first half hour of this chat as part of his Friday Mystery Guest spot. He was so taken with everything I had to say - everything!!! - that he has decided at a slightly later date to show the full unedited chat on his Youtube page.

Thank you so much to Shawn - for being such an avid reader, for liking something I wrote and for extending an invitation to me to just talk... every retired English teacher's dream.

Oh and he announced in the zoom chat thingy that he and Lindy are going to read 'Blue Postcards' together and do another online chat about it... soon.

Here's the link to Thursday's zoom chat with Shawn:

Sunday 25 February 2024


Here's the cover for my upcoming new book and a link to the launch event. Cover design by the wonderful Anna Morrison; and some lovely endorsements on the cover. Can't wait for this book to be published - released on 18th April with a launch event at the lovely Golden Hare Bookshop in Edinburgh.

Open image in slideshow, Hope Never Knew Horizon - Launch Event with Douglas Bruton

Thursday 1 February 2024

First project of the year!!

 I have spent 8 days in January working on a brand new project - well, I say 'new' but it has been rattling around in my head for two and half years waiting for me to be ready. I have, as some of you know, set myself the target of completing at least 3 writing projects a year, so this feels like a good start. The working title for this one is 'DEAD BLUE WHISPERS' which I hope is suitably enigmatic. I wrote the first draft in five days and then reflected on what I had done... with some dissatisfaction I might add. Then looking back at an old notebook I realised I had left out a very important thread, so have spent the past three days putting that right. It clocks in now at 40,000 words and I like it a lot more.

Saturday 27 January 2024


 Susan Osborne's book site 'A Life in Books' reviews the books she reads throughout the year - and she reads and reads and reads. Earlier in 2023 Susan read and reviewed my wee book 'With or Without Angels' which she loved. At the end of each year Susan flags up what were for her the stand out books of the year - 20 books in 2023 and 'With or Without Angels' gets another mention as it was one of the twenty!!! Thank you Susan. I hope you get to read my new book in April 2024!