Castles of Steel and Thunder Author Q&A

I was recently asked to answer some questions on my experience of novel-writing by a creative writing student from the University of the Highlands and Islands. Of course, I was happy to oblige – and thought I would share the interview here for anyone who would like to find out more. Read on for tips…

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No Wilderness: Reshaping The Way We Talk About Far North Places

Exactly a year ago, on the Sunday before the UK entered lockdown, I was out walking with my son here in Caithness when a man pulled over in his car and rolled down the driver’s side window. He asked us where he could find a place to eat and have a cup of coffee. The…

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Promoting Your Self-Published Book in a Pandemic

If, like me, you self-published your first novel during the pandemic, you might be wondering how on earth to go about promoting it. With bookshops – and indeed most places – still shut due to lockdown, it may not feel like the ideal time to be attracting new readers to your book. Thankfully, there are…

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Lockdown and January Reading (*contains gifted item)

One positive of these last few months in lockdown (and I think we really do have to seek out the good now and then, don’t we?) has been the chance to devote more time to reading. Reading can be such an escape from the realities of our current situation (even if, like me, you occasionally…

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Of Snow and Stories

Last weekend brought snow to Caithness, two days of respite from the unchanging nature of lockdown. As it fell that first evening, my 11-year-old ran into the street without a jacket while I watched him from the door. There was a simple kind of magic to seeing him spin under heavy, lamp-lit flakes, like parts…

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The Names Behind Castles of Steel and Thunder

Since the publication of my first novel, Castles of Steel and Thunder, a few people have asked me whether there was any specific inspiration behind the names of characters and places in the novel. The answer is yes, and I thought I’d write about some of that inspiration here. I’ve already written about the debt…

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2020: My Year in Numbers

Around this time last year, I wrote a review of my year in numbers (an idea borrowed gratefully from my friend Suzanne at Inside, Outside and Beyond – thankyou again Suzanne). I enjoyed the format of reflecting on the year numerically, and so I have decided to use it again this year. It also avoids…

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Castles of Steel and Thunder in Paperback

If you’ve been reading recently, you’ll know that the last month or so has been a very exciting time for me. My debut novel, Castles of Steel and Thunder, launched in November as an eBook and quickly went to the top of two Amazon categories in the eBook charts. Recently, I took delivery of my…

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My Ten Favourite Books of 2020 – And What I’ve Been Reading Lately

At around this point in December, I usually like to round up my ten favourite books of the year, in no particular order, and with the caveat that the list refers to the year of reading rather than the year of publication. However, 2020 has been a year like no other, and between Covid, lockdown…

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eBooks, Excitement and #ChangeHerStory

If you were reading last week, you’ll know that my first Young Adult novel, Castles of Steel and Thunder, has just launched as an eBook (paperback launch coming soon – more on that subject next time). The last week has been very exciting, and I was delighted when the eBook hit the number one spot…

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