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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

Castles of Steel and Thunder is Here – and a Very Special Offer

I’m delighted to announce that after weeks of editing, proof reading – and spending rather a lot of time in loungewear – my first novel, Castles of Steel and Thunder launches officially today as an eBook. For today only, you can buy the eBook at the very special price of £1.99 (normal price £5.99). If…

Read More

Where Stories Come From: Caithness Lore and Legend

If you were reading last week, you’ll know that I’m soon to publish my first novel, a Young Adult fantasy inspired by the folklore of my home county, Caithness. I’ll be sharing more details on the story soon, but for now, I wanted to share a little on why I was inspired to write the…

Read More

The North Coast 500 and the Summer of Discontent

Since its inception in 2015, The North Coast 500 – the re-branding of an existing 516-mile loop around the North Highlands – has attracted visitors from all over the world, keen to experience the untamed beauty of this area of Scotland. Originally the brainchild of North Highland Initiative – a non-profit organisation set up by…

Read More