On Mental Health Awareness Week, Caithness and Caring

Here in the UK, it’s Mental Health Awareness Week, an initiative hosted by the Mental Health Foundation to focus attention on mental health issues across the nation. This year the theme for the event is nature, with a focus on the supportive role the natural world can play in boosting mental health. The theme appears…

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Tread Lightly, Travel Politely

As travel restrictions ease across Scotland, many people in the North Highlands are feeling nervous about the resumption of tourism. 2020 was a challenging year here in the far north, and memories of irresponsible camping, inconsiderate motorhome parking, and the litter and human waste left by a minority of visitors will be difficult to erase.…

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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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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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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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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…

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