I grew up in the seclusion of the Lammermuir hills in East Lothian where my love of stories and nature was kindled. After leaving school I spent six months in Africa, working as a school teacher and chimpanzee tracker. Since then I have travelled the world, exploring the mountains of Nepal, the jungles of Peru and the deserts of Mexico. Though I have travelled far I am proud to call Scotland my home and am looking forward to living and exploring among these islands for many years to come.
About writer's work
As a storyteller, my aim is to reconnect audiences with their innate sense of awe, wonder and connection to the natural world, and to the sense that life on Earth is a wonderful, precious gift.
I tell stories from many cultures including Celtic Scotland, North America, The Amazon, Australia, India, Siberia and Scandinavia. I specialise in animal stories, fairy tales and tales of wonder, as well as in working with hard-to-reach older children.
I have a special interest in Buddhist culture and teach children about Buddhism using a blend of stories and meditation exercises. I also tell stories about the Dunbar-born naturalist John Muir and work regularly with children and young people with additional support needs.
Music is integral to my storytelling. I use a 6ft didgeridoo, Native American flute, Jew’s harp, rattles, drums, chimes, Mongolian throat singing and Tibetan singing bowls to bring my stories to life and enchant audiences. I have performed and taught at schools across Scotland, as well as at the Scottish International Storytelling festival and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. I spend my summers performing at music festivals across the UK and have taken up invitations to perform in Dubai, Turkey and Portugal.
I offer storytelling for people of all ages and am available to travel throughout Scotland and internationally.
Websites featuring the authorScottish Storytelling CentreAuthor's SoundcloudThe Storyteller's Gift Author's WebsiteFacebook Public ProfileTRAC Scotland Profile
Current events and projects
I am available to give storytelling performances to people of any age. Performances consist of a mixture of stories and music, adapted to the needs of the audience.
In 2013 I carried out a project called ‘Stories of Natural Scotland’, which involved walking 220 miles coast to coast across Scotland, camping wild and stopping in villages to share Scottish folklore.
I followed this in 2014 with a walking tour from Fort William to Inverness. Another project I ran in 2013 was ‘Stories of the Big Five’ which involved visiting inner-city schools in Edinburgh to share stories of Scotland’s big five wild animals. The project aimed to stimulate pupils’ interest in Scotland’s natural heritage and to showcase stories as a cruelty-free alternative to keeping wildlife in cages for educational purposes.
My most recent tour was the ‘Treasures of the Earth’ tour in 2015. On this tour I travelled the length of the Western Isles, visiting 37 schools and venues from Barra to the Butt of Lewis. The tour was a showcase of stories and music from little-known and indigenous cultures, designed to promote enthusiasm and respect among audiences for these cultures and their creations.
As well as continuing to travel, study folklore and share new stories, I have recently completed my first novel - a young adult post-apocalyptic fantasy. The story is set in northern Scotland, in the not-too-distant future, and features a troupe of travelling storytellers. I am currently writing a children’s novel based on an Orcadian folk-tale.
In 2017 I will be travelling to Wales to study Welsh folklore and to the United States to perform at a solar eclipse festival.