I am a former head teacher who lives in Fife with my husband and our two rescue dogs. I came to writing later in life. In my childhood I scribbled stories, created my own comics, and wrote scripts for plays. My teachers told my parents that I had talent – that, one day, I’d be the next Enid Blyton. I didn’t believe this, even though I harboured a secret desire to be an author. So, after university, I put writing aside and trained as a teacher. I spent the next twenty-six years teaching in various schools throughout the central belt of Scotland. I loved working with young people, yet I felt that there was a creative hole in my life. It took a period of ill-health, and time off work, before I discovered what that was: writing. So I picked up my pen and started to craft my first story in years. After that, I couldn’t stop. However, finding time to write was difficult, so, after much deliberation, I made the decision to resign my post and become a full-time writer. When my novel, Minty, was picked up by an agent and publisher it was my childhood dream come true.
About writer's work
My debut novel, Minty, was released by Three Hares Publishing in April 2014. Set in Fife, it is a contemporary ghost story, told from the point of view of the ghost.
The idea for the book appeared early one summer morning, just as the sun came up. During the night I thought I sensed my late father's presence, after which, unable to get back to sleep, I sat in the sunroom contemplating what had actually happened. Whilst doing this I heard my dog panting and put out my hand to stroke her. Until it struck me – how could it be my pet? She had died the month before.
That's when Minty's story came to me, a tale of identical teenaged twins whose inseparable bond is shattered when something traumatic happens. A story that deals with universal themes such as love, family, grief, hope and redemption, but that also attempts to answer one of the big questions in life, namely, what happens to us after we die?
Minty was the Scottish Book Trust Teens’ Book of the Month for December 2014. It was also nominated for the Cybils 2014 Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards.
My novels are aimed at the Young Adult audience although Minty has also appealed to many adults.
I am currently working on another Young Adult novel, a contemporary ghost story/psychological thriller set in and around the legendary village of Glencoe.
Websites featuring the authorAuthor's Website | Three Hares Publishing | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook
Current events and projects
Since being published I have done a number of author talks, readings and presentations for school pupils in P5/6 to S6, and also adults. These groups ranged in size between 10 and 100+.
Writing is my passion and I enjoy sharing my enthusiasm with others. I’m available for all types of events including library appearances, book festivals, readings, and book group visits. I offer author talks to ages 9+ about my writing journey/process and/or my book, plus workshops in all aspects of writing for children and adults. I’m happy to discuss specific requirements and will do my best to tailor a programme accordingly.
I have done a number of radio interviews during which I discuss my journey to publication, the inspiration behind Minty and some information about the book itself. Here is an example:
Radio K107: In Conversation with John Murray
Email: Contact via author website