I was born in Dumfries in 1978 and grew up in a house where everyday news was like a story being told. My Papa and father were big influences on me when I was younger. They often told me stories. Papa would tell me scary ghost stories about the local area. My father would tell me stories about Doctor Giggli-gog the Wizard and fairyland. These stories have been inspiration to me and often feature in my own large story projects, such as The Magical Woodland Walks.
I love music, stories and people!
About writer's work
My first Scots language children’s picture book, Nip Nebs, is a melodic imagining of an ancient Scottish sprite, otherwise known as Jack Frost. The lyrical story in Scots describes how Nip Nebs moves through our world creating beauty and form. Enchantingly illustrated by artist Ruthie Redden and published by Curly Tales Book Ltd.
I am an active storyteller registered with the Scottish Storytelling Centre. I usually appear to my audiences as Susi Sweet Pea the Fairy.
A lover of enchantment, my favourite tales usually incorporate the wee folk, dragons and giants. My repertoire includes traveller and traditional Scots tales. I also perform stories I have written myself. I enjoy exploring and telling folk tales from other parts of the world.
I see storytelling as a way of escaping, for seeking wisdom and for healing hearts and minds. I am a firm believer that storytelling is a valuable medicine for all ages.
“Let my story heal your story”
Websites featuring the authorCurly Tale BooksAuthor's Website
Current events and projects
I am available for readings, workshops and interactive story trails.
Readings I offer will include exploring the world of Nip Nebs and the beauty of Scots language. I can tailor this to suit the age group of the audience.
Nip Nebs illustrator Ruthie Redden and I offer a Daydream Believers workshop for schools and family group events where participants can create their very own picture book, with the use of Scots language encouraged. We can also tailor the workshops to suit your very own theme, be it Robert Burns or traditional fairy stories. Daydream Believer Workshops can be hosted by just myself or Ruthie on her own.
We also run a Nip Nebs Trail, an educational three dimensional story trail exploring Scots language as featured in the book.
The Nip Nebs Trail and the Daydream Believers Workshops are featured in the Big DoG Festival and the Big Lit Festival programmes.
In 2007, I formed The Wee Folk Storytellers. We are a group of Fae friends who create enchanting spaces to explore. Children’s literature characters are often portrayed with these enchanted walks through the local woodlands.
My working background is in the care sector which brings great understanding to the needs of older people in my community. I founded Music Matters in 2014 – a therapeutic, inclusive music session for people in care homes that aims to encourage self-identity, movement, memory and storytelling. I am also a volunteer for Alzheimer’s Scotland. I’m working on pilot projects such as Memory Lane and Play Matters.