Hobbit House


I’m haunting Stirling Castle at the moment, drifting around, getting inspiration for my historical novel on Mary Queen of Scots – FOR MY SINS!

The Hobbit House at Moniack Mhor

I’ve become a mentor for the Scottish Book Trust. I got to teach in the Hobbit House, and we were snowed in – almost! It was all very dramatic! Had fun with the other writers. I managed to travel to Inverness without a ticket because I looked so innocent, and I waved my hand at the guard, gesturing towards the Scottish Book Trust Team. “They have my ticket!” I said. So I hasten to add that we rectified the problem when we got to Inverness. An innocent face can get you a long way sometimes!

Once at Inverness I got Adrian to carry my bags for me. He’s a very tall screenwriter, fellow-mentor and was happy to oblige, although he did go rather pale and asked if I was carrying an anvil in it. “No,” I replied breezily. “Just my laptop. Oh – and one or two books.”

Fellow-mentor and illustrator/comic artist Eddie left his bag on the bus, and so had to catch a later train. His first words to everyone were “I’ve mucked up!” as he hot-footed back to be reunited with his luggage. It’s ok. Creative types can get away with it!

And that was just the mentors! The mentees were much better behaved than we were. The authors were all booked into a Premier Inn with en suite facilities. Catherine Simpson and I found out we both suffered from car-sickness and had to sit at the front of the bus every time we drove up the steep and slippy incline to Moniack Mhor! We arrived every morning, green-faced and churned up!

I’m excited to be mentoring three emerging young talents, each with a unique voice. Who knows what the future will hold for them?

But the upshot of it all is that I am definitely in love with the Hobbit House. It has a stove and everything, and as I’m about the size of a hobbit, or a borrower, I think I could get away with it!



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