0

A little bit of this…

This summer I have been doing quite a bit of this…

20206048_1584138924971812_2138894687_n

while admiring this…

20217306_1584138854971819_1768072827_n

a bit of this…

20271801_1584140278305010_1522101193_n

while listening to this…

20272062_1584141434971561_736125916_n

plenty of eavesdropping in places like…

20271739_1584144321637939_101125867_n

a little of this…

20206184_1584153021637069_760557607_n

and this…

20271889_1584143634971341_1155639385_n

which was all inspiration for this…

20206311_1584144054971299_486834437_n

and this…

20271962_1584142918304746_894337100_n

When it rained I was very happy to do this…

20197011_1584139174971787_131496849_n

When the sun shone I did more of this…

20197109_1584140561638315_261883662_n

Took the mickey out of…

20271825_1584144658304572_1051381463_n

at…

20197049_1584144468304591_1506261386_n

but underneath it all, I was ever aware of this …

20271794_1584144768304561_448656980_n

which lead me to feel…

20271861_1584138528305185_2013714259_n

and continued to write 30,000 words of another

Launch 12

but this time it will be about …

a different person altogether…

 

 

0

Call to all colleges and schools of Higher Education

I’m offering two workshop sessions to schools and colleges inspired by my latest novel FOR MY SINS, a historical novel about Mary, Queen of Scots, sitting in her prison cell at the end of her life, a prisoner to Queen Elizabeth, stitching her tapestries while being haunted by the ghosts of her past. It’s receiving 5 star reviews and has been quoted as “a masterclass in historical fiction.”

The first workshop – TENSIONS IN SCOTTISH HISTORY – will be a talk on Mary, Queen of Scots, and this period of Scottish History (1542-1587), the conflicts and tensions, together with a Q&A session. This is suitable for History students at Higher, Advanced Higher, and University level to help with engagement of the subject and bringing the topic to life in a memorable way.

The second workshop HOW TO WRITE A HISTORICAL NOVEL is suitable for Higher, Advanced Higher, and undergraduates and graduates of English and Creative Writing, and will explore the pleasures and pitfalls of writing historical fiction, offering 5 inspirational ways to make it work for you.

As well as being a writer I am also an experienced English teacher. I teach and mentor English students at Higher and Advanced Higher.

Please be in touch if you would like to arrange either or both of these workshops for your students.

Launch 12

 

 

 

0

The Return of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots

It has been a busy couple of weeks launching my latest title FOR MY SINS, a historical novel for adults about Mary Queen of Scots. And Mary herself appeared at my first launch in Blackwell’s, Edinburgh. She sat very demurely to one side like a pale ghost (courtesy of Artemis Scotland) while I talked about the writing of FMS in front of windows that rattled and shook in a storm. We were yards away from the scene of Darnley’s murder at Kirk o’ Field.

The next stop was Waterstones, Byres Road, and tonight it will be my local library, Dunblane. I’ve been taking my audience on a mental journey into the past. I am the curator of that journey, guiding them into that distant realm which we can only imagine, where darkness held sway, where death was an everyday occurrence, and there was definitely no WiFi… Here are some pics of me flapping my arms about.

0

Inspirational Moments: Writer in Residence 2017 #2

writer-in-residence-for-blog

Here are some photos of what we’ve been up to over the past few weeks.

And the pointers or lessons?

Writers care about the world & what is happening in it. It’s just not about escapism.

img_0617

You can imagine other people’s lives…

writer-in-residence-pic-4

Even if it makes you feel uncomfortable.

img_0600

Keep a journal or diary.

writer-in-residence-pic-2

You can write about what is familiar… or unfamiliar.

img_0612

Writing can be used as a Way of Healing too.

writer-in-residence-pic-2

You all have a story to tell… either the one you are living now, one from the past, or one that you have yet to live…

img_0577

 

0

In which I share with you the blurb…

01-for-my-sins-20mm-spine

So… why Mary? Well, because she had a talent for escaping, through tunnels and graveyards, on horseback, via boat, across silent lakes, through forests, across moorland. And, she was accused of murdering her second husband in order to marry her third…

The question is – is she or is she not the culprit of one of history’s unsolved murder mysteries? I think I know the answer to that one… and (just like most things in history, past, present and future) it’s not clear-cut.