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Upcoming Events

I have a few events coming up. If you are out and about near Killin on Wednesday 16th May, I’ll be talking about FOR MY SINS, my historical novel about Mary, Queen of Scots at Killin Library at 7.30 pm as part of Off The Page Festival. Exactly who did murder Darnley? Do I know? Do any of us know?

Out and about in Glasgow on Thursday 17th May? I’ll be at the Mitchell Library as part of TheWeeWrite festival (baby sister to Glasgow’s AyeWrite), talking to young people about CHILL, SHIVER and DARKER ENDS, about the Jacobites, the massacre of Glencoe, and ghost stories with atmospheric sounds and images. Slip in at the back, and I promise I won’t pick on you to ask a question. Appearing here twice at Mitchell Library, Glasgow, 10 am, and then again at 1 pm, same venue.

If you are anywhere near Dunbar Library on Saturday 19th May at 1 pm, I’m very excited to be appearing at Coastword Festival, talking about CHILL, SHIVER and DARKER ENDS.

Also, if you are about in Edinburgh on Thursday 31st May, I’ll be at Noir At the Bar in Edinburgh. Noir at the Bar tours the country, and brings together crime writers (and wild cards) for a relaxed event of chat and discussion. 7.30 pm, venue to be confirmed. Delighted to be part of this exciting line up, which includes Neil Broadfoot, JV Baptie, Tana Collins, Olga Wojtas, Kaite Smith-Welsh, Mark Leggatt, Helen Grant, Lesley Kelly, Kevin Scott & Jónína Leósdóttir from Iceland.

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DARKER ENDS is on its way for BOOK WEEK SCOTLAND

While final proofs of DARKER ENDS are being prepared, I’m excited about the fact that the book will be launched not only in Edinburgh, but also in Glasgow for which I have a very soft spot. When my first book CHILL won the Scottish Children’s Book Award in 2007, I was asked to speak to a large audience at the AyeWrite Festival by popular demand – from those who mattered i.e. Glasgow school-children. I was very nervous as it was one of my first big audiences as a public speaker. It was in the Mitchell Library, a huge and interesting building (with its own rumours of ghosts) which you whizz past on the M8 if you’re cutting through Glasgow. It seems that DARKER ENDS (set in Glencoe) will have a launch at the Mitchell during Book Week Scotland.

Why stop at one launch? Why not three? And at one of them I’m going to endeavour to have cake with a book cover icing of DARKER ENDS, so that people can eat their way through the atmospheric shadows and darkening mood… hopefully it won’t give them indigestion.

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DRAMA AND MAYHEM

While the wind wails outside my window – it’s June in Scotland – I’ve put the final full-stop on the first draft of DARKER ENDS for my publisher Fledgling Press. It’s set in Glencoe so the howling gales are appropriate, I suppose. Now I’ve started on my fourth novel. When I met with Clare at the NLS the other week, I happened to mention the Mary Queen of Scots novel I wrote when I lived in Edinburgh 25 years ago as a young student, and her face lit up. She wanted to see that too. I then remembered that I’d moved house several times since, and might well have lost my only original copy. So I went home and did a frantic search. Found it in the attic and hoovered off 15 years of dust, trying not to rip the title page with the nozzle. Spiders ran for cover and I laughed in delight – before hoovering up one or two of said spiders due to phobia.

I wrote that novel FOR MY SINS with an absolute passion in my twenties. I’m happy to rediscover that passion, and that’s what I’ll be working on over the summer. And to relax?

Amateur Dramatics! I’ve got the lead in a one-act comedy called What’s For Pudding? Bossy insufferable woman with a club book and an abrasive manner set in the 1980s! It’s such a giggle, especially all the backstage drama. One of the more controlling members of the group decided to do an impromptu health and safety test on the opening night. Tried out the smoke machine under the stairs and set the alarm off 5 mins before curtain call. Fire brigade arrived looking fed up and tempers flared! It was very funny…

Anyway, back to serious matters. I have been searching for book cover ideas for DARKER ENDS with the help of several pupils from various schools during workshop visits. Here are one or two

cover ideas for DARKER ENDS created by pupils

cover ideas for DARKER ENDS created by pupils

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