Category: Uncategorized

A Place Called Home

In my time on this planet so far, I’ve never lived outside Scotland’s capital city. Even now, many years after I’ve left my childhood home, I haven’t strayed farther than a few miles away from my old primary school and gang-hut days. I still walk the streets where I got scabby knees from learning to ride my first ever (borrowed from a neighbour) bike and my very own new-to-me roller skates (Apollo 13s – best birthday ever). Despite my reluctance to set down roots elsewhere in the world, it hasn’t stopped me travelling and meeting people from different cultures and

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When David and Will met Uncle Pete

When you write a new story, you create the characters as if you’re meeting them for the first time. You get to decide everything about them, from the colour of their hair to what they have for breakfast. As a writer or illustrator you get the envious task of being able to create a new being, in a new world. The opportunities to capture a personality trait in the sentences written or an emotive glance in the illustrations, are marvellously endless. Without a conceived idea or the drawings to bring those thoughts to life, I believe stories wouldn’t exist. Text

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The Mystery of the Squashed Self

Like many others my writing life has changed. Working from home, bereft of the company of other writers unless they’re staring back at me from my screen, I miss the coffee breaks in-between writing sprints and the gluing of character arcs and plot points after seeking advice from those in the same boat. I know we’ll get back together eventually, so I shall persevere but it’s not quite the same. I have many ‘how to’ guides about writing and the creative process . Using their guidance (I have my favourites) I regularly tap out words on my keyboard in the

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Book 2 and Beyond

There’s nothing quite like the excitement of a children’s book debut that finally arrives in your library ready to be borrowed or on the shelves of your local bookshop but what about those who have had their 2nd, 6th or 99th book published? Supporting creatives on social media, buying or borrowing their books and shouting about their stories when they’re launched into the world is something I like to do. There is no magic money tree to invest in most book launches so a link-nudge, a recommendation or an on-line review is what we, as word devourers, can do to

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Digital Discussions of the Cymera Kind

Many things have had to change this year and book festivals up and down the country are embracing the technological world to ensure the ‘show must go on’. Cymera, the UK’s only horror, fantasy and sci-fi writing festival, is one of them. I was delighted to be involved in this new approach to festival event chairing. Gone were the pre-event green room chats replaced with an introductory wave at my camera, a quick hello and introduction of the panel and the red Button of Destiny confirmed we were live and recording! As those who know me will confirm, I quite

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Why Are You Sleeping?

Picture the scene. You’ve spent all day wrestling with a chapter in your latest story. You’re finally happy with the page turns, the way the characters interact and the scenes depicted. A moment of bliss, you say to yourself as you turn off your device. You smile as you get ready to turn in for the night, knowing that tomorrow brings with it a new chapter, a new reason for your character to eat marshmallows or whatever it is that makes them happy enough to embrace where you are taking them next. The lights go out and you begin to

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