Athena and the Waggle Dance

The second picture book for under-fives to come from East Highland Gothic Press features a brave bumblebee called Athena. Available to buy here:

The blurb reads: ‘Athena the bumblebee is working hard in the fields in her home in the Highlands, gathering pollen. Danger threatens from Demeter the bluetit and Bacchus the badger. Will she get home safely to her hive?’

Minnie and the Gingerbread Man

So far I have written and self-published two picture books intended for the under-fives. It was a special pleasure to bring these books to life. They were written for my two nieces and two nephews, and indeed they appear in the first book, ‘Minnie and the Gingerbread Man’, along with their dog, Minnie. It is mostly a true story: she really did chew Uncle David’s shoes…

The blurb reads: ‘Minnie is a spaniel who has a special friend, a toy gingerbread man. She is sad when he goes missing. Can her friends Abbi, Ruairidh and Alexander help her find him?’

Links to my published works

Hallo, this is my first post on this new website. It is mainly intended to showcase my creative writing, but may sometimes feature factual material. I am at present a Masters student with the University of the Highlands and Islands, researching Jacobitism in the north and east Highlands, 1688-1746. I have always had a keen interest in the past, and this often features in my poems, short fiction and scripts. The above picture shows the ruins of Arbroath Abbey, at which the Declaration of Arbroath was signed in 1320, a document of great significance for medieval Scotland which resonates to this day. Here is a list of my significant publications to date:

Poem: ‘My Love, A Biologist’ in Scrittura, issue 12, published online 18 June 2018; article: ‘Goodman Delver Unearthed’ in A Groat’s Worth of Wit, the magazine of the Open University Shakespeare Society, Spring 2018; poem: ‘Anatomy’, winner, second prize in a sonnet competition in A Groat’s Worth of Wit, the magazine of the Open University Shakespeare Society, December 2017; short story: ‘St Kilda’, published in Northern Renewal issue 4 in 2015; poem: ‘For Eva and Nina’, published in New Writing Scotland issue 33 in 2015; short story: ‘Ask For Me Tomorrow’ highly commended in The Highlands and Islands Short Story Association (HISSAC) Competition, 2008; short story, ‘We Are For The Dark’, winner, third prize in a short story competition run by the Mull newspaper, Am Muileach, 2007; short story: ‘The News From Moidart’, published in Random Acts of Writing, 2006; biography (co-editor, with John Tallach): Fraser, Not a Private Matter, published by the Banner of Truth Trust, 2003; essay: ‘Unforgettable Fire’, published in the book Aberdeen by Ottakars, 2002; winner, the WH Smith Young Writers’ Competition 1991, judged by Poet Laureate Ted Hughes, with the short story ‘The Wall’ subsequently published in the book of winning entries, Inky Foot, in 1992 by Macmillan.

Three of the stories mentioned, ‘Ask For Me Tomorrow’, ‘We Are For The Dark’ and ‘The News From Moidart’ were included in my first self-published book: The ebook version, and other ebooks published since, mainly poetry, are available to download for free. The blurb reads: ‘These short stories powerfully evoke Scottish landscape, history and architecture. With a keen sense of the past impacting on the present, they are gripping and often moving.’ I hope to add further pages in the next while, giving each self-published book its own dedicated page.

I have also self-published a book intended for the under-fives, inspired by my sister’s dog and my sister’s children: It is only available directly from Lulu.

I hope to have further news of competition successes and more books and ebooks, when they become available. Thank you for reading, and please enjoy the site.