I almost became a historical demographer. Back in the ’70s, I started a PhD in that field (I didn’t finish; my life might have taken a very different course if I had). My main area of study was the application of centre & periphery theory to migration into British towns from the mid-19th century.… Continue reading ‘The centre cannot hold’
More than thirty years ago, I grew a ginkgo tree from seed. Because of the length and coldness of winters in the Aberdeenshire hinterland, as it grew the tree was kept in a series of containers, and taken into the greenhouse every year. When we moved to the softer (if rainier!) climate of south-west Scotland… Continue reading My favourite tree
Next February, it will be 30 years since my mother passed away. It was a particularly cold month, and a large amount of snow was on the ground in the small village where she lived, in the Central Highlands. Because of the house’s remote situation, and my mother’s health, she had help in the… Continue reading Robbing the dead
When I started this blog, I was bewitched by the idea that every writer has to have an “author platform”, and that therein (thereon? Must be “on” if it’s a platform) lies the only path to selling books. ‘And don’t ever mention politics on your author page,’ I was warned. I’m sure an author blog… Continue reading On not plugging books
The first 3 books about the crofting township of Balvaig, the house called Kingdom, and the MacKenzie family who own it: all in one package for the first time!
BY HEART is now republished with a fantastic new cover, designed once more by Jessica Bell. The feedback I’d had since the book was published in 2015 was that the original cover was too misleading: the theme is anything but romantic. I love the new look – interested to hear what readers think. It’s available… Continue reading Judging a book by its cover…
Although I managed to get ‘A Way of Knowing’ through to publication stage last year, I hold my hand up to the fact that I’ve done very little new work since last summer. Two reasons. Firstly, the dratted EU referendum. I’m passionately pro-Europe, and although I’ve had well-intentioned advice in the past that I should… Continue reading Back to writing: at last!
I’ve had some great pre-publication feedback on ‘A Way of Knowing’, so it’s out today on Kindle, just in time for the equinox (I’ve always believed the equinoxes and solstices are very propitious times). Like ‘The Swan Widow’, it’s a story with a strong and independent main character who’s a woman in her sixties (I… Continue reading New book published a week early!
As I completed my latest novel (‘A Way of Knowing’, due to be published shortly), it struck me that I’m guilty of giving my male leads one common characteristic: they all love to cook, and/or are competent cooks. I also have a theme running somewhere in my head about the ironing of shirts. My first short… Continue reading My hero! What do female readers relate to in male characters?
Like all authors, I tend to be paranoid about getting my books reviewed on Amazon, because so many people (not just readers, but booksellers, agents, God Almighty for all I know) judge the worth of a book by the number of such reviews it has (quantity seems to count at least as much as quality!).… Continue reading The pain – and pleasure – of gleaning reviews