Author details

Fran Macilvey


Fran is an author and motivational speaker based in Edinburgh.

Her memoir Trapped: My Life with Cerebral Palsy is an Amazon international bestseller (Skyhorse (2016) ISBN 978-1-510704121). She has adapted Trapped for radio and is writing the stage play.

Fran was born premature and disabled in the Congo in 1965. In 1972 she returned to Scotland where she faced painful orthopaedic operations and later spent eight years at boarding school. She worked as a solicitor for ten years before turning to her first passion, writing. She wrote Trapped so that others can understand how challenging it is, to maintain the appearance of a "normal" life with a disability.

Fran’s second book Happiness Matters (ISBN: 978-1-999713607) and her third, Making Miracles (October 2017) explore how we can all find more happiness in challenging times; what Fran calls, 'gleaning something valuable from forty years of making mistakes.'

Fran writes, speaks on a wide range of subjects, maintains a blog and gives book signings, workshops and readings. She has appeared on BBC Radio Scotland, been interviewed for Ableradio, and featured on the 'Disability Now' podcast. She speaks at church and community groups, on podcasts and radio interviews, and recently co-facilitated a conference presentation. In March 2017, she offered a workshop at the annual SAW Conference, Cumbernauld.

About writer's work

Fran writes and speaks around many different subjects using her personal experiences with disability, family, parenthood and the world of work as her starting points.

Her memoir Trapped and her two self-help books Happiness Matters and Making Miracles (October 2017) examine her journey to self-acceptance. Fran has adapted Trapped as a radio play and is writing the stage play, two works based around the same subject, but with surprisingly different complexions.

Fran is writing a series of novels about women and the law, in which many of the characters and situations are inspired by her time working as a solicitor in Scotland.

Fran speaks on a wide range of subjects, particularly disability as it impacts on people’s lives, their aspirations and their ability or otherwise to engage with what we regard as normal expectations and ordinary life in the domestic sphere, in employment or in the world at large.

Key areas of expertise include:

  • Common misunderstandings around disability.
  • Dealing with inequality and discrimination.
  • Employment and career challenges – mainstreaming.

How to find peace and happiness in challenging times.

Websites featuring the author

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Current events and projects

I am currently writing my fiction series about women and the law, the first of which Lisa Somerville: Lessons in Matrimonial Law is complete. I am also developing a series of short workshops taking as their theme Happiness Matters and intended to inspire us to a more direct appreciation of the value of happiness in everyday life. I also arrange workshops on writing and authorship.

I enjoy discussion around any given topic to which I can relate my personal experiences with disability, personal empowerment, social inclusion, work-place challenges, family and domestic expectations and the like.

I have spoken at church and community groups, on podcasts and radio interviews, and recently helped facilitate a conference presentation. In March 2017, I am offering a one-hour workshop and Q & A session at the SAW Conference, Cumbernauld.

I usually offer an introduction on a given subject or theme of between 10 and 15 minutes, followed by Q & A and discussion. Arrangements for my two-hour workshops are flexible, and depending on the remit, can cater for any number of attendees.

 My target audience is any organisation or group interested to hear about or having any interest in social inclusion, disability, discrimination, barriers in the workplace, personal empowerment and personal relationships.  More generally, I am also interested in the processes of authorship, editing and publication


Local authority where they are based


Local authorities where they can work

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll and Bute, Clackmannanshire, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles), Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow, Highland, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Moray, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Orkney, Other1, Outer Hebrides, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders, Shetland, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian

Age groups

Teens, Adults

LL funded


BRAW network


Author type




Books written

Book cover

Happiness Matters

Author(s): Fran Macilvey
In 'Happiness Matters' Fran brings together many nuggets of hard-won inspiration she gleaned on her travels, crystalizing many insights she uses every day to create joy and a meaningful life

Trapped: My Life with Cerebral Palsy

Author(s): Fran Macilvey
'Trapped' tells the true story of my life with cerebral palsy.