I am passionate about stories. I love finding stories, researching stories, reading stories, listening to stories, making up stories and writing stories. And I love sharing stories and my experience of stories with others. When I meet young readers in schools, libraries, shops, tents, caves or castles, I’m always very clear that I’m not the only writer there. We are all writers. We all have stories inside us. All I do is share some of my tips and techniques, and all of my excitement and passion. I don’t tell anyone else how to write.
I’m from the North East of Scotland, and spent most of my childhood playing really dangerous games up trees, on railway lines, on roofs, and beside water. I must have spent some time at school and reading books, but my main memories are outdoor ones, so most of the books I write are set in the Scottish landscape - adventures, quests, chases and escapes. I now live in Edinburgh, keeping my own kids well away from water, railway lines and roofs, and after spending time playing with words both as a political press officer and a radio producer, I’m now a full-time children’s author and occasional traditional storyteller.
About writer's work
I write adventure novels for 8-12 year olds, including the award-winning First Aid For Fairies And Other Fabled Beasts and the other books in the Fabled Beast Chronicles, and the forthcoming Spellchasers trilogy. But I write for younger and older children too. I’ve written picture books, including The Big Bottom Hunt, and I’ve written a teen thriller, Mind Blind. And I love retelling traditional tales, in gorgeously illustrated picture books like The Secret of the Kelpie and Little Red Riding Hood, and in collections of themed myths and folklore like Girls, Goddesses & Giants, and The Dragon’s Hoard. I’ve also written for reluctant readers and early readers. I’m happy to chat to young writers (and adult writers too) about what I’ve learnt from such a varied experience of writing.
Websites featuring the authorWebsite
Current events and projects
I’m happy to do hour-long author visits to introduce my books, talk about how I wrote them, have fun with imagination exercises to inspire children’s own writing, and share a few of the myths or folktales that inspire me. I can also do longer writing workshops, as well as projects requiring more than one session and resulting in finished written work. The content of my author sessions is very flexible, and I’m happy to discuss and meet specific requirements. I do love new challenges, and I believe that stories can do anything.