The art of paying attention to the world as I view it, and how this invokes personal memories and impressions stored in 'that capricious hold-all' (as Woolf names it), is the primary influence on my writing of narrative non-fiction.
As a former university academic who lectured in the field of Scottish literature, my writing also draws upon that rich scholarship. I hold a PhD in Scottish Literature (with special reference to Mrs Margaret Oliphant and Scottish women writers), and was also an Honorary Fellow of the Centre for Scottish Cultural Studies at the University of Strathclyde for some years. As a trained secondary school teacher - a sector I now work in part-time - I am comfortable performing and reading to varied audiences, running workshops on my craft, and chairing sessions at book festivals or other events.
Experienced in the trade of secondhand books (which my book Provenance: Tales of a Bookshop attests to), I currently run a large bookstall in Glasgow's famous Barras marketplace which is, of course, providing excellent material for my writer's mind. (Photo credit: Colum Scriven)