Archive for the ‘Other Events’ Category

Publications and Events

June 14, 2012

A short story I wrote for London’s Exhibition Road will be published in July in a collection called Road Stories (Faber & Faber, 2012). This collection is appearing as part of  an enormous arts festival, the Exhibition Road Show, which will take place on Exhibition Road in July and August this year. You can find out more about the collection here. Please click the cover below for an Amazon link.

My short story, Cliff, appeared in issue 05 of Gutter Magazine. This story was on the boil for a long time, and I’m happy with how it turned out. I read this recently at the Wigtown Spring Book Weekend, and at Ayrshire’s Boswell Book Festival. The cover below clicks to Amazon.

Also forthcoming, later in 2012, is a short story in a collection called Elsewhere, to be published by Cargo. More about that here.  I’ll try and remember to post more about this nearer the publication date.

University of the West of Scotland

March 6, 2011

For the next three years I’ll be doing a PhD in Historical Fiction, and I’ll be based at the University of the West of Scotland’s Ayr campus. Look at the lovely new building.

I am delighted to be joining UWS. I have lived in Ayr for over a year now, and I feel there is a bit of creative energy knocking around here at the moment. People say writing can be a very solitary activity, and while that’s true, I prefer to work as part of a wider community of artists and writers. I’m sure I will find that here.

The Culture Show: New Novelists

March 6, 2011

The Tin-Kin is one of twelve debut novels that was chosen to appear on BBC2’s The Culture Show on World Book Night. If you missed it, you can watch here for a week after broadcast.

The Guardian published a related article, here.

Ayr Alternative Arts Day

July 30, 2010

I’ll be reading in Ayr on September 25th as part of an all-day event at Ayr Town Hall, part of Ayrtime and the Septembayr festivals.

Authors, Jason Donald and Karen Campbell are also taking part, and throughout the day there will be African music by Seeds of Thought, an exhibition and talk by artist, Alex Norris, four monologues, and a new electronic music commission.

All free!

Click here for more details on the day.

Sassuolo – new short story

June 20, 2010

You can now read my newest short story, Sassuolo, online at the Edinburgh International Book Festival website. Download the story as a word document here:

I’ll be speaking about the story at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on August 30th. The story  was commissioned by the festival as part of a project called ‘Elsewhere’, which involves authors from all over Scotland.

Sassuolo is a town in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy.

Baby Ivor

June 13, 2010

A little message to share the happy news that our son, Ivor Jupiter, was born on June 4th at 9:26am. Chris and I are so grateful to the staff at Ayrshire Maternity Unit, who looked after me for three weeks leading up to the birth, and in particular we want to thank the surgical team who eventually placed Ivor safely in our arms. It was a rocky road but we made it! Here he is with his daddy:

Forthcoming Events

January 30, 2010

Apologies that it’s been a long time since I’ve posted. It’s been a busy few months. A couple of forthcoming events in Brighton and Glasgow:

Tuesday 2nd February 2010, 6pm, at The University of Sussex. Details here.

Sunday 7th March 2010, 7:45pm,  at the Aye Write Festival in Glasgow (launching the Tesco Bank Summer Read). Details here.

And the paperback edition of The Tin-Kin will be out on the 25th of February. Here’s a peek at the cover, which I’m very pleased with:

The Tin-Kin has won…

December 13, 2009

The Saltire Society’s First Book of the Year Award 2009! Here I am, pictured with the other winning authors, at The National Library in Edinburgh on St Andrew’s day.

The Tin-Kin is a family story, and it means a great deal to me and my relatives that ‘our’ novel has been appreciated in such a way. Thank you very much to The Saltire Society, to The Royal Mail (who sponsor the First Book Award), and to the panel of judges. When I was writing The Tin-Kin I just wanted people to read it as a story, and maybe learn a bit about Scottish Travellers in the process. When I know they’ve enjoyed it too, that’s just brilliant! I hope this award will help spread the word about the book.

I enjoyed the day in Edinburgh with my husband, Chris, who drank lots of the free wine. We met the other authors, and I was really fascinated by the winner of the Research book category, The Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary. Work began on this impressive tome a full ten years before I was even born. I had a chat to two of the editors, who assured me there are lots of Traveller Cant words included in the thesaurus. I’m really looking forward to getting to see a copy.

Gus Is Home

September 20, 2009

Just a quick thank you to all our kind neighbours after an extensive rescue search for the cat. Gus is home safe! He was spotted by a lady with a Jack Russell three streets away, and I’m going to write a short story about it.

Here he is, the devil.


A Message to The Ayrshire Post

September 18, 2009

I am now living in Ayr, since Friday last week. Chris and I are just settling in and exploring our new area. We’re enjoying being near the sea.

I was interested to find the following recent article in my new local rag, The Ayrshire Post. Click below to read the article in a new window.


I support the development of new sites, and I’m angry, though not in the least bit surprised to see opinions like this expressed in a paper before a site has even been chosen or built, let alone lived in. It’s not a great welcome is it? If there were people from any other culture moving to South Ayrshire, or new houses being built, we wouldn’t be treated to this diatribe about the imagined, hypothetical, future theft of gardening tools. And if we did, surely it would not go without comment – there would be a counter argument, a voice of reason, something to remind readers that there is a fuller picture.

If anyone from the paper is reading this, perhaps you’d like to balance your reporting by inviting someone from within the Travelling Community to comment as well? I’d be very happy to suggest a few names.

I’d also like to point all journalists, and anyone who would like to make their own mind up, in the direction of the report, Gypsies and Travellers: Simple Solutions for Living Together. It was published earlier this year by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

‘We are one community- the Travellers and our settled neighbours. We’ve all got something in common: we want our children to be healthy and educated.’

– Gloria Buckley MBE, Romany Gypsy and manager of three authorised sites