Here’s one of the great things about doing events with young people – as part of my presentation I talk to them about inspiration and by the end of my session I leave inspired by them.

A couple of weeks ago I was at Gourock library talking to 4th year pupils from Clydeview Academy and I got them to do a little creative writing exercise at the end. They could choose to use some of the images and newspaper headlines I’d taken along to help generate ideas, or simply come up with stories from their imagination. Mostly they just used their own imagination!

It was brilliant seeing their enthusiasm and how quick they were at constructing stories. As I walked round the room some of them told me about poetry they were writing, inspired by personal experience, and books they were working on. It reminded me of the buzz I used to get when I first started to construct novel length work (and in my teens I also wrote a lot more poetry!).

I loved doing an event in a library, surrounded by books, as it was my love of reading which inspired me to write in the first place. My parents always took me to the local library to pick out books and it’s one of my favourite memories.

It was great talking to the librarians before and after the event who were also very enthusiastic and shared interesting writing chat.

Here’s a montage of photos: (*I asked permission from the pupils and their teacher to post their pictures on social media!)


A couple of days later I took part in another great event in a local cafe, Ta Ta Bella’s Tea Room, in Paisley, where I got to meet with the Oak Tree Arts creative writing groups, and their tutor, Susan at their End of Term gathering.

The group was a mix of ages and after talking to them about my writing process they asked me LOTS of interesting questions. As we sat eating the brilliant brownies, (which Hilary had baked), I got to quiz them a bit about their own writing. I was blown away by how much they all write. One twelve year old boy was already 20,000 words into his novel and he had only been writing it for about a month, saying he wrote a bit every day, after school. It’s amazing to see such commitment to writing at such a young age and it gave me a boost to get cracking with my own writing! Here’s a photo from this event:

oak tree arts

I have no doubts that I will soon be reading books penned by some of these young authors!

After such great events I’m really looking forward to taking part in the Yay! YA festival later in the month. Here is an updated poster showing the running order of the day:

Yay YA

I’m pleased to see that I get to hang out in the dressing room when I talk to the pupils as I think if there are lights on the mirrors that will make quite a dramatic backdrop for reading!

In the Press and other excitement

greenock telegraph


I was delighted to see an article in The Greenock Telegraph today about Follow Me.  I grew up in Inverclyde, and even although I now live in Renfrewshire, I work down in Greenock and it’s nice getting to stay close to my roots. I’ve posted a snapshot of the article at the top of this post.

I’m really looking forward to doing an author event for school pupils at Greenock Central Library early next month, as well as going in to talk to 4th year pupils at a school in Gourock, and one in Glasgow later in November.

Last week I was part of an author team for the West heat of the Kids’ Lit Quiz, which took place at Our Lady’s High School in Cumbernauld and it was lots of fun. The pupils from a range of schools across the West of Scotland put us to shame with their amazing knowledge of literary classics and modern books.

My talented friend, Rebecca, also did a brilliant post about Follow Me on her creative website The Magpie Diaries recently. I loved how she centred her post around the Keats Poem, Ode on a Grecian Urn, which is quoted in my novel. You can read her post here  Another writer, Patsy Collins, also asked me to write a post for her blog about my book launch experience. I had lots of fun writing this for Patsy and it was nice to see so many people interacting with that post. You can read that here

Lastly I noticed other day that if you order Follow Me through the Foyles Bookshop website you can get it delivered anywhere within the UK Free within 2 days. Here’s a link to their site here

You can also request it in Waterstones or buy on Amazon (that link is on my homepage).