My Ten Favourite Books of 2022

Towards the end of each year, I tend to write a round-up of my ten favourite books from the twelve or so months preceding. However, 2022 has been a different sort of year for me in terms of blogging – a new job and changing domestic arrangements have meant that many of my old blogging…

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Lost Solace: Tourism, Social Media and Our Shifting Sense of Place in the North Highlands

Earlier this summer, my husband and I made an evening visit to the harbour at Dunbeath on our way back to Caithness after a day of appointments. In the preceding days, I had been reading Neil M. Gunn’s Highland River and wanted to reacquaint myself with the information boards on Gunn – who was born…

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Pieces of Sky and Stone Author Q&A

In 2021, Isla, a student of creative writing at the University of the Highlands and Islands, asked me to share my experiences of writing my first novel Castles of Steel and Thunder in this author interview. I’m happy to say that Isla also seemed to enjoy the follow-up book, Pieces of Sky and Stone, and…

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On Coping With Rejection As A Writer

One of the surest things about writing, or indeed any kind of creative pursuit, is the experience of rejection. Offering work up for any kind of scrutiny, be it through books, competition entries, submissions to agents or publishers – all of it entails the risk of someone saying ‘no’. Rejection isn’t as clear-cut as the…

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Launching Finn and Friends, A Collection of Verse and Stories

Earlier this month, myself and fellow writers Andrea Wotherspoon, Ian Leith and Charlotte Platt launched new book Finn and Friends at John O’Groats – A Collection of Verse and Stories. The launch marked the culmination of almost a year’s worth of work, which started with us meeting at John O’Groats to discuss how three new…

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In the (Fieldfare) Press

Implicit in my writing plan for the year (which I wrote about in this post back in January), was a desire to focus less on social media and more on the other writing I could send out into the world. As engaging as social media is, events towards the end of last year made me…

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Finn and Friends at John O’Groats

Back in January, when I wrote about my writing plans for 2022, I mentioned a project that I hoped would come to fruition before the summer. Well, here we are in May – and apart from wondering how on earth time passed so quickly – I’m delighted to say I have some new book news…

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Scotland’s Year of Stories, Wick Voices, and Our Cultural Landscape

I’ve written a lot about stories, how they shape and define places. Here in the north Highlands, it can sometimes feel that our stories are being written (or perhaps, rewritten) for us – a landscape of wilderness in which we not appear. I was comforted recently reading The Shepherd’s Life, James Rebanks’ beautiful account of…

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International Women’s Day – We Can and We Will

The last few weeks have been a busy and sometimes difficult period for our family. Illness and bereavement marked the final months of winter, and it often felt that life was as stormy as the winds that raged outside. As winter trickles a path into spring, snowdrops pepper our garden and early daffodils peek out…

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Falling in Love With Place Through Stories – Landscape to Light by Neil M. Gunn

Recently, I’ve been reading Landscape to Light, a collection of essays by the late Neil M. Gunn – who, in addition to being one of the 20th century’s foremost novelists, also hailed from Caithness. I’ve loved reading Gunn’s views on all sorts of things, and as well as finding his essays interesting in their own right, they’ve also helped…

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