It's been a very busy summer! My last blog was back in June and since then I've been out and about with my new children's book. But I've been prompted to return to my blog thanks to the invitation from writer Kriss Nichol to take part in the Blog Tour. So here goes....
Q1: What are you currently working on?
I'm actually about to revise my first book West Over the Waves, The Final Flight of Elsie Mackay. The book is officially out of print but there will be lots of interest in it next year - I'm told! American best selling author Laurie Notaro is publishing a novel interweaving the story of aviator Elsie Mackay along with two other women (Ruth Elder and Mabel Boll) who were also trying to the be first female to fly the Atlantic. The book is being published by Simon and Schuster next summer and Laurie has told me she'll be pointing readers towards my non fiction book! So it needs to be available. There is also talk of a film based on Elsie Mackay, who was the actress, designer daughter of Lord Inchcape of Glenapp, and I've read a very wonderful script by screenwriter Tony Lindsay.
Q2: How does my work differ from others in my genre?
I'm not sure I have a genre! I originally trained and worked as a journalist and because of that I feel that I am a jobbing writer, willing to turn my hand to anything! I write a newspaper column, short stories, creative non fiction and children's books. I also have a stack of ideas for a novel if I ever have time. I am a huge fan of Kate Atkinson and love the way her work cannot really be catagorised to a genre.
Q3: Why do I write what I do?
It's a compulsion! Simple as that. It just happens. If I get an idea or an inspiration I just have to get it down as fast as I can. Both of my non fiction books were researched and written quite quickly because I become obsessed. Even my new children's story - due out in spring 2015 - landed in my head fully formed while I was walking the dog one day and I had to run home and write it down. I know it sounds odd but I just find that when it happens, I'm driven!
Q4: How does my writing process work?
You can probably tell from the last question that I don't really have a process. Despite having studied yoga and worked as a teacher, I am very undisciplined. I have a busy and challenging family life which I have to work round too. Having said that, when I have a project underway everything else gets swept to one side and you'll find me in archives and libraries researching and then just writing until it's done.
Q5: What's new from you?
I had a new children's book, Big Bill's Beltie Bairns, published in May and with my publishing hat on, we have a new book due out this autumn called The Galloway Chilli by Shalla Gray. I was also appointed literary animateur for Wigtownshire in July, supporting the region's literary development officer, Carolyn Yates. With the Curly Tales and my Mary Timney book, I have a busy schedule of readings and talks over the next few months.
I'm now handing the baton to author Patricia Comb. Over to you Patricia.