It’s the most wonderful time of the year – again

Well, would you look at that. May is nearly upon us (in the month sense, not the ‘grinning harbinger of political doom’ one), and that means only one thing: Eurovision. Wait, don’t run away! Let me try and persuade you to appreciate Europe’s premier cheesefest a bit more…

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Gone wandering

It’s been a helluva year, what with the whole Book Festival shenanigans, more publishing credits, scurrying to literary events and generally running my brain down a bit too much. So, I decided a last-minute holiday was in order. And that’s why I’m buggering off to Barcelona tomorrow for a long weekend.

Yes, you’ve kind of guessed the incoming earworm.



I’m not doing any NaNoWriMo while I’m away, but I will take my trusty notebook and my phone if staring at the Sagrada Familia inspires me. I’ll also be attempting to get by in a place that mostly speaks Catalan, where I’m armed only with the Latin American Spanish I used last autumn in Peru, having not used Peninsular Spanish for a decade. Ah well, I have Duolingo. What could possibly go wrong?


Sure that'll be really useful, cheers.

Sure that’ll be really useful, cheers.


Whatever happens, I’ll be back early next week to make a sad last-ditch attempt on the NaNoWriMo rebel project, and see what short fiction I can come up with for the lovely folks at Shift Magazine, the wonderful Edinburgh spoken word event Interrobang (brought to you by one of the Story Shop team!), and The List’s Hot 100 entrants 404 Ink. Cor, there’s so much literary talent in my hometown right now, eh?

And that’s not all, kiddos. I’ve decided to try posting here a wee bit more, so I’m going to try ‘Blogmas’ next month: a post a day on, well, all manner of things. I’m taking some ideas from here initially, but any suggestions for things you’d like me to talk about are most welcome! And on that note, I should probably finish packing. Fins dilluns, amics! ❤


Me, for the next 3 days.

Me, for the next 3 days.

Story Shop: Teaser Excerpts Online

The Festival season is well and truly underway, and that means the Book Festival is creeping ever closer. A few days ago, the three-minute excerpts of our Story Shop pieces were released, and you can listen to them all here. Go on, treat yourself, and if you liked the teasers then why not come along and hear the full story in person? It’s free, after all, and you’ll be supporting all of us local writerly types. (And if you don’t come and I have to read to an empty venue, I’ll be VERY SAD AND WISTFUL.)


Or angry like Taylor here.

Or angry like Taylor here.


By the way, I can only apologise in advance for the fact that sixteen of us Story Shop writers have lovely sexy voices, and I sound like a squeaky fifteen-year-old boy. Or, if you prefer, “my target audience”. In fairness, I recorded my extract in a very hot corner of City of Literature HQ, fuelled only by tea with my fellow Story Shop writers and a large bubble of anxiety. But full credit to the lovely Colin Fraser, who did a rather marvellous job of making me feel at ease, and also providing bonus help with Gaelic pronunciation. Maybe one day I’ll write something that doesn’t require basic proficiency in a foreign language. Ahem. Anyway, give the excerpts a listen, spread the word far and wide, and come along every day from the 13th to the 29th August to listen to great stories. Or I’ll keep posting GIFs of Taylor Lautner. Why yes, I’ve been rewatching Twlight even though it’s the most trope-ridden, wet-rag-protagonisted pile of nonsense ever. Stressing about Story Shop requires switching off my brain for a bit. And Taylor Lautner.


I should stop watching these films. But, y'know.

I should stop watching these films. But, y’know.