Strident Publishing is a very cool small press in Scotland and a natural fit for my punk DIY ethos. I set out to write the sort of YA books I felt no-one was writing, and it was Strident that first put out my books starting with CONJURING THE INFINITE in 2013. It won the Catalyst Book Award and as a result I toured relentlessly throughout 2013/2014 in support of my debut. It was immediately followed by ENDLESS EMPRESS (working title High School Massacre: The Musical) which is a weirdly experimental book that I love but understand that it might have been too odd for the audience. Written during the aftermath of my sister’s death, ENDLESS EMPRESS is a book bristling with anger and hurt, though sometimes when I re-read it…I think it may be my personal favourite, and it got me invited to the Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2015. It’s a messy, weird novel.
I sold out my print runs of each book via touring and live events. In the meantime I was slowly but surely building up a cult fanbase. Then in 2015 I finished work on NORTH OF PORTER, which combined the tightly plotted structure of CONJURING THE INFINITE with the outrageous weirdness of ENDLESS EMPRESS. NORTH OF PORTER is full of fun, zany characters and was my first book to feature (I hope) a central protagonist the reader could support. These books make up a loose trilogy called THE CASTLEKRANKIE CHRONICLES, but they can be read out of sequence.