Sometimes a book becomes so impossibly huge that the author runs in the opposite direction. The Beach is one of those books. Alex Garland is one of those authors. I remember seeing his debut in Borders, the Glesga branch I spent most of my college years hanging about in. Oh, you could lose yourself in… Continue reading The Beach by Alex Garland
One of the problems I had with Happiness Is Wasted On Me was the question of how to make a coming-of-age novel sufficiently different from the rest. If we're honest, we have to face the fact that all coming-of-age novels are similarly built. The protagonist struggles against life, valiantly battling through their teen years, facing… Continue reading We Run The Tides by Vendela Vida
Dear independent bookshops, No matter how listless I've felt, or how boring everything seemed, you were always there to make me happy. From The Scan Bookshop in Cumbernauld, Scotia Books in Kilsyth, Edinburgh Bookshop, and The Book Nook, you've all been there for me in different ways. Not all of you are here any more.… Continue reading Indie bookshops, this is for you!
I live in a strange area which I won't specifically mention because I'm still hiding from the debt collectors, but it feels very apart from everywhere else. The transit system is infrequent, with buses forgetting to pass by on their route, but when they come, they take me to Glasgow, Stirling, and Falkirk. All of… Continue reading Library Lurking in Scotland
Most writers arrive fully-formed, their debut novel hailed as something special and original. That or they're just ignored and left to fend for themselves. The word ‘debut’ carries a special cache around the publishing industry. I started off performing live shows, writing my own stories, hoping to be published one day. Twilight was a huge… Continue reading The Path to Happiness
It was a day I'll never forget because it was when everything went from bad to terrible. The 12th December 2019. I was in Edinburgh with my friend Alex Nye, both of us suffering in the cold, but still excited to be seeing our old friends in the writing community. Our equivalent of an office… Continue reading Christmas Time, Irn-Bru and Wine
After months of delays due to Covid-19, my first novel for adults is finally out. Happiness Is Wasted On Me is a book I wanted to write, but more than that...it's a book I needed to write. Somehow, it just happened. Now it's available to buy and order from bookshops on your high street and… Continue reading My new book is out today!
I can't launch Happiness Is Wasted On Me at a bookshop, sadly, but safety first and all that jazz. At the same time, I don't want to sit on a chair looking at a laptop with a nice background. I'm seeing it too much. It's boring. So... I've decided to do something a bit different… Continue reading The big book launch!
For every book that gets published, there are books that didn't make it. For whatever reason, they just didn't make it. An agent couldn't sell it. A publisher went cold on it. Bad timing. Bad luck. Sometimes the author decides to bin the book. I have four YA novels published and an adult novel soon… Continue reading The books that didn’t make it
Last year I was at a launch of a new book when I had a conversation with a blogger, someone I like quite well. We were chatting about books we read when we were kids. If the early nineties belonged to Point Horror, then the late eighties were owned by Roald Dahl. However, as soon… Continue reading When authors disappoint: a personal story