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Welcome to my site!

Some of my books

I write books for all ages, for young children to teenage and adults. I have also written a book on writing - Writing for Children - for both aspiring and newly published authors.

While I spend quite a lot of time visiting libraries, schools and festivals talking about my books and running creative writing workshops, I do manage to find time to write, too!

Latest News:

Never assume they won’t read.


It is all about finding the RIGHT book at the RIGHT  time for the Right child.  I was reminded of this recently when looking back at some of the things people have said to me over the years.

This was a lady who had attended a CPD session I had been running a few years ago and purchased a copy of my YA book SPIDER  for her grandson.  As you can see she was not really expecting him to read it.  I applaud her determination to offer him the chance.

‘My 15 year old grandson does not read books but, always the optimist, I bought him a copy of Spider. Imagine my surprise and speechlessness when two months later he informed his grandad ‘That book you gave me is awesome’ and proceeded to relate the story in detail. Thank you for making reading appealing enough to reach my grandson.’

It still warms my heart when I read this, it makes it all worthwhile.

reduced size ellon academy S2

Some keen readers from Ellon Academy

Children’s Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook 2015

The latest edition is now available, as always packed with great information –

and an article by yours truly :)  ‘Children’s writing in the digital age’


CHWaAYEARBOOK 2015                           WritingforChildren

A great companion to my Writing for Children book!



Edinburgh in August, it’s Festival time and the sun is shining!

Great schools event  at EIBF with  over 90 children from Pentland Primary School nd a lovely group from New Town Nursery. They heard all about Hamish McHaggis and the Skirmish at Stirling, and  asked some great questions.


This event was to have been a joint event with the lovely sally J Collins, Illustrator of Hamish Mchaggis who sadly passed away in July this year. But the children enjoyed the story and as always Sally’s lovely pictures delighted them!


This is a glorious time to be in Edinburgh, the city is full of colour and visitors, thousands of shows with something for every taste and every age.  The streets buzz with excitement. Tourists and performers from all over the globe mingle with locals, and even the air has a continental scent.

My favourite place in Edinburgh during August is Charlotte Square Gardens where the Edinburgh International Book Festival gets underway on 9th August in a magnificent tented village at one end of George Street in the heart of the city.

I am going to be there for two events, one with Hamish McHaggis is for Schools only.


With Hamish McHaggis

But at 7pm on Sat 23rd August 2014 Laura Jarrett and I will be speaking to Julia Eccleshare about our books Louder than Words  and Don’t Judge Me  in an event called  Motive and Intention

DJM- round 3 vs 1louder than words

So do come along and ask us some questions!


Already the normally quiet leafy Charlotte Square Gardens are being transformed.

There are so many great authors to go and listen to, events for all ages from tiny tots to teens their parents, and grandparents, those who are interested in travel, politics, fantasy and almost anything that might appear between the cover of a book.

One of the things that makes it such an enjoyable experience is the people you meet. All kinds of people from all over the world, all talking about books, about reading them, writing them and the effect they have on the world.

It is a lot of fun so I thought I would share a few photos I have taken at the Edbookfest in the past few years.

I love to catch up with other writers such as Edinburgh YA novelist Cat Clarke. This is us sitting outside the author’s yurt, a Green Room like no other!


With Cat Clarke, enjoying the sunshine


At the bookshop tent for a signing after my Writing for Children workshop event.    Almost time for a coffee I think!





A display of my books in the book tent




edbkfest 5

Chatting to authors Jo Nadin and Liz Kessler just before their event, with Julie Gamble from Blackwells Bookshop in the background


Kate Harrison, Teresa Flavin, Jane McLoughlin and Elizabeth Wein at the Teen Titles Party, during the Edbookfest

The Teen Titles party is held each year and is a chance for teen reviewers from Edinburgh Schools, who write for the review magazine are invited to meet some of the YA authors who are appearing at the Edbookfest.

yurt business 4

You never know who, or what you might meet in the yurt. He was not really scary at all!


Francesca Simon – Yes, everyone wants to be a Viking, or are they wings?