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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:

Sally J. Collins –

Sally J Collins 1951-2014

Sally J Collins 1951-2014

‘Fluffy’   is a word that has been used often in the last few days as people share their memories of my dear friend, the talented illustrator of the Hamish McHaggis series.  Sally was fluffy and gentle, kind and thoughtful but when it came to her artwork she was a consummate professional, with an incredible eye for detail.

We worked together for 10 years on the Hamish McHaggis books. Hamish McHaggis and the Great Glasgow Treasure Hunt was the latest, and now sadly the last of the ten books we did together.


Hamish McH glasgow cover


I remember the fun we had going on trips to Glasgow’s Kelvingrove, Transport Museum and Pollok House so that Sally could do research  for her illustrations.

Sally was always delighted when she heard of children who had taken Hamish to their hearts, sending us pictures, ideas for stories and families who told us Hamish was their favourite bedtime story, or cuddly toy.

Clan Gathering July 2009

Clan Gathering July 2009

We had an amazing time together working on the Hamish McHaggis books, which were a close collaboration; we were very much a partnership. We had huge fun over the years with book launches and events in Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, Glamis Castle, at Balmoral, and on the Falkirk Wheel, and at the last Clan Gathering in 2009, when Hamish was the children’s mascot and we met people from all over the world who became dedicated Hamish fans.

We painted up a car as Hamish’s Whirry Bang  and there is a full size Hamish


as well as the little soft toy Hamish, which Sally just loved to cuddle.

cuddly Hamish McHaggis Toy

Sally was a kind and generous friend and colleague, and a delightful person to be around and she will be sadly missed but her delightful images will live on in the books to remind us of her.



Howwood Primary welcomes Hamish!

I was contacted by Laura Pughe, the P2 teacher at Howwood Primary school, who told me the boys and girls in her class were very keen to meet me because they had been working on the Hamish McHaggis books.


I was delighted when I got there to discover all the wonderful things they had been doing.  In their classroom was a little Hoggle, and big pictures of Hamish and his friends.

20140325_144627 There were letters that Hamish had sent to the class, some of them asking the children to do special tasks, such as building their own Whirry Bang vehicles.


20140325_144747Their classroom was full of the wonderful Whirry Bangs the children had made at home.









and all sorts of interesting things they had discovered about the characters.  The children had each had a chance to take cuddly little Hamish toys home and wrote about where they went with Hamish,  and there was a wall of tartan and even a visitor’s centre.












They had written stories about  spotting Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster and what a surprise they got when Hamish himself paid them a visit while they were singing his favourite song!



It was a lovely afternoon!

Park Mains High School, Erskine

Before the Easter break I visited Park Mains High School in Erskine, speaking to their S3 year group.

A great event organised by their excellent librarian Christine Kerr.lstrachan (2)