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Looming Hills and Radiant Water, Blank Fiction Magazine’s first Horror issue, November, 2014

Blank Fiction Magazine HorrorScotland’s not just a country of rolling hills and cuddly sheet. Bad things lurk in the heather and you need to know how to avoid them.

Emma grew up on Skye but moved to Glasgow when she was a child. She knows how to stay safe on the island: she knows the rules. All islanders do but they keep their business to themselves. People on the mainland don’t know anything of the dangers the islanders deal with. Then Emma’s best friend moves to Skye to paint for six months. How can she keep her safe?

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In Woodsmore Village, Scotsman Magazine, January 26, 2013

The Scotsman, National Libraries of Scotland, and Scottish Ballet ran a creative writing competition last year. The challenge was to write about Hansel and Gretel and describe what happened before they went into the forest. I love fairy tales and it was exciting to do something with a text that I know so well. The first challenge was to get my head around aspects of the brief that broke with the traditional tale: they’re in a village, the children are disappearing, now, there are only two left…

Read the story on the Scotsman’s website.

Salanntùr, in The Seven Wonders of Scotland, November 27, 2012

seven-wondersBirlinn Books, Scotland’s largest independent publisher, commissioned stories for a collection called The Seven Wonders of Scotland earlier this year. It imagined seven world-class wonders in Scotland and invited writers to suggest what they might be. I proposed a two-fold wonder: a current, 300-metre tall tower that stands in a bay south of Cape Wrath, spraying a fine mist of salt water into the air, and a new tower, over three times the height, that will help stop global warming.

My fellow writers are Andrew Crumey, Michael Gardiner, Gavin Inglis, Maggie Mellon, William Letford and Kirsti Wishart. It is quite a mix of styles and wonders.

Order it on Amazon.

Reviews

New writing Scotland 30 featuring Caroline von Schmalensee, Alasdair Gray, Agnes Owens, R. A. Martens and Carol Farrelly

Foundling, in New Writing Scotland 30

The city can be a very lonely place. We see the same people all the time but we don’t really know them. Often, we don’t even know the people who live on the same floor as us. So what do you do when you find a child outside your flat when you’re on your way to work one morning?

Order your copy now. See what the publishers say – and who else is in it. (It’s quite the line-up: Alasdair Gray, Agnes Owens, Andrew Greig, R. A. Martens, Carol Farrelly and Lin Anderson to mention but a few.)

Reviews

The Web

Jack, on 101 Fiction, December, 2013

Originally, this very short story was called Frozen but I changed it because the editor received quite a few stories called that. Not surprising maybe, when the theme was snow and/or the undead.

The Wolf at the Door, on Flashes in the Dark, May 25, 2012

This is the action section of a longer story about an 8 year-old boy who has a very bad night when he stays at his aunt Liz and uncle Bob. They’re really nice people, but they have guests who don’t all behave as they should. It appeared on Flashes in the Dark on May 25, 2012.

This Website

Aurora Borealis Under the Snow

A Christmas flash story inspired by the village that my aunt and uncle live, and where I spent Christmas 2012.

Fiction Friday #239 – Santa has employed a publicity agent and marketing firm to revamp his style

There are some characters I’ve never thought of writing about so to answer this prompt, I did what I could to leave Santa out of the picture. The publicity agents therefore move their scrutiny to his long-time partner: Mrs. Santa. Read it.

Fiction Friday #238 – Sorry I had to rig your GPS

A sorceror comes home to find a note from his girl friend on the kitchen table. She has something to share beyond the new skills she learned this morning. Read it.

Fiction Friday #237 – There’s a zombie on your lawn

Going to work is such an everyday thing and yet it’s best to keep your wits about you. Not all walks to work are the same. Some are, well, a little more eventful than others. Read it.

Fiction Friday #236 – Your main character is in the process of escaping

A woman escapes from a cellar and runs away in the rain. This isn’t a story as much as a scene or fragment inspired by a Fiction Friday prompt on Write Anything. Read it.