2015 was a long year of writing. I’m indebted to Creative Scotland for grant funding which allowed me to devote all my energies to new fiction and poetry – new writing generally. It’s the first time in 25 years that such an opportunity has been possible: normally I’m scurrying about the country (and abroad) to undertake an endless trail of writing workshops and retreats, school visits and readings.

So for the first time in my writing life there are two novels waiting to be published. The first is likely to be ‘The Well of the North Wind’, set on Iona during the last days of Columba. It’s the story of the ‘fourth hand’ in the Book of Kells, a young man brought from Ireland because of his great skill as an artist. And it’s the story of those he encounters on Iona as he grows into that world. The novel will be published (as will a new collection of poems entitled ‘Letting in the Light’) by SPCK in London.

EDIT: ‘Well of the North Wind’ is now published and available on Amazon

The second novel is on a much more controversial subject. It’s deliberately set a few years into the future and called ‘2020’. A major terrorist attack is carried out by young students from Manchester. After some 150 are left dead or horribly injured, there emerges a group of extreme English nationalists determined to combat what they see as the unacceptable face of Islam: they call their paramilitary organisation White Rose. The novel is told from the perspective of many different narrators: voices from all sides are heard. This is deliberately intended to make the reader constantly evaluate what is being said: are these first person accounts truly honest and credible? Are the witnesses trustworthy or might they be ‘forgetting’ the truth? The novel, as with a non-fiction work on the Sami people of Arctic Scandinavia, will appear from Saraband.

EDIT: ‘Beneath The Ice’ is now published and available on Amazon

My new website designer has worked hard to put several of my titles onto the Smashwords site, which means they can be downloaded almost for free onto any number of different e-book devices.

Because my sabbatical is now over, I’m very much back to a programme of readings, talks and retreats through the year. Please contact me for information regarding existing events, or to run something new.