The Ice and Other Stories
This is a collection that was been six long years in the making. It comprises 14 stories, the vast majority of which have been broadcast on BBC Radio or published in literary magazines at home or abroad. Several are set in Highland Scotland, but the majority are not. Setting is not of fundamental importance; the protagonists and their stories are.
Almost all are concerned in some way or other with the pain of being human, with suffering. They share a sense of being at a crossroads, of moments in life where terrible and vital choices must be made. Yet somehow, paradoxically, those places of decision-making – literally and figuratively – still have a beauty.
They are terrible and yet beautiful.
The original edition is sold out, but I have made two of my favourite stories available individually in e-book format from Smashwords:
What is the real story behind the young man who comes to Glen Lyon and begins building a house with his own hands? It’s only when Somerled Stewart comes down after the winter to the village and sets eyes on Anna, the daughter of the blacksmith, that the mists begin to clear. As he longs to build a perfect world around him in wood and stone, so he yearns also to create a flawless happiness with Anna. But when he discovers that she will have a child, fears from his past return to haunt him and jeopardize everything he has striven so hard to make. Glen Lyon is a powerful story about damaged men and women, and the transformative power of love in healing brokenness.
Well Of The North Wind
Fian has been adopted by monks on the west coast of Ireland. However, the young boy’s fine drawings in the sand soon take him to the Isle of Iona to work on the Book of Kells – that great treasure of the Celts – in the last days of Columba. Fian befriends the monks, and though never quite becoming one of them, he grows into their world and is caught up in their stories. One day he falls in love, and in the joy and anguish that follows, he wrestles with faith and embarks on the long journey to discover his true self.
Available from Amazon in Print and Kindle formats
This novel, published by Saraband, has been sold to the US and Canada, and is likely to appear in a number of languages. It’s a grim story for our times: a major terrorist attack in south-east England kills scores of people, but it also fans the flames of extreme nationalism, and an organisation by the name of White Rose is established to fight Islam and immigration from the Middle East. London is all but paralysed as one city in northern England becomes the battleground for rival factions and their ghastly atrocities. But what neither side knows is that one of the terrorists who committed the attack in the south was not killed but survived to be arrested by the security forces. Just how far will they go to discover the intentions behind the terror group’s operations? Published 25 May 2017
This was Kenneth’s first novel for 8 to 12’s. It is a Scottish story, set in the Hebrides, and it’s thoroughly appropriate that it should be published by a Scottish publisher, Argyll Publishing. A tale about a lost Spanish Armanda galleon and about the great storm in which it is found, this is also a very real account of growing up on an island and about the lives of two children in particular – Michael and Maria.