‘Elegant, restrained prose … compelling’ – The Sunday Times
‘Blisteringly eloquent’ – The Scotsman
‘Moving, poetic and quietly provocative’ – The Independent
Welcome to my website.
The Curiosity Cabinet, reprinted in this new revised edition by Saraband will be available in paperback and as an eBook in March 2017.
The Jewel, is all about the life and times of Robert Burns’s wife, Jean Armour.
Jean is a surprisingly neglected figure in the vast tapestry of myth, hero worship and fact surrounding Robert Burns. The material about her is there, but you have to dig to find it, which is what I’ve been doing for the past two or three years. Even Catherine Carswell, in her supposedly ground-breaking fictional account of the life of Robert Burns, published in 1930, gives the poet’s wife very short shrift. If male biographers damned Jean with faint praise, Carswell –perhaps following her mentor and friend D H Lawrence –was happy to stick the knife in and give it an extra twist, depicting Jean as the illiterate and uninspiring girl-next-door, none of which was true. That she adored the poet is undisputed. If we are to believe the evidence of many of his letters, the feeling was mutual. Arguably, the story of Rab and Jean is Scotland’s greatest untold love story.
Look at my Events page for a list of times and places where you can hear me speak about my new novel and read from it.
Don’t hesitate to contact me if your group or company would like me to come along and entertain you with a talk about Jean Armour and Robert Burns.
I love to hear from people who have read my books and stories or seen my plays. And if you have a spare moment or two, a review would be wonderful.
If you follow the link to my blog, you’ll find some useful questions for Book Groups. I’ve done so many talks now that I have a good idea of the questions people want to ask!