Happy New Year!
For me, highlights of 2017 included the March launch of The Awkward Autumn of Lily McLean at Waterstones in Braehead. It was fantastic to see so many supportive friends, colleagues and family at the launch. The cupcakes were a big hit.
Another highlight was in July, when I visited Sorrento for the first time. The views were so glorious that next year’s summer holiday to the Amalfi Coast is already booked. The plan is to visit all the places we missed seeing first time round, including Capri, Pompeii and Ravello. I can hardly wait…
Getting an email from Anne Glennie of Cranachan Books offering to publish A Pattern of Secrets, my children’s historical novel set in Victorian Paisley, was another massive highlight. The cover design is beautiful and the launch is happening on the 16th of April at Waterstones in Braehead. Do come along if you can!
School author visits were an absolute joy and I have had some very kind feedback from teachers, parents and pupils. The last week of term was particularly hectic as two primary schools in Prestwick had ordered lots of books and it felt important that they were delivered in time for Christmas. This involved a Friday morning trip on the 22nd of December to collect brand new reprints of The Mixed Up Summer of Lily McLean from the lovely people at Book Source in Cambuslang, followed by a dash to Prestwick, where all the books were signed in a local cafe and then rushed to Glenburn and Kingcase Primary Schools. We made it, just an hour before the schools closed for the holidays and I really hope the pupils enjoyed the books.
Of course, 2017 had its personal challenges too. It was a very busy year at school, sometimes so hectic that it was a struggle to find time or energy in the evenings to write. I was disappointed to hear in the summer that my lovely editor, Lois McFarland-Wilson, was leaving Floris Books, but wish her all the luck in the world and hope she is really enjoying being back at university.
At Christmas, it was lovely to spend a couple of weeks at home with friends and family, including the pets, Maude the miniature dachshund and our lovely cat Roo.
Usually, as soon as the word ‘holiday’ is mentioned, I start googling bargain flights, but the Christmas holidays are different. The furthest we ventured from home this year was Millport, on the Isle of Cumbrae. The island was very quiet and the shops all closed, unsurprisingly as it was Boxing Day. It was freezing cold, but bright and beautiful, and a calm, peaceful contrast to the rest of my year. This year, my New Year’s Resolution is to have as many of those quiet, calming moments as possible, preferably on a little Scottish island.