My book is called ‘ISS’.

It was written in 2006 with the help of a Scottish Arts Council Writer’s Bursary. In 2008 it was read by Anne MacLeod under the working title 'Grass of Parnasus' as part of the Hi-Arts Work in Progress Critical Appraisal scheme.

Anne MacLeod commented, 'this is a moving, mature and resonant tale, Michael’s dark integrity set against Seana’s questioning spirit. It’s an impressive piece of work and, even in this in progress state one of the most compelling novels I have read in 2008... Beautifully written in spare poetic prose... A new and distinctive northern voice... The music of the different types of speech is one of this novels considerable strengths. This is the first contemporary Orcadian text that I have found convincing in this regard.'

In 2009 I was mentored by Judy Moir through the Scottish Book Trust’s Mentoring scheme which produced this final draft of the text.

ISS has now been published by:
Stromness Books and Prints
1 Graham Place
Stromness
Orkney

Available by post from them, phone +44(0)1856 850565 to order,
or email: Stromness Books and Prints.

ISS Cover

Synopsis of ISS

A love story set in Orkney, about the twisting lives of two socially excluded characters. Seana and Michael’s search for acceptance and meaning takes them each on very different journeys. Seana, the daughter of the immigrant ‘red’ Gaelic postmaster can’t wait to escape the limitations of a bigoted small fishing town to discover the excitement and mystery of art and literature in the city.
Michael, from a chaotic traveller family is predestined for manual work and tracks an economic path of need, firstly as a killer of seals in the last seal cull and on through the demise of the traditional fishing industry of the '70s and '80s and the fishing towns of the North of Scotland. Michael’s black morality is an uneasy constant as the livelihood of the islands is changed by environmentalists and far away political decisions.
The islands make an uneasy transformation into a tourist destination and Seana and Michael find themselves back physically in the place where they started but with changed perceptions of themselves and their home town.

Download excerpts of my book here: ISS Extract 1
ISS Extract 2
ISS Extract 3