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Welcome to my site!

Some of my books

I write books for all ages, for young children to teenage and adults. I have also written a book on writing - Writing for Children - for both aspiring and newly published authors.

While I spend quite a lot of time visiting libraries, schools and festivals talking about my books and running creative writing workshops, I do manage to find time to write, too!

Latest News:

Where would you take your Hamish McHaggis? A competition.

hamish toy (2)Ever since the Hamish McHaggis toy arrived earlier this year I’ve had some lovely photos sent to me of Hamish with his new friends. Hamish seems to get everywhere!

So I decided it would be fun to run a competition with a bag of Hamish goodies as a prize.

Just yesterday I heard that someone had spotted a little girl in Adelaide, Austrialia, Telling her wee Hamish what knitting is all about

Let me tell you more about the competition and below that you can see some lovely pictures of other  little Hamish fans with their Hamish.


The two winners will each get a Hamish cuddly toy,  Hamish goodies including a Hamish McHaggis book which will be dedicated  and signed by both myself and the illustrator Sally J. Collins. 

There will also be some runner up prizes of signed copies of the Hamish McHaggis Activity and Story book.


In conjunction with Looking Glass Books in Edinburgh we are running the competition for young Hamish Competition poster 1Hamish fans.  All you have to do is download and print out this picture of Hamish


There will be a list of participating libraries on the lookingglassbooks facebook events page    you can also enter the competition by handing in your entry there, The libraries will also will be putting up displays of the entries. (NEWS all 12 East Lothian Libraries are taking part- keep watching to find out more!)

All the information about the competition is also on the poster.

Once you have coloured in Hamish you can decide where you would take him.


Either draw and colour in the background of the picture with where you would take Hamish,  and then take a photo of your picture.

OR  cut out Hamish and take a photo of him in your favourite place.

Then click on the link below and upload your photo onto the competition page of the website Lookingglassbooks facebook events page   before midnight the closing date of St Andrew’s Day – 30th November 2013. Winners will be drawn on Sunday 1st December at a special event in the Looking Glass Books Bookshop, Quartermile, 3 Porters Walk, EH3 9GG  Edinburgh.

As promised here are some lovely little Hamish fans with their own Hamish.

libby and Hamish 2

Little Libby in New Zealand is a great Hamish fan. He goes everywhere with her!

libby and Hamish to the music

When her grandparents came to Scotland this summer they were under strict orders to get another Hamish for her, just in case he got lost or worn out!






Wee Matthew from West Lothian in Scotland likes to take Hamish to bed with him, to ensure he has sweet dreams.

Matthew and hamish

When Zoe was visiting from Northern Ireland she was delighted to spot Hamish in Waterstones window in Princes Street, Edinburgh

Zoe and Hamish princes street waterstones













And this is the lovely Eilidh who loves her Hamish so much that when she was going to be a bridesmaid

hamish 1

at her auntie’s wedding she had to take Hamish along. He is looking very smart in this photo with his tartan bowtie!

eilidh nursery

And doesn’t Eilidh look gorgeous in her bridesmaid dress!




Hamish decided he just had to get his photo taken with the bride and groom!







Sheonad, Eilidh’s mum, has a great blog.
Do drop by and have a look.

Eilidh has Spinal Muscular Atrophy and her mum Sheonad is working to raise awareness of the condition.






SO where would you take your Hamish?hamish toy (2)


Remember to enter the competition before St Andrew’s Day (30th November ) 2013










Check out my blog BOOKWORDS for more info

Becoming Patron of Reading at Liberton High School

On the 17th of September 2013  I set off early for Liberton High School in Edinburgh, for what I knew was going to be an exciting day.   I was officially becoming their Patron of Reading.  Edinburgh’s first!

Their enthusiastic librarian, Christine Babbs, had approached me some months ago and asked if I would consider becoming their Patron of Reading – I was delighted.

             Liberton Libarary

I had visited the school before and had always enjoyed my time there.

The Patron of Reading idea was started by Tim Redgrave, the current headteacher at Ysgol Esgob Morgan in St Asaph, Denbighshire, and author Helena Pielichaty.  It encourages schools and authors to pair up in a close relationship that benefits everyone. You can find out more about it on the website where schools and authors can put their names up to see if they can find a good match.
There are currently quite a number of Patrons of Reading all over the UK, but so far there are only 4 in Scotland, three in the Falkirk area and as of September,  I am the first in the capital.
But I am sure there will soon be many more.

I was excited and keen to get started and Mrs Babbs and I had organised a varied timetable of events during the day.  It started with a slightly informal talk to some S5 and S6 students followed by a chance to meet with a great group of bloggers, from all year groups, who will be contributing to the blog I set up.
As Patron of Reading I am keen to get the whole school community involved not just the young people but the parents and all the staff at the school, whatever their role.  One way of doing this was to create a mini website and we are actively encouraging everyone in the school community to write blog posts or book reviews for us. Our Books On The Brain  is the name of the blog/website and here you can see the book reviews, book lists, writing, news items and competitions.
The blogsite will develop over time as we add to it, but it looks like it will be a lot of fun and the bloggers had some great ideas.
Our first competition was to design the header and it was won by Jamie Cole was in S2 when he designed it last term.  We were delighted by his great image.

After discussing the blog with our great team of bloggers I went to speak to some of the S4 classes about creative writing and about how much fun it can be doing research for my books.

At lunchtime there was the official launch party and, of course, there was cake!

In the afternoon I spoke to all of the S1 and S2 classes, about 180 in all,  and they were a terrific audience!  There were some fantastic questions and it was a wonderful way to end my first day as Patron of Reading.

I am really looking forward to working with the school and getting to know more of the students and the adults in the school community.

For any authors who think they would like to become a Patron of Reading, I would recommend it.  There is no right or wrong way to do it, one of the joys is that it is up to you and your school to decide what you want to make of it and so much is possible!
If you are a school why not approach an author and see if they would become your Patron of Reading.