“If I lose the light of the sun, I will write by candlelight, moonlight, no light. If I lose paper and ink, I will write in blood on forgotten walls. I will write always. I will capture nights all over the world and bring them to you.”
– Henry Rollins
Described as Ian McEwan’s Atonement meets Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, my debut novel, Goblin (winner of the Saltire First Book Award 2017), was first published by Freight in May 2017 and was re-released by Saraband in December 2017.
Goblin is an oddball and an outcast. But she’s also a dreamer, a bewitching raconteur, a tomboy adventurer whose spirit can never be crushed. Running feral in World War II London, Goblin witnesses the carnage of the Blitz and sees things that can never be unseen, but can be suppressed. She finds comfort in her beloved animal companions and lives on her wits, exploring a fantastical world of Lizard Kings and Martians and joining the circus.
In 2011, London is burning once again, and an elderly Goblin reluctantly returns to the city. Amidst the chaos of the riots, she must dig up the events of her childhood in search of a harrowing truth. But where lies truth after a lifetime of finding solace in an extraordinary imagination, where the distinction between illusion and reality has possibly been lost forever?
I’m a writer specialising in the weird and macabre, with Queer Theory (problematizing the ‘normal’) forming the backbone of my work. I write literary fiction, sci-fi, horror, and fantasy. I gained a Creative Writing Masters with Distinction from Edinburgh Napier University in 2011, and I have a First Class Degree in Psychology and Sociology from Queen Margaret University. I have had several short stories published and my work has been shortlisted for awards. I’m currently working on my second novel, HellSans, a science fiction thriller.
I am represented by Jenny Brown.
My favourite writers are Shirley Jackson, Angela Carter, Charles Burns, and China Mieville. I’m just a little bit obsessed with actor and writer Dirk Bogarde.
I do collage and photography, which you can find here: Stillicidious Stars.
Blogs and magazines:
The Quiet Knitter by Kate Noble, 2 Feb 2018
Matt Holland, 31 Jan 2018
The Skinny by Ross McIndoe, 5 Jan 2018
Scots Whay Hae! Best of 2017 podcast, 20 Dec 2017
Disclaimer Mag by Megan Kenny, 15 Dec 2017
DURA by Jed Edwards, Dec 2017
Live and Deadly by Mary Picken, 8 Dec 2017
The Skinny Christmas Books Gift Guide by Ross McIndoe, 4 Dec 2017
Scots Whay Hae! by Alistair Braidwood, 28 November 2017
The Strange and the Ordinary by Dean Muscat, 26 August 2017
SK Farrell, 20 July 2017
Shiny New Books by Isobel Blackthorn, 18 May 2017
Dundee University Review of the Arts, Jed Edwards, 20 March 2018 (took place Oct 2017)
Edi Stark’s Winter Weekend, BBC Radio, 1 Dec 2017
Lisa Guidarini, Glasgow Review of Books, 16 August 2017
Eris Young, The Fountain, 8 August 2017
Kevin Quinn, Midlothian Advertiser, 28 July 2017
Magnus Linklater, The Times, 20 May 2017
Alan Bett,The Skinny, 10 May 2017
Ryan Vance,The Queen’s Head, Oct 25 2015
Publications and Awards:
Biagio Cargnio – published in The Yellow Booke by Oldstyle Press, April 2017
HellSans – published in Gutter 16, March 2017
Northern Lights – published by Aethor and Ichor, January 2017
Pure – Leopardskin and Limes, October 2016
Borderline – shortlisted for the Jupiter Artland Inspired to Write competition, 2015/16
Wire – published in The Queen’s Head volume 7, October 2015
The Company Report – published on Inkitt, August 2015
Touch – longlisted for the Bath Short Story Award 2015
She’s A Liquid – published on Inkitt, June 2015
The Cake Tree – 3rd place in the Inkitt horror competition, February 2015
Miss West’s Requisitions – won the Dark Tales horror story competition, Feb 2015. To be published in ‘Mortis – Abominations’ in Nov 2016
Freud Is Dead – published in Gutter 11, August 2014
Wire – published in New Writing Scotland 32, July 2014
Pure – published in New Writing Scotland 30, July 2012
The Book Lover – included in the Festival of Erotic Arts, June 2012
Wire – shortlisted for the Aeon Award 2011
The Cake Tree – published in Duality 6, Dec 2011
She’s A Liquid – published online by Wily Writers Nov 2010 and in their anthology ‘Future Imperfect’ 2012
Connect – runner-up in the Edinburgh University Science Fiction Short Story Competition 2010
Self-Harm Triptych in ‘Power’, 404 Ink, Dec 2017
Frankenstein’s Children: Here Be Monsters And They Are Glorious, TQU, 31 Oct 2017
Ode to Charles Burns and Emil Ferris, The Unsung Letter, 18 Oct 2017
The Place of Strange New Things, my ode to libraries for Edinburgh City of Literature, July 2017
The Problems with Gender and Language, The Skinny, 28 April 2017
The Bisexual Visibility Experiment, Dec 2015
Choke – The Undertow, May 2016
I Still Believe In My Childhood Dreams, Scottish Book Trust – ‘Journeys’, 2015
Shirley Jackson’s The Witch, Thresholds Short Story Forum, Oct 2014
Thievery – a piece about the inspiration for my short story The Cake Tree, Mar 2014
Heart Is Where The Home Is, Scottish Book Trust – ‘Home’, 2014
Heart In A Box, Scottish Book Trust – ‘Treasures’, 2013
Dreaming St Conan’s Kirk, Scottish Book Trust – ‘My Favourite Place’, 2012
I was a freelance book reviewer for The List. You can read my reviews here.
The Arts Journal – freelance Edinburgh International Book Festival 2012 event reviews.
Lick My Words: Angela Carter’s The Erl King – shortlisted for the Thresholds International Feature Writing Competition 2012
Gregg Araki – shortlisted for the Women on Film Sight and Sound competition 2011
Interrobang’s ‘Lost In Space’ event
The Biscuit Factory, 29th April 2017
‘The Company Report’
Edinburgh City of Literature’s Story Shop 2012
Edinburgh International Book Festival, 22nd August 2012
‘Miss West’s Requisitions’
Illicit Ink’s ‘Love Sick’ event
Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, 13th February 2011
Edinburgh Napier University Creative Writing Masters Manifesto performance
Scottish Book Trust, Edinburgh, 24th July 2010.
Roxy Art House, Edinburgh, 9th August 2010.
Bongo Club, Illicit Ink’s ‘Toys’, December 2013.
Inspiration, Influence, Corruption:
Angela Carter, Shirley Jackson, Simone de Beauvoir, Mary Shelley, Manic Street Preachers, Octave Mirbeau, feminism, Max Ernst, J.G. Ballard, Suede, Ann Leckie, China Mieville, The Raveonettes, PJ Harvey, Charles Burns, Queer Theory, Patrick McCabe, Oscar Wilde, Saki, Lady Gaga, Patricia MacCormack, the bible, Michel Foucault, Tori Amos, Donna Haraway, David Lynch, Hannah Hoch, Judith Butler, Bob Flanagan, FK Alexander, Cindy Sherman, Arthur C Clarke, Nine Inch Nails, Harold Pinter, Don McCullin, Chuck Palahniuk, Diane Arbus, Gregg Araki, slime mould, Dirk Bogarde, Arthur C Clarke, Isabelle Huppert, weird arthouse films and horror films (Nowhere, Mysterious Skin, Doom Generation, Re-animator, Dagon, Evil Dead, Feast, Dead and Buried, Rec, City of the Dead, The Beyond, Housebound, Videodrome, Eyes Without A Face, The Mansion of the Doomed (or as I call it – Faces Without Eyes), El Espejo de la Bruja (The Witch’s Mirror), They Live, The Fog, The Mist, Black Sunday/Mask of Satan, The Invitation, Theatre of Blood, The Paperboy, Under the Skin, Maps To The Stars, Stoker, High Rise)