I spoke about ‘No Safe Anchorage’ at the Penzance Literary Festival in early July after travelling by train from the North-western Celtic fringe to its counterpart in the far South- West.
The beautiful coastline reminded me of the Highlands.
On the way down I signed copies of my book at the Waterstones branch in Princes Street, Edinburgh.
Signing copies of ‘No Safe Anchorage’ at Waterstones in Oban on a cold but sunny June day.
I was delighted to talk about ‘No Safe Anchorage’ at a meeting of Skye U3A at the end of May. There were many interesting questions and comments from the audience despite it being a very hot day. It was a complete contrast to when I spoke about my first book, ‘Love and Music Will Endure’ on a day of storms and torrential rain. The joys of living in a place with changeable extremes of weather!
In April I spent an enjoyable evening as part of a panel in Inverness, hosted by HighlandLIT. We discussed
‘Women Writers in the Highlands’.
We were a varied group, both in age and as writers. Helen Forbes and Margaret Kirk are both accomplished writers of crime thrillers set in Inverness, Morven-May MacCallum has written a moving account of a teenager suffering from the aftermath of Lyme’s disease and my speciality is historical novels set in the Highlands. However we have Highland ancestry in common and Highland women are renowned for their toughness and resilience!
We covered a range of subjects, including how male authors expect praise for portraying “strong women”. Does this imply that strong women are unusual and therefore most women are weak?
Also debated was the issue of why Highland stereotypes are still so popular, especially the kilted, brooding Jacobite hero (red-haired of course).
There were plenty of lively observations from the audience which contributed to a memorable evening.
I enjoyed a lively discussion with the Advanced Higher Literature students in February about getting ideas for writing historical fiction. Their course includes producing several pieces of their own creative writing.
The March edition of ‘Scottish Islands Explorer’ features the islands of Rona and Raasay three times, among lots of other interesting features. See page 6 for a brief review of ‘No Safe Anchorage’. If you read that it will give you the answer to clue 27 Across on the crossword on page 49.
Since the launch of ‘No Safe Anchorage’ I’ve been travelling around Skye and further afield to Inverness, talking to all sorts of different groups and selling copies of the book. I’ve also been a travelling bookseller, taking books, not only to bookshops but to Skye’s Gaelic College, craft shops, post Offices, galleries and petrol stations. My journeys were mostly by car but I also took the ferry over to the island of Raasay, close to Rona where the story begins.
Display of local artists’ work in the Portree Post Office window
‘No Safe Anchorage’ is now available for pre-ordering on Amazon UK and on Amazon.com USA
My second book, ‘No Safe Anchorage’ is coming out in October. Here is a preview of the cover. I’m very pleased with this dramatic image. As a seascape it’s different from the cover of my first book but both pictures are brooding and atmospheric.