Blog Hop

Many thanks to Gary Bonn for tagging me in this blog hop and posing the following four questions:

What am I working on?

Sitting here at my desk today, I have to; catch up with my blog as I’ve ignored it while on holiday, write an article for a writing group newsletter, prepare a presentation for a writer’s workshop on Saturday on Raising the Stakes, try to complete my list of tasks for a writer’s group board meeting plus update the group’s website and Facebook pages, read and edit chapters for an online critique group meeting tonight and remember to turn on Skype at 7pm for same meeting.

If I can squeeze any actual writing time today, I want to edit the first chapter of the current novel I’m working on – Sing Inside The Thunder.  I didn’t do any writing when I was on holiday – just got back last night so I’m pretty jet-lagged and have mounds of laundry to get through – but I got in some very valuable thinking time and have lots of ideas to strengthen/deepen the story I’m currently working on.

How does my work differ from other works in the same genre?

That’s a difficult question because I write in a few genres – romance, women’s fiction and children’s – and like every other writer out there, my aim is to craft ‘a good story well told’. So how is my work different? My voice, tone and personal outlook on life, I hope.

Why do I write what I write?

My stories all come from the heart with characters and situations I feel passionate about. However, I have noticed a common theme which frequently creeps in – the idea what we get second chances in life. Interesting, given that my favourite book of all time is Persuasion by Jane Austen.

How does my writing process work?

Irregularly irregular.  Sometimes I write like a fiend for days, sometimes I just do a lot of planning or editing and rewriting. But I do try – when I’m not on holiday – to get in at least one hour every day of solid new writing.  (Sadly, won’t happen today. The pile of laundry seems to be growing!)

Tagging forward: Mahrie G. Reid, Victoria Smith and Vivien Martin


Island of Islay – Vivien Martin

I’ve known Vivien since – ahem – First Year at Jordanhill School in Glasgow back in the ‘olden days’ of the 20th Century. As well as running her own publishing company and being a regular contributor to Scottish Islands Explorer magazine, Vivien is  currently coaching actors in Gaelic for auditions for Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series presently being filmed in Scotland.


According to Wikipedia, Scotland has a total of 790 offshore islands.  Although I’m Scottish by birth, I can – sadly – only admit to having visited four of them:  Arran, Bute, Skye and Mull.

The southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides, The Island of Islay, lies 40 km north of the Irish coast. With a population of 3,000, the island’s main industries are agriculture, whisky and tourism and was featured in the film The Maggie which led to a long-running series on BBC TV, The Vital Spark.

In her latest article in this month’s edition of Scottish Islands Explorer, Vivien offers insights into the history of the Island of Islay: Celtic saints, marriage stones, naval strongholds, ancient ruins, plague villages and shipwrecks.  Please check it out, and if you plan to visit Scotland, consider visiting this beautiful island.

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