When are your books coming out?
UK: Shadowscent: The Darkest Bloom (Shadowscent 1) published in the UK in February 2019. The sequel, Shadowscent: Crown of Smoke publishes April 2020.
USA: Shadowscent (Shadowscent 1) published in the US in November 2019.
Other countries: Advanced copies are at the sole discretion of the publisher, so you should get in touch with them direct. You can see who will be publishing Shadowscent by checking this page.
How can I get an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC)?
Please note I cannnot send out review copies of my books. Requests should go through my publishers.
Are you currently working on anything other than the Shadowscent duology?
I am! But right now that kind of information is strictly between me and my agent.
Who is your agent?
Josh Adams of Adams Literary, super-advocator extraordinaire.
Can you put in a good word for me with your agent?
Unfortunately, no. But the thing is, you don’t need an introduction. The vast majority of writers find their agents through the process of querying. If you write an amazing book, polish a query to a high sheen, and identify agents who love the genres and age groups you write for, then you’re setting yourself up in the best possible stead, regardless of recommendations.
Will you critique my manuscript?
Alas, my schedule doesn’t allow for this. Sometimes I will do critiques for organisations working to widen access in publishing, or for charity fundraisers. Otherwise, my recommendation is in the first instance finding yourself a critique group (if you write for children or young adults a good place to start is your local SCBWI chapter) or get to know people online who are also writing, so that you can start building up a reliable network of readers.
Do I need a degree or masters in creative writing to be a published author?
Nope. No. Non. Nein. I could probably say it in more languages, but you get the gist. I took a couple of creative writing subjects in my first undergraduate degree, but didn’t enjoy them so dropped out and worked for a couple of years to pay my bills. Years later, I went to the Clarion Writers’ Workshop at the University of California in San Diego—it was incredible (and I highly recommend it if you ever get the chance), but I didn’t take it as a formal ‘for credit’ course. So while I’ve dabbled in creative writing courses at university, I don’t have a degree in the area. And that hasn’t held me back. So, go study what you want. Or don’t formally study anything. There is no ‘correct’ pathway to becoming a published author, and there is no set timeline. You do you. That’s what counts.
Where do you live?
In the beautiful city of Edinburgh, Scotland. I grew up in Australia, though, so my second ‘home’ city is Melbourne, and there are several other places across the world where I’ve lived that will always remain close to my heart.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
First and foremost? Read. After that? I love an open world video game, preferably fantasy, historical or science fiction (favourites include Dragon Age, the Witcher 3, the Mass Effect series and The Last of Us). Otherwise I love my food, and cooking up a storm is a favourite pastime. Scotland is a great place for foraging—so if you don’t have a garden you can follow the seasons and find blackberries or elderflower, rosehips or wild garlic—some of it just growing by cycle paths or rivers. One day I’d love to have my own garden-to-table setup. One can dream, right?
Where do you get your ideas?
From that conversation I had years ago. And that museum I went to last April. And that tv show I watched last month. And that book I read last week. And that dream I had last night. And the way the leaves rustled just so as I walked past with that song blaring in my headphones. Ideas come from everywhere. Anywhere. Or nowhere in particular.
Can I write fanfiction of your books?
Go for it! But please, credit the source and original author. And I’m sorry that I’ll never be able to read your works of greatness, as I legally cannot do so.
Can I draw fanart of your books?
Please do! And, if you’re that way inclined, consider sharing it with me so I can squee over it? I can’t draw to save myself and so love to see my stories visually interpreted.
How can I support you and other authors who’ve written books I enjoy?
Buy our books (and pre-orders are especially helpful and lovely) or borrow them from your local library (and if they’re not there, request them). Equally, reviews help immensely, on Amazon, Waterstones, Goodreads, your blog… Blathering to your friends until they also pick up said author’s books. Shouting out on social media how much you loved your fave books. Voting for said books in reader-decided polls and awards. There are many ways.