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I’m Willie, I’m a Scotsman, and I like horror fiction.
A lot of my work, long and short form, has been set in Scotland, and a lot of it uses the history and folklore. There’s just something about the misty landscapes and old buildings that speaks straight to my soul. (Bloody Celts… we get all sentimental at the least wee thing).
Scottish history goes deep. You can’t swing a cat without hitting a castle or a historic monument or, from further back, a burial mound or standing stone. Five thousand years of living in mist and dampness, wind and snow, lashing rain and high seas leads to the telling of many tales of eldritch beings abroad in the dark nights. Add in the constant risk of invasion and war from Romans, Danes, Irishmen, Vikings and English and you can see that there’s plenty of fertile ground for both fact and…
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My library reading group is Book Bears. We read a book each month, and I host the discussion. These are mostly second graders, eager to read. We have a full and lively house, until… Let me back up. Many things have happened.
When Book Bears first met in September, everyone brought their favorite book that they read over the summer. I did, too. I brought Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls. He was also the author of Where the Red Fern Grows.
Every summer I get lost in books, just like the Book Bears. Sometimes there is one that sticks with me for a long time. A very long time. This one did. His writing is fluid. His words are a quiver of arrows, shot to the heart.
Book Bears now know that. I read a random page from the book. That’s all it took. They were hooked…
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I hope you will all be staying up until past midnight to welcome in the new year. In our house my husband Dave leaves by the front door well before the first stroke of midnight carrying a a silver coin, bread, salt, coal, evergreen, and a wee dram, which represent financial prosperity, food, flavour, warmth, long-life, and good cheer. When I was growing up in Scotland it was considered bad form to go to bed before midnight and I still adhere to that. Nowadays, church bells are usually drowned out by fireworks, and the chimes of Big Ben on the television. However, I still view Hogmanay as a time for reflection and contemplation when we raise a glass to absent friends, and then stride forward into the new year with hope and optimism. I’m not a great one for new year resolutions, I’m usually happy to settle for love…
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The latest issue of Psychologies magazine has a novel writing competition for UK residents, aged over 18, with a £5000 e-book publishing deal – and possibly representation too, by literary agents David Higham Associates– up for grabs, IF (and it’s a big IF) you have a previously-unpublished psychological thriller or crime novel* finished by the closing date of 6th October 2017.
You ‘only’ have to submit the first 5000 words of the novel, plus a 1000-word synopsis by that date but it’s a condition of entry that the novel (75,000 – 130,000 words) is complete when you enter. The longlisted and shortlisted entrants will be required to send in their complete novels.
Have a look at the full details and rules here, if you think you might like to enter.
NB: you need an entry form from the magazine, so you’ll either need to hot-foot it out to…
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