A former English teacher (before that I was several things, including university lecturer, barman, recycling technician and golf caddy) I am a native of Glasgow. I now live on Scotland’s west coast with my wife, daughter and a very big dog, where I enjoy cooking with eggs, running on the beach, re-watching my favourite films, and buying books to feed my to-be-read pile.
I visit schools and festivals all over the UK, promoting reading for pleasure, sharing my creative process and delivering writing masterclasses. I’m also keen to promote the pursuit of ambition, and to encourage young learners to work hard towards their long-term goals by detailing my long path to publication.
All my workshops ― calibrated to meet the needs of each year group ― are designed to increase engagement, support independence, develop literacy, and raise attainment in writing. Senior phase classes target specific assessment objectives, including the SQA portfolio component and analytical writing at A Level.
I’m delighted to be Patron of Reading and Writing for a number of schools, and Writer in Residence at a few more. These partnerships are the most rewarding part of my working life. I also work closely with the wonderful people of the Scottish Book Trust and my charity partner, CLIC Sargent.
As a writer, I’m interested in the stories that take place in the shadows, and exploring the tension between laughter and fear. I love the work of John Steinbeck and Philip Pullman. More than anything else, I love to edit, because that's where the real writing gets done.
As a human being I’m interested in spending time with my family, spending time in the creative dream-space between my ears, and meeting interesting writers with whom I can record episodes of my podcast, Four Books (see navigation menu at the top of the page!)