Having left school with no qualifications, I eventually found a way of learning that rewarded individual thinking, and I went on to achieve undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in psychology, music psychology, teaching, creative writing and script writing. My approach is person-centred, and I hope my enthusiasm and faith in my students will motivate and inspire them to have an enjoyable and fruitful creative journey.
I recently spent a couple of years away from teaching, to focus solely on writing, but quickly realised that I needed to design a career to ensure teaching would always be part of my working life. I love working with students, whether that’s in a lecture hall, a classroom, online or in a one-to-one situation.
My first novel, The Emergence of Judy Taylor, started life as a script. It seemed the most natural way for me to get the story across. However, back then, I had no idea what a script comprised, so I reformatted the work and rewrote it as a novel. It reached Number 1 in Amazon’s comic fiction chart (Number 2 in general fiction), won Edinburgh International Book Festival’s First Book Award, and it was selected Waterstones’ Scottish Book of the Year. My second novel, The Darlings, was due to be published in spring 2020 but, like many novels and other projects, was postponed until summer 2021, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
I wrote and performed a one-woman show, The Darling Monologues, at Edinburgh Fringe in 2017. The following year, I achieved a long-held ambition to perform stand-up at the festival. My second one-woman show, SAY IF IT’S NOT OKAY, debuted at Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2022 for twelve nights.
In addition to working for OCA, I also run writing retreats at a Scottish castle, I coach clients on a one-to-one basis, I am a writing tutor for FindMyTutor, and I am writing my third novel, Learning to Thrive. I am a member of the Society of Authors, the National Association of Writers in Education, and the British Psychological Society. I am also a trained volunteer mentor for Creative Scotland.