Having left school with a safety pin in my ear and 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.
I’m currently editing a six-part sitcom, and collaborating with a team of three other writers on a comedy drama script. 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 No 1 in Amazon’s comic fiction chart (No 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, has now been postponed until spring 2021, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
I wrote and performed a one-woman show, The Darling Monologues, at Edinburgh Fringe in 2017. It was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. The following year, I achieved a long-held ambition to perform stand-up at the festival. I’ll be doing more of that.
When I’m not writing, editing or teaching, I’m spending lockdown trying to slim down a library of five thousand books, while iPlayer and Netflix play in the background; I am often lured away from the groaning shelves to the screen.