In my writing I aim to share experiences and ideas; to raise awareness of issues that I believe are important and to provoke thought and debate.
My principal topic is social care but I also write about my local natural environment and short comic fiction. These topics might seem unconnected, but both social care and the outdoors mean a lot to me, while comic fiction is pure enjoyment. Each provides different opportunities to develop my writing and I believe switching between these themes keeps me refreshed and stimulated.
As a carer for my father, this is an area close to my heart. As care needs rise along with medical advances and an ageing demographic, our care systems are under increasing strain. It’s a situation that is leaving many people, be they receiving or giving care, struggling with a lack of support and recognition.
In my writing I aim to raise awareness of the issues that carers face and to challenge some of the assumptions and preconceptions that persist about this largely invisible role.
Yet it’s not all bad news. With the right support caring can also be a rewarding and enriching experience. There are many inspiring stories that carers have to share; stories that teach us much about what it is to be human and the value of our personal and community relationships.
I’m lucky to live in the Dee river valley in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It’s an area of hills and mountains; moorland and heather; ancient pinewoods and cultivated farmland. It’s an area rich in flora and fauna and in human history, too.
As a lifelong lover of outdoor spaces, the natural environment has always been a source of inspiration, contemplation and pure enjoyment for me. It’s something I love to share with others through my writing.
I’m also keen on exploring the way that humans interact with their natural surroundings and the ways in which each shapes and influences the other.
Sometimes it’s fun just to let my imagination go, so in between my non-fiction writing I enjoy inventing comic short stories and flash fiction.
I particularly enjoy putting a comic twist on well-known folk tales and fairy tale characters. Their familiarity gives plenty of scope for playing with traditional narratives and the reader’s expectations.
These stories have no purpose other than to make the reader smile (though giggling is better).