I've very excited to announce that my new novel Rest and Be Thankful has just been released on Amazon by Pilrig Press!! The new press is based in Edinburgh, my hometown, and is quickly becoming a major player in the U.K. publishing industry!
I started working on the novel around 2006, after a trip to Scotland with my mother. We'd rented a car with my aunt (nothing like the aunt in the novel, by the way!!) and had driven from Edinburgh to Ullapool, along the way getting a flat tyre and having to detour to Inverness airport where the rental company refused to pay for us to get a new tire, even though we had insurance! But it was still a great trip, especially since I had never been that far north before -- we drove past Bridge of Orchy, and Loch Ness and all the places mentioned in the novel (except the fictional village where they meet a Norman Bates-type character!). I took notes on some scraps of paper I'd found in my backpack, and when we got back to NC, I kind of just let it all sink in.
My friend Catherine introduced me to the novels of Elizabeth Jane Howard, and I got wrapped up in the diary-type style of The Light Years. I began writing a rough draft of a novel set in Scotland, using a similar style -- the diary entries of Katy, an American 13-year-old girl who travels from North Carolina to Scotland to try to reconnect with her estranged Scottish mother. Then I added the point of view of a wacky aunt with man trouble! Over the years, I added the mother's point of view, but eventually I took it all out, except for Katy's voice, and made the story hers alone. After all, that's where it started, with Katy, and her wish to be closer to her mother. Along the way, some very nasty stuff happens... But you'll have to read the novel to find out more!!