I’m delighted to say that my little piece on why libraries are essential has made it into the Perthshire  Advertiser. Great news as any publicity on this subject, from anyone, is very much welcome. The article can also be read in full in my blog post below or via this Daily Record link https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/perthshire-author-backs-regions-libraries-24098545

Libraries are essential

Why are libraries essential?

The Society of Authors has asked authors if they would offer their support and get behind CILIPS in supporting their campaign to save our libraries. 

The children’s author within me became rattled that this question even had to be asked and, before I knew it, my fingers were rattling off the keyboard. My memories as a young child combined with my experiences as an author meant that I reached their five hundred word limit rather quickly but, hopefully, through the power of words, my message can be added to others and the value of our libraries and the dedicated librarians within them can be heard.

In any case, I thought I’d share my thoughts with you here, and below is my contribution to the #LibrariesAreEssential campaign…

The question, why do I think libraries are essential, took me, unexpectedly, on a journey back to my own childhood.

I suddenly found my inner child gripping the counter while my tiptoes gave me just enough height to watch as the librarian prepared to stamp my library card. The thud that inevitably followed was the final confirmation that my choice in books was indeed coming home with me. I would clutch the temporary additions to our family firmly in my arms and watch as the librarian busied herself between stamping my grandmother’s choices and the tower of drawers behind her. The imposing wooden structure held the world within it. The cogs of the library wheel turned with every drawer that was opened and every card that was stamped.

I remembered the people we would meet and the chatter that would ensue around our newly selected books. And as I reminisced, I was hit with the overwhelming feeling that even although times have changed and the world has moved on, our need for libraries has most certainly not gone. Although we now independently scan our library cards and books, librarians are on the library floor, eager to help, talk books, and help you discover new authors, new worlds, and new interests.

And, although the memories from my childhood reinforce the need for our libraries, it is my career as an author that has opened my eyes fully to what our libraries and dedicated librarians do for their communities.

Librarians work hard with local schools and organisations and I have enjoyed many great events in libraries throughout Scotland where local primary school children have come to not only hear my stories and chat about their reading and writing but also, as part of their school visit, choose a book to borrow. I’ve watched as the children instinctively go to their preferred section and I’ve been inspired by their willingness to search for new worlds and new characters.

But given that now more than ever, parents and carers are working, and time is often a luxury, it is thanks to our librarians and the tireless work they do to build relationships with their local primary schools, that has given many children the opportunity to benefit from our libraries. They organise and hold author events; they unite the literary world, and they open doors for many children that may not otherwise be given the opportunity. Reading is an essential building block in a child’s learning. It feeds their imaginations and their creativity, and by default improves their own writing and storytelling skills.

Our children are our future! Every single one of them! And thanks to our passionate and dedicated librarians they grow into adulthood feeling welcomed in our library system. And, as their autumn years will inevitably approach, libraries will still be there, offering a source of comfort, friendship, and familiarity as they welcome them to author and community events.

Please do not underestimate the power of our libraries and their dedicated librarians.


And then came the snow!

It’s now been four months since we left our little patch of rural Perthshire to move into town and, foolishly, we were almost convinced that we’d melted into town living like ducks to water. Until that is, we had our first snow of winter!

Thirty-one years after leaving my hometown, I returned convinced that town living was for us. We had overcome the initial strangeness of never having visitors or the inability to be making new memories with our family in our new home, thanks to another lockdown, and had begun making more permanent plans for our future.

Then came the snow! Suddenly, the feeling of being closed in was all-consuming. After years of country living, we had grown used to seeing the weather rolling in over the hills as it made its presence known. We had watched as the surrounding countryside changed dramatically before our eyes. We had adapted to the hardships a change in weather could bring to rural Perthshire and, for us, that was all part and parcel of the joys of living in the country. But now, we can’t see beyond our garden hedge.

And, as I drove into town, I caught glimpses of the surrounding hills, white, dramatic, and beautiful. My eyes began to water, and silent tears fell as I thought about what I was missing out on, what I had left behind.

For us, winters normally brought deer to graze around our house. Birds would scramble between our hedges in search of food and shelter while stoats, dressed in their white winter coats, would lurk below ready to pounce.

Then, I found my thoughts instinctively turning to the contents of our freezer, and then to the log store. Do we need a restock? Do we need more logs?

But a surprising calmness followed as I realised that town living meant it was okay if the freezer was a little low. And it was certainly okay that we’d no logs, after all, we’d no place to burn them in our new house.

Suddenly, the snow wasn’t such an issue, it was beautiful, and I could allow myself to enjoy it. That was, of course, until the snow arrived mid-February. Yes, we got more than we would have liked but I watched as our garden transformed into a winter wonderland, just as it had done in the countryside. I watched as we cleared snow from our paths and driveway only for it to be covered again within minutes. I watched as the mercury fell and I felt relief to get back into the warmth.

All this culminated in the realisation that, although my initial subconscious response was to shed tears for the countryside I was so used to, I was now feeling settled and at home in my new surroundings. We discovered new walks, trudged through the snow to the local shop, met new neighbours, and adjusted to the winter weather just as we would have done in the countryside. The vast open spaces I missed were not gone, they were just around the corner and in view during our dog walks.

And while my other half revelled in the fact he was shovelling snow from a much smaller driveway, my youngest, who’s in our bubble, was reminding me you are never too old for a snowball fight.

If you’ve followed my blogs, you’ll know that after years of country living and with a need to downsize, my husband and I had initially decided to give town living a year before we made any final decisions on where we should settle. I’m certainly a country girl at heart but I do remind myself of the reasons we decided to move into town; we were both craving a less isolated lifestyle now our kids had flown the nest and a lot less garden to keep. And, as I think about the many reservations I’d had at moving back into town, I realise that my first emotional hurdle has been won!

Now, as I look out at a foot of snow, I no longer feel closed in. I’m no longer wondering about what I’m missing in the little patch of countryside we used to call home. Instead, I find myself wondering how the seasons will change my new surroundings. And I look forward to next winter when our world will have hopefully returned to some semblance of normality and our home and garden can be filled with family and friends again…and the snowball fights can resume.

Brechin & Angus Virtual Book Festival

I’m a little late in posting this but between moving house and an abscess on my tooth, the last couple of months haven’t quite gone to plan.

I was thrilled to be asked to take part in this year’s Brechin and Angus Book Festival which took place in November. Sarah Archibald has made an absolutely fantastic job of putting this event together in a virtual world that confuses me at the best of times. I’m ever impressed by those who can find their way in this ever-expanding technological world!

My recording was submitted at the eleventh hour as the swelling in my face finally receded between courses of antibiotics. Really, no one needed to see me with a face like a football. But, eventually, the timing was on my side, allowing me to read the first chapter from my novel, A life of Their Own.

To those who have not come across A Life of their Own, it was my first novel and piece of published adult fiction……a million miles away from my usual published writing, children’s picture books. But, it was a story that had been bubbling around in my head for many years and one I knew I would put to paper (or keyboard) one day.

As I ventured into adult fiction, I was determined that my first novel would tackle a difficult subject. That it would tell of a grim existence but also give hope of a brighter, happier future.

I chose to write about domestic abuse, but in a non-traumatic way. A Life of Their Own follows Kate, a young mother, both emotionally and physically, as she flees an abusive marriage with her two young children. Purposefully set in America, it is a journey that takes Kate and her young family from their small apartment in New York to the Colorado Mountains. The miles between Kate and her abusive husband only reiterate that no matter the miles put between the abuser and the abusee, the fear of the past catching up with them, the fear of safely putting down new roots, the fear of being found, never leaves.

The novel has had great reviews but it has also resulted in readers contacting me privately, telling of their experiences and how they have turned their lives around. It wasn’t an easy process for any of these people and, even although they didn’t feel it possible at the time, it was the start of a new existence, a new life, where they took control and regained their strength, independence, and self-worth. To each of these readers, I will be forever in awe at their strength and determination.

The rear pages of my novel contain the contact details of charities and organisations throughout the world, all ready and able to help at a moment’s notice. (All contact details correct at time of printing).

Below, you can find a small selection of the reviews A Life of Their Own has received.

Julia Shkolnik (Reviewer) UK

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Full Text:
It was a beautifully written novel by an extremely talented writer. Excellent character depiction, plus an exciting storyline make for a roaring success. Highly recommended.


Sabrina USA rated it – it was amazing
5 Stars
Shelves: women-s-fiction

A mother’s love knows no bounds. Kate literally risks her life to save the lives of her two children, Jake and Lucy. Little does she know it at the time, but she will end up saving herself. This little book is big on love, trust and forgiveness. Great read. Thank you Netgalley for introducing me to my new favorite author!


Cristie Underwood (Reviewer) USA

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Full Text:
Great read. The author wrote a story that was interesting and moved at a pace that kept me engaged. The characters were easy to invest in.


Myreadbooks (Reviewer)
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I especially want to thank SylverWood books and the Netgalley website for allowing me to read this book. 

I love the blurry cover of this book where I see the heroine almost in profile.

It features Kate running away from home with her two children. Will she be able to keep them safe and ensure that they are never found? She wants to start a new life away from New York, starting from scratch. What she didn’t know when she arrived in her new environment was that she would find herself in a life that she had abandoned long ago.

A book read in one go, so much so that I hung on to the story, so moving at certain passages, captivating, full of suspense and twists and turns with very endearing characters. I love the author’s writing so addictive. 


Annette Herbst (Librarian) USA

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Full Text:
I found this book to be a heartwarming story. I would absolutely recommend this book and look forward to the next book by this author


Additional Questions:

Is your library likely to purchase this title? Yes
Will you recommend this title through Readers’ Advisory, book clubs, events, etc? Yes
Do you nominate this title for the LibraryReads List? Yes


Amber Villanueva (Reviewer) USA

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Full Text:
This novel was hard-hitting and a great book if you want something that will hit you hard. We follow and mother and daughter trying to flee from domestic abuse. Very captivating.


A Books by Bindu review via a Random Things Blog Tour can be read in full here via Twitter. But here’s a little teaser…

“This book was exactly what I was needing to read at this moment in time.”


As part of a Random Things Blog Tour, Handwritten Girl has reviewed A Life of Their Own. 

“I loved this story, Kate’s a lovely character, a kind and warm person. It’s lovely to see her blossom and grow in confidence as the story progresses and she grows to find happiness. Her scenes with Matthew make for tender reading as the pair begin to get to know each other all over again.”


Shirley McAllister (Reviewer) USA

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Full Text:
Happiness at last

Kate and her two small children Jake and Lucy were living a very secluded and controlled life with her abusive husband Adam in New York.

Kate decides to leave Adam and takes her children with only a change of clothes in their school bag and instead of catching the school bus they catch the greyhound bus. Leaving letters with her friend Alice for Adam and the school she and the children slip away. She goes all the way to Colorado Springs where she heard so much about from her former boyfriend in collage Matthew.

This starts a new life for Kate and the children Matthew is still in Colorado Springs. It takes a long time for Kate to trust anyone again, however, when Matthew stands up for her to Adam she knows she is where she needs to be. Her little family have found a place to belong, a place they are loved, a life of their own.

I loved this heartwarming story of love and trust, kindness and patience. I would recommend this book.

D.H. (Reviewer) USA

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Full Text:
The most dangerous time in a domestic violence situation is upon leaving!
Kate wants out with her two children fleeing Adam and leaving everything she’s ever known in NYC for Colorado.
Her past soon collides with her present as she finds her former college boyfriend & the feelings that she long since thought she buried.
Now she must make a choice and quick!
Once a woman flees it’s often not the end!
The marriage was never dissolved nor was closure ever offered!
What she decides to do next is not A-Typical of what many in the same situation face.
It’s a process that takes time to heal old wounds as the wounds are not merely physical.
Abuse is so much more than mere words.
I absolutely enjoyed this on many aspects especially in regards to the ending and using those wings to fly.
As a survivor of abuse I’ve never felt comfortable with the term ‘victim’ because you can always seek hope, healing, and love.
Love always wins over hate!
Thank you to Pauline, the publisher, NetGalley, and Amazon Kindle for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.






Life in Suburbia….eight weeks in!

As if moving from the quiet of the Perthshire countryside into town wasn’t daunting enough, we chose to do it during a pandemic.

    We moved in just as lockdown restrictions meant no one was allowed in our home. Family couldn’t visit and workmen, who were still working to a backlog after months of lockdown, struggled to fit us in.

    The result is my husband and I have had to become a jack of all trades where our abilities have allowed. 

    Initially, it felt as though this home move was an enormous life changing event. A decision that would change the course of our lives forever. How wrong we were! 

    Returning to Blairgowrie, thirty-one years after leaving, has turned out to be more of a non-event for me, and I mean this in the best way possible. I feel we have melted into life and when I’m not writing or throwing myself headfirst into our ever-growing list of DIY jobs, I am revelling in the fact it only takes a few minutes to drive into town.  And, I have to say, walking our dogs after dark still feels like a luxury.

    But, most of all, I am enjoying the novelty of bumping into people I haven’t seen for years, people I went to school with, people I worked with. There is often a moment where there is a flicker of recognition and then the years fall away as we catch up on thirty years in a few short minutes. There are others whose eyes are familiar, but I can’t quite place. I would imagine I am much harder to recognise, gone is the 80s perm and large hoop earrings that, of course, came in every colour.  But, either way, the result is me delving into memories that were long forgotten, reminding me of friendships and specific events in my life that deserve to be remembered.

    Bizarrely, and somewhat unexpectedly however, we find our little patch of suburbia almost as quiet as our old house in the countryside, but with the added pleasure of far more incidental human contact. So, our experimental year when we decide whether we should stay in town or return to the familiarity of the countryside, is something we are embracing and are so far enjoying.

    However, to be truly honest to our big decision, we must face the negatives as well as the positives and, although my husband and I have settled into our new house, there is a strange feeling of isolation.

    If you have followed my previous blog, you will know I was determined to build a family home wherever we ended up. And at least during lockdown in our old house, we had the memories of a bustling house and a full dinner table, laughter, chatter, board games and, although moved out, our children’s bedrooms and belongings were a reminder of our life there.

    But, here, in our new house, lockdown restrictions have meant there are no such memories being made. We have had no family or friends to visit, no family gatherings around the table.

    In this surreal world, my dad has walked around the outside of our house, peering through windows to see the changes we have made. My daughter, who is part of our extended bubble, is a primary school teacher, and for that reason alone has visited only once for fear of bringing the virus home to us. Our son has also followed the rules and not come to see, what is now, his new family home.

    We are living a new life in a new house that has not brought with it the usual hustle and bustle of family life, we’ve no friends popping in for a visit.  Family photographs scattered around help, but it’s not the same.

    This, however, is the world we are all finding ourselves in just now and, one day, normality will return. That is when we will know for sure if we are going to lay down our roots and settle in town. If so, there will be walls to knock down and others to build, life will be busy again and that is when I thrive. That is when I will have to juggle a desperation to write and desperation to create a family home.

    In the meantime, I will continue to make the most of my new writing spot, inspired by its views and the changing seasons in suburbia.

The Next Chapter…

What do you do when you are in the depths of moving to a new house, and you find yourself with two and a half hours to spare? You write a blog! Inner, creative me has won over organised, there’s too much to do, must stay on track me as I park myself in a corner of our new empty living room while I await the arrival of a workman. The echo of each tap of the keyboard resounds as I avoid the inevitable to-do list for a little longer.

          For us, this house move is exciting. It’s the beginning of a new chapter where my husband and I make our lives a little easier, give ourselves more precious spare time, and enjoy what will now be a remarkably smaller and more sensible garden to keep. This move is about looking forward, onwards, and planning new and exciting trips (once Covid allows). It’s about living, about embarking on new adventures as we find ourselves with an empty nest while we are still only in our early fifties. The fact that this move will give me far more writing time is filling me with excitement and an eagerness for the next couple of weeks to be over. I’m desperately looking forward to a new daily routine which will work far better around my writing and I’ve already picked out my new writing spot.

            It does come with the realisation that all I am doing is delaying the inevitable as the next week and a half will be spent packing up our old house during the day and finishing the painting, renovating, and working on the new house in the evenings and weekends all with the unwavering goal of uprooting years of an existence and packing it away into boxes. Which brings me on to the real reason for writing this….

            My children are now twenty-seven and twenty-three, they have finished university and have embarked on their own journeys in this ever-changing world. They have moved out, met wonderful partners, and, coincidently, are happily living just a few minutes away from each other in our capital city. But they regularly come home, filling our house with their familiar laughter and personalities. Of course, our dinner table has grown from our little bubble of four to six and that is wonderful. Their laughter, hilarity, games, and the joy this brings is, to me, what life is all about. Not to mention our two little dogs, they have no idea to what extent their little world is about to change, but I’m sure if we are all together, they will settle quickly.

            I was organised, on track, and in the swing of all that I had to do until my youngest came home to pack up her room. Obviously, there will always be room for our children no matter where we are, but this room has seen her through her primary and secondary years and through university. It has evolved with her, grown as she has, and, even although she now has her own flat, her room has always been here, waiting on her whenever she needed to return. Now though, those memories have been packed away, boxed up and labeled through tears (mine, I should add) and neatly given their place in our new attic. I was that same, tearful person a few years ago when we packed up my eldest’s room to allow for a spare bedroom. At the time we weren’t to know how handy that room would become. But now, removing those same boxes from our old attic and transporting them to our new attic, it hurts all over again. Memories are by far more valuable than possessions and I will live determined never to forget the memories and images that have brought us as a family so much love and happiness in a house that we have adored for so long.

            But the dreaded time has come. Our beloved house is now too big and the heartache I feel at leaving must be turned into an overwhelming appreciation that we were lucky enough to be one of its caretakers in its lifetime. At almost one hundred years old, it has seen many people come and go and the excitement we felt when we moved in all these years ago is now turning to sadness as we prepare to leave.

            But there is more to life than hoovering and dusting rooms that are mostly unoccupied. There is more to life than battling to keep up with a garden that goes on and on and there is certainly more to life than maintaining an existence that we have all outgrown.

            So where to now? Well, having had no neighbours or streetlights for almost twenty years and having been surrounded by fields and woodland, we are moving back into civilisation. We have decided that because the sun disappears around three-thirty, four o’clock in the depths of winter our days should certainly not be over. We are looking forward to the luxury of walking our dogs in the evening under streetlight, we are looking forward to the luxury of walking to a local shop, of going out for a meal without having to drive miles to get there. To be able to walk out our front door and carry on with our day will, to us, be luxury.

            We have lived the ‘out in the sticks’ lifestyle and we have loved it! I cannot emphasise that enough, but as we get older (and the point is older…not old) we still have so much to do, so many places to see and so much life to live. Our house was at one-point bustling but now my husband and I barely make a dent in its rooms.

            So, our big decision is to give the town a year and see if we like said streetlights and town living as much as we think we will.  We are moving back to the town I grew up in and where my husband was just a year below me at secondary school. We will be closer to some members of our extended family and further away from others but as always, our door to them will always be open.

        Last night, as we put the finishing touches to some of our DIY projects, both my brother and brother-in-law turned up to help and, as is always the way, both acquired a couple of other jobs while they were here. My point is, home will always be where we are, where we congregate and the people we come to for love, support, and to make things better when the universe throws us a curveball. Just because we are leaving a happy (albeit too large) family home doesn’t mean we can’t create another.

       That is the challenge that excites! That is the challenge that we are ready for! That is the challenge that will be met as we are why our children still come home. We are why our children make their way north, we are why our children meet up even without us. A home is not only bricks and mortar, it’s the people within! Its generations keeping in touch, sticking together, and not allowing the nasties of this world to intrude, to hurt, to damage the precious existence we have worked so hard to create.

Handwritten Girl reviews A Life of Their Own

As part of a Random Things Blog Tour, Handwritten Girl has reviewed A Life of Their Own. The full review can be read in the link below.

“I loved this story, Kate’s a lovely character, a kind and warm person. It’s lovely to see her blossom and grow in confidence as the story progresses and she grows to find happiness. Her scenes with Matthew make for tender reading as the pair begin to get to know each other all over again.”

A Life Of Their Own By Pauline Tait



Blog Tour Interview: A Life of Their Own

I was delighted to be interviewed as part of a RandomThingsTours Blog Tour for my novel, A Life of Their Own. It was published via Twitter (link here) but for those who don’t use Twitter the full interview can be found below….

Blog tour: A Life Of Their Own

Welcome to the blog tour for A Life of Their Own by Pauline Tait, which published by Silverwood Books in September 2019.

I am so excited about having the author on the blog that, without further ado, here is our Q&A:

Hi Pauline! First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the publication of A Life of Their Own! Can you please briefly tell us what it is about? 

A: Hi Silvia, thank you.

A Life of Their Own tackles the subject of domestic abuse. It follows Kate’s journey, both physically and emotionally, as she flees an abusive marriage in New York to start a new life with her two young children at the foot of the Colorado mountains. Described as “moving and sensitive” it explores the meaning of family, love, power and control.

It focusses on the young mother’s struggle to move on, to trust, to be confident in her own decisions, to be open to new friendships, the constant fear of her past catching up with her and the possibility of her ever being able to enter into a loving relationship again.

Purposefully, it’s not a traumatic read. My aim was to give hope to others suffering in the same way as Kate and for that reason the rear pages of the book have contact details to different charities working worldwide to help people, no matter their race or gender. 

Did you have the plot entirely figured out when you started writing the book or did it take an unexpected turn as the characters grew on the page?

A: Both Kate and Matthew’s characters and their specific plot lines were in my head from the outset. However, Alice’s character developed more towards the end of the process. Initially, she was just to be an old friend who could assist Kate in her escape but as I rewrote and edited specific parts of the novel and thought about the book in its entirety her character came back into play which in turn gave another minor character more significance towards the end.

Also, I knew I had to strike a balance with the extent of the abuse and how I wrote it. To give the story real depth the abuse had to be significant, although I am keen to point out that abuse on any level is not acceptable. So, my way of dealing with this was to write about it through Kate’s memories. Hopefully, highlighting the abuse without the reader having to read through the distressing specifics.

Was A Life of Their Own your title from the very beginning or did the novel have a different working title?

A: No, originally it was to be A Life of Our Own given it was their own bid for freedom but there are other books out there with that title, so I had to tweak it a little.

If this novel was going to be turned into a film, who would you cast in the role of Kate?

A: Oh, this is a good question. Possibly either Anne Hathaway or Natalie Portman as I feel both could play the strong independent woman while at the same time bringing Kate’s struggles and bravery to life.

Without giving too much away, can you tell us about a scene in the book that you love or that was particularly difficult to write?

A: There is one scene that stands out for me. Without saying too much, Kate eventually reveals the extent of the abuse she received to another character. In this scene, it was a mixture of the setting, the events leading up to their conversation, their pent-up emotions and the character that she was opening up to that culminated in an emotionally intense scene. It was a scene that I wrote in one flow and needed very little editing afterwards.

As a writer I’m constantly trying to put myself in my character’s shoes, I think you must if you are to convey the required emotions and feelings; you have to lose yourself in the particular moment. With this scene I had done just that and was in tears by the end.

Is there anything that didn’t make it into the final version of the book?

A: No, but the Christmas scene was in then it was out and then it was in again but with more detail. At first, I had thought the scene irrelevant but as the novel spans a year it became relevant again.

If you are already working on your next writing project, would you mind giving us a little anticipation of what we are to expect? 

A: I had been working on a novel set on The Isle of Skye but with the current climate and travel restrictions around Covid-19 have had to put that to one side. But this has allowed me start on another idea that has been bubbling around in my head for a while.

As yet untitled is the story of Lois, a successful writer in her late twenties who is not so lucky in love and life. It is more light-hearted than A Life of Their Own and I am hoping there is scope to turn the character’s antics into a series. It’s early stages, but I’m thoroughly enjoying writing it.

I also write children’s picture books and have the fourth and final book in The Fairy in the Kettle series written and with the illustrator. Obviously, the current climate may delay things a little, but it is on its way.

What are you reading at the moment?

A: I have been introduced to a variety of new authors recently via a friend who was clearing out her bookshelves. She brought me a carrier bag full of books and I am currently working my way through it. I have really enjoyed picking out the next book by an unknown (to me) author and giving it a go. I have just started A promise to Keep by Lilian Harry and so far, so good…

Due to the popularity of social networking websites, interacting with readers – be it via Twitter, Facebook Instagram etc. – is becoming increasingly important. How do you cope with these new demands on authors and do you think that they somehow disrupt your writing schedule? 

A: I dart around in the world of social media but really, it’s not my forte. Initially, the world of hashtags and threads was hazy to say the least, but I am on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and have gotten to grips with it over time. I think if you are a natural promoter and have the time to spend on these platforms you are fine, but it does interfere with writing; your choice of the word ‘disrupt’ is highly accurate. 

What one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

A: Absolutely give it a go, but as much as you plan and research your manuscript plan and research the inner workings of the publishing world and what they expect too. The Writer’s Handbook is a great starting block as how you present your story to a publisher or agent, who you approach and what you include is crucial.

Thank you for your time!

A: You’re welcome and thank you!



Homeschooling activities for 4 to 8 yr olds

I thought in this time of Coronavirus and school closures, I would create a new page on my website; full of fun stuff to download. Something to help parents and children through the next few weeks and months.

Activities will relate to my books but you won’t have to have read them to join in. My books, and therefore, the activities are aimed at 4 to 8 year old’s…hopefully I can provide a varying mix to cover the varying ages.

Each week or so I will upload new activities giving you the chance to check in regularly to see what’s new. So far, I have added a series of colouring sheets with images from within my books and fairy finger puppet making for the very little ones. For the older children there is a selection of word searches, criss cross puzzles, mazes and a wonderful little article I’ve created to encourage primary children to read… they will be writing by creating their very own SKELETON! There’s plenty to choose from…and more on the way. Activities added so far can be found below but you can keep an eye on my website by clicking here.

You can let me know what you think, share pictures of your children’s finished work or place comments on any of my social media platforms. I would love to see what your little ones do with the activities I upload. 



Session 1

Click on the links below to print colouring sheets from The Fairy in the Kettle and The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical. We’ll save the Christmas sheets for later in the year.

Leona – The Fairy in the Kettle

Robbie & Leona’s precious kettle – The Fairy in the Kettle

The Grumpy Fairies – The Fairy in the Kettle

Leona awakes with a start – The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical

Mischievous pixies – The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical

The elders – The Fairy in the Kettle gets Magical

Toby and the fireflies – The fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical

My stories have been brought to life beautifully by the brilliant Debbie Bellaby Illustration.

Session 2

Here we have a mixture of Criss Cross puzzles, Word Searches and Mazes. There is a selection of abilities and all, of course, are about fairies. Just click on the links below…

Criss Cross Puzzle 1

Criss Cross Puzzle 2

Criss Cross Puzzle 3

Word Search – For the little ones

Word Search – It’s all about the fairies

Word Search – from The Fairy in the Kettle’s Christmas Wish

Maze – Playing with the swallows

Maze – Elders searching for the fairies

Maze – Leona needs your help

Session 3

This session brings you both crafty fun and writing fun…

Crafty fun

For younger children there are fairy finger puppets to be made. You will need:

  • colouring pencils
  • children’s scissors or an adult to help cut out your puppet
  • a glue stick
  • a lollipop stick – this is optional as they will fit on the end of your finger
  • Click here to download your very own fairy finger puppet template
  • now follow in the instructions on the template

There are some finished puppets in the pictures below, taken during one of my Waterstones events.

Writing fun

Now for the older children…

As an author I often visit primary schools where I read my books and talk to children about writing. Children are always full of wonderful questions and we talk about both their writing and mine.  I can guarantee that at some point during the visit I will be asked how I write my stories and my answer is always the same…I create a skeleton!

This response always results in a mixture of confused faces and giggles but I do. I really do create a skeleton and by downloading my Becoming an Author article you can see exactly how I do it and create your very own skeleton….creating your own unique story as you go…just click here to download my Becoming and Author article.

What a busy few months it’s been…

In blink of an eye we have gone from my book launch in September to the start of December. I am a little behind with my writing and admin to say the VERY least but, sometimes, our elderly relatives need our time far more. And, although it has meant that my writing has had to go on the back burner (as they say) for a few months I am forever grateful that I have been in a position to dedicate my time to a loved one who has really needed it. 

Going forward I’m hoping to get back into a writing routine in January. I have the fourth book in The Fairy in the Kettle series needing its final check before being sent off to Debbie Bellaby to be illustrated and then it’s straight into another novel that I started back in the summer…I only got to chapter three so there’s still lots to do…but I can’t wait to get started again.

In the meantime, below is all my bookie news from the last few months… 

Book Launch for A Life of Their Own – Waterstones, Perth, 27th September

Firstly, a huge thank you to Waterstones manager Anne- Marie, who made the launch of A Life of Their Own a night to remember.

It was great to celebrate with my husband, children, friends, family and all round bookie people…and, yes, the question was asked many times, how to do go from writing fairy stories to tackling the subject of domestic abuse? To be honest, even I don’t have the answer to that one; it’s just what I wanted to write at the time! 

But, a great night was had, and the usual colouring sheets from my children’s events were replaced by Prosecco and nibbles…




The Morning After!

As everything went quiet after the previous night’s launch, another official 5 star review came in via Netgalley. Just sharing a snippet though, so there’s no spoilers…

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

“I loved this heartwarming story of love and trust, kindness and patience. I would recommend this book.” S McAllister, Reviewer


3rd of October

This was a day of signing and enveloping as signed copies of A Life of Their Own were sent out into the big wide world. Many were early Christmas pressies from people far more organised than me this year!

Image may contain: indoor


…and more copies from The Fairy in the Kettle series fluttered into the lovely gift shop at The Birnam Institute in Dunkeld & Birnam…

Children's Books - The Fairy in the Kettle cover image Children's Books - The Fairy in the Kettle's Christmas Wish cover image


12th October

I was delighted to be interviewed by Hollie Bruce from the Courier and it was inside their weekend magazine…


17th October

More books in ‘The Fairy in the Kettle’ series made their way to Wigtown and the fabulous Curly Tale Books Ltd.

A gorgeous little children’s book shop full of wonderful books for your little readers…


18th October

Yup, it’s the 4th book in The Fairy in the Kettle series and I was working on reducing my word count…just a little…now it’s ready for a final edit 😉🖊


19th October

More copies of A Life of Their Own arrived in Waterstones Perth.

A huge thank you to everyone who has bought a copy and supported a local author 


19th October was also…

Where it all began!

The Fairy in the Kettle has just had its 3rd birthday and is still going strong. After more bookshopschool and library events than I can count I’m still enjoying introducing this book to new fairy fans.

Now with three books in this series published and the manuscript for the fourth almost finished I can only thank Leona fans for enjoying this series as much as they do 🥰


22nd October…was a day to celebrate!

Have I just finished the fourth book in the Fairy in the Kettle series?

I think I just might have 😉

Now it’s filed away for a few weeks and then it will get a final check with fresh eyes 👀



This was the day A Life of Their Own was spotted on a shelf in Blackwells in Gogarburn, Edinburgh…


16th November, Waterstones Perth book signing.

To coincide with the Perth Christmas Lights Switch On I was in Waterstones signing copies of A Life of Their Own.

A huge thank you for having me along and to everyone who popped in to hello and get their own signed copy.


It’s BookWeekScotland!!

18th November

A huge thank you to Bridgeton Library in Glasgow for having me along as part of their BookWeekScotland celebrations and for such a warm welcome. Also to the brilliant P4 pupils from St. Anne’s Primary School who came along too hear The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical. Your questions were fantastic!😀


20th November

My BookWeekScotland travels continued with a trip to Sunshine Play School in Kirriemuir

This may have been a younger audience but they were wonderful and were completely engrossed as I read The Fairy in the Kettle. Decorating fairy wings went down a treat too! Thank you for asking me along today.

Some pics from the event and just look at the wonderful fairy village they have created in their garden 😍



21st November

BookWeekScotland continued with…

A huge thank you to Blair Atholl Primary School today for a warm welcome once again.

I read The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical to pupils from Nursery to P3 before chatting to pupils in P4 to 7 pupils about writing. They wowed me with their stories and poetry….some of which has even been published!

Lovely pics were taken, hopefully I will be able to share these with you soon.


22nd November

My 5th event for BookWeekScotland was in Morningside Library in Edinburgh where I read the first chapter from A Life of Their Own before chatting and answering questions.

Thank you for asking me along today and for the lovely welcome.


24th November


Looooook what I just spotted in Waterstones Perth…

Would make a lovely Christmas pressie or Christmas Eve read with its reviews and beautiful illustrations.


A little pre-Christmas advertising was done for A Life of Their Own. It’s had fantastic reviews, some I can’t share with you because they are from people who have suffered personally from domestic abuse in some form or another and it’s not my place to share, but the fact that they have identified with my character, felt her every emotion and given it great reviews means that hopefully A Life of Their Own will inspire others suffering to either look for help or find the strength to make changes in their own lives.

This review, however, I can share…

“It was a beautifully written novel by an extremely talented writer. Excellent character depiction, plus an exciting storyline make for a roaring success. Highly recommended.”
J.S, Reviewer UK

With 5 star reviews A Life of Their Own would make a wonderful gift for any book lovers Christmas



25th November

My last event for BookWeekScotland took me back to Glasgow with a visit to Barmulloch Library and the P3 pupils from nearby St. Martha’s Primary School.

It was lovely to read The Fairy in the Kettle’s Christmas Wish to them and hear all about their reading and writing.  Of course, no visit to a library is complete without choosing a book to take away AND just check out the wall display behind me 😍😍

Children's Books - The Fairy in the Kettle's Christmas Wish cover image

and they had another fantastic wall display for all to see…


28th November

BookWeekScotland may be over but I was still busy, this time preparing gift sets for local festive events. With a Christmas market in our local WalkIn Cafe in Spittalfield and a Christmas fair later this month there was plenty to do!


It’s been a busy couple of weeks!

A Life of Their Own came out on the 16th of this month and it has been all go since then. As we prepare for the official launch tomorrow I thought I would bring you up to date with all that has been going on.

Firstly, it made it onto a Waterstones table…a complete and utter thrill for an author!


Secondly, there was this lovely article in the Perthshire Advertiser…

A few days later it was Book Of The Week in the Courier’s Weekend Magazine. Reviewed along with others, it was lovely to see it get such as wonderful review concluding with “Tait has created a real page-turner and shown herself to be a successful adult fiction novelist.”…

Along with the newspaper articles, reviews started to come in…

From Germany:

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Full Text:
This book I find very well written, since the first page you can dive deep into the storyline. I also liked the cover very well. It is nice designed in the color and in the design itself. The writing style is very good and very pleasant and fluently to read. The book has been very clearly structured and the plot is traceable and very interesting. The characters look very authentic and traceable to me. The author succeeds in writing very detailing about the scenery, characters, surroundings and emotions. This story is fascinating and consistent at the same time and keeps the tension until the end. A Seeger, Reviewer


From USA:

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Full Text:
Great read. The author wrote a story that was interesting and moved at a pace that kept me engaged. The characters were easy to invest in. C Underwood, Reviewer


From USA:

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Full Text:
It was a beautifully written novel by an extremely talented writer. Excellent character depiction, plus an exciting storyline make for a roaring success. Highly recommended.

Now, as we prepare for the official launch tomorrow it’s great to see A Life of Their Own getting fantastic window space in Waterstones Perth…where they have recently taken delivery of more copies…


Finally, I received a lovely pre-launch surprise today all the way from Australia. Just stunning…


A Life of Their Own


This is a page I am delighted to be adding to my website as it means I have announced my latest publication. In contrast to my previous writing I have been secretly typing away and have my first novel out on 16th September this year.A Life of Their Own is a story I have been wanting to write for a few years. It couldn’t be further away from my picture book writing and for that reason I wanted my first novel to tackle a serious subject. Maybe even to give hope and inspiration to anyone finding themselves in the same situation as Kate.

When Kate and her children step onto a bus early one Tuesday morning, she knows this is their only chance: their only chance at freedom and at a life of their own. But, can she ensure their safety? Can she ensure they will never be found?

This is a feeling that haunts Kate as she and her children begin a new life far from New York, far from their troubled past.

But, little did she know that their new life would bring her closer to a different past, a life she had long given up, making her already fragile world more complicated than she could have ever imagined.

As always, once A Life of Their Own has hit the shelves I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

A Life of Their Own will be available worldwide in paperback and as an ebook from Waterstones, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and all good book shops.



**So excited to share this news with you**

In addition to my children’s books I have been quietly scribbling away at something quite different and, finally, I am able to share this with you…

My novel, A Life of Their Own, will be released on September 16th and, as a little teaser, here is the blurb…

“When Kate and her children step onto a bus early one Tuesday morning, she knows this is their only chance: their only chance at freedom and at a life of their own. But can she ensure their safety? Can she ensure they will never be found?

This feeling haunts Kate as she and her children begin a new life far from New York, far from their troubled past.

Little does she know that their new life will bring her closer to a different past, a life she had long given up, making her already fragile world more complicated than she could have ever imagined.”

*** Cover reveal and pre-ordering options coming soon ***


Waterstones Aviemore – Saturday 29th June

I am always happy to have a trip to Aviemore and the beautiful Cairngorms but it was especially nice to visit with an event.  I was in store reading my latest picture book, The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical. As always my reading was followed by fun arts and crafts. Fairy puppet and wand making were on the list along with colouring sheets with images from within my latest book and as you can see they went down a treat! Huge thank you to Kelly for taking so many wonderful photos…

Waterstones, Perth – Saturday 8th June

I had been looking forward to this event very much, as it was in my local Waterstones store! It was lovely to see so many returning Leona fans and read my latest book, The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical. Lots of fun was had by all and plenty of beautiful wands and fairies were made! Thank you to everyone who came along. 

There are some signed copies available in store too.


The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical! The fun continued this week with more Waterstones’ events

It’s been a busy few weeks with book events and this last week was no different. Always fun and great to meet new Leona fans, it was a pleasure to return to these Waterstones’ stores. Thank you for having me and to everyone who came along…

Waterstones, Stirling – Saturday 1st June, 10.30am

I was delighted to be back in Stirling, this time reading The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical. Fairy finger puppets and wand making followed the readings, as always, with one little Leona fan making her very own Leona…


Waterstones, Braehead – Saturday 1st June, 2pm

Always lovely to return to Braehead, and this time I spent the afternoon reading my latest book, The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical. As always, the fairy arts and crafts went down a storm and plenty little fairy puppets were made.

Waterstones, Oban – Saturday 25th May, 1pm – 3pm

As a huge fan of the west coast and the Oban store, heading across for another event did not feel like work! I read my latest picture book, The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical, before little fairy fans made their own fairy finger puppets and wands. As you can see below, always fun! 

A Busy and ‘Booky’ weekend

It has been an extremely busy weekend with four book events in three days, juggled surprisingly well with a hectic family life and celebrations.  However, I have to get better at taking photos of events…I always get pics of the set up before starting but forget when the events get going as I become so engrossed in the fun, something I will have to fix!

Saturday 18th May…I started with a morning event  in Waterstones, Dunfermline before heading across to Waterstones, Kirkcaldy for an afternoon event. It’s always a pleasure to return and this time it was to read my latest picture book, The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical. As always there were fairy arts and crafts and, given things are getting magical, wand making had to be on the list. A huge thank you to everyone who came along, especially those who braved the rain in Kirkcaldy.

Then it was a quick drive down to Edinburgh for a family meal to celebrate my youngest finishing uni and to fill the boot of the car with as much as we could as she is also moving flats, before heading home and unloading the car… only to reload it again as I prepared for my next (and much looked forward to) event the following morning…

Sunday 19th May saw a very early start as we headed south west to Benmore Botanic Garden near Dunoon for their Open Day. I was delighted to be returning as visiting author for the third year running.  This is always a fun and magical event in beautiful surroundings and this year was no exception.  Settled in Puck’s Hut in the walled garden, I read my latest picture book to Leona fans from previous years as well as new fairy fans we met on the day. 

A huge thank you to my youngest who joined me again this year and oversaw the arts and crafts while I read to the children in Puck’s Hut.  She went walk about before the event started and captured some amazing photos of the gardens…you will understand why I love the event so much when you see the pics…


It should be the rule that when you travel from Dunoon to Dunkeld after a busy event you stop at the Ardlui Hotel for dinner, right on the banks of Loch Lomond. A Delicious end to a lovely day.

Monday 20th May saw me step over the boxes from my daughter’s flat as they still sat in the utility room where they had been dropped on Saturday night. All was worth it though as my busy weekend ended with a trip to Springburn Library in Glasgow where I met Primary 1 pupils from Elmvale Primary School.  It was an absolute pleasure to read them my latest picture book, The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical, and chat with them about our writing and the books we enjoy reading.  Thank you for coming along.


Fabulous to see them all leave the library with a book to read too!

Granton Library, Edinburgh – Monday 15th May

I was back down in Edinburgh today, this time to meet the P1 pupils of Granton Primary School within Granton Library.  The warm sunny weather meant we could have our event outdoors in the library garden adding to the atmosphere. Thank you all for the warm welcome and for so many enthusiastic questions.

The Bridge Library, Glasgow – Wednesday 15th May

Thank you for having me along to The Bridge library today to meet P2 pupils from St Benedict’s Primary School. It was a pleasure to read my latest picture book, The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical, and to answer so many wonderful questions about writing. It was wonderful to listen as they told me about their writing, the books they were reading and to watch their enthusiasm grow as they spoke about their reading. Photos to follow.

Publication Day and Events

Publication Day was 7th May

I am a bit late with this but it has been a hectic week to say the least. The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical is now published and available, worldwide and online, in all good books shops. It has been lovely hearing the reactions and feedback to this, the latest addition to the series, and it has been great to meet fans from previous events as the events for this book have got under way. Upcoming events are listed on my website and this weekend I am off to Waterstones in Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy on Saturday before heading across to Benmore Botanic Garden on Sunday for their Open Day.

WalkIn’ Cafe, Spittalfield – Sunday 12th May

It was great to be back in Karen’s WalkIn’ Cafe on Sunday. After reading The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical the fairy colouring and crafts came out and the wands and fairy finger puppets went down a treat.  Parents made use of the cafe and the children finished off their afternoon with a fairy cake and juice!


Waterstones, Princes Street, Edinburgh – Saturday 11th May

I was delighted to be kicking off my run of book shop events for The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical in Edinburgh with three planned readings throughout day. As always, each reading was followed by fun arts and crafts; we made our own fairy finger puppets and wands. There was, of course, the usual colouring sheets with images from within the book. unfortunately I didn’t manage to get any pictures of the event but here are some pics I took before the event started…and some of the lovely wands!


Muirhouse Library, Edinburgh – Wednesday 8th May

I had a lovely morning with the Primary 1 pupils of Pirniehall Primary School in Edinburgh. They came along to meet me at Muirhouse Library where I read The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical before answering their many and brilliant questions! An enthusiastic group who blew me away with their questions!



Almost there!

Almost there!

With PUBLICATION DAY less than two weeks away it’s all go! The Fairy in The Kettle Gets Magical is out on 7th May and I am busily getting as much writing done as I can before my first event on the 8th. May and June are going to be extremely busy with Waterstones, school and library events but I am looking forward to them and to introducing the third book in this series.

All bookshop events are listed on my events page and the book is currently available to pre-order from all good books shops worldwide, links to Waterstones, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Kindle version are available here.

Fairytale Life Rooted in Landscape

…was the title for an article in The Perthshire Advertiser on Tuesday 23rd April.  It’s a lovely article and shows off the county of Perthshire beautifully. Follow this link if you would like a glimpse into my writing life and how the local countryside has inspired me to write and bring The Fairy in the Kettle series to life.

As another World Book Day passes us by

As another World Book Day passes us by it’s been great to see so many children, parents and schools embracing the world of books. I would like to give a huge thank you to the parents who contacted me through my website and social media pages with pictures and stories of their children dressing up as Leona from The Fairy in the Kettle series…lovely to see some kettles finishing off the costumes nicely too! 

It’s been a busy week for authors with many carrying out school visits and bringing the world of their books to children across the country. I also had some exciting news to share on the day as the cover was revealed for my latest picture book, The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical.  Once again Debbie Bellaby has done an amazing job of bringing my story to life with her wonderful illustrations and I am looking forward to sharing some of those with you soon.

The Fairy in the Kettle

“They could remember the warm amber glow shimmering and sparkling as it danced through the air. Twisting and turning as it went.”

When Leona was woken early one morning, she knew something had to be wrong. But as she rushed to meet the elders nothing could prepare her for what she was about to hear. Life in Fairy Glen was about to change…the word’s fairy dust were echoing in the air!

The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical will be published on 7th May. It is already available to pre-order from Waterstones and will also be available to pre-order from Amazon and Barnes and Noble in the not too distant future.

Watch this space for a list of upcoming Waterstones events as I will be sharing those dates with you very soon.

You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Waterstones Aberdeen 9th February 2019 & latest news

Waterstones Aberdeen 

Pictures can’t do this event justice! We had a great time on Saturday as Waterstones in Aberdeen celebrated mid term with a Creatures of the Forest Party.

I was invited along to read my book, The Fairy in the Kettle, and join in the crafty fun.  We made our own fairies, a huge hit with the children, and finger puppets as well as the usual fairy colouring and wing decorating. Little fairy fans had their faces painted and some even put on an impromptu fairy puppet show. 

This was an lovely morning enjoyed by all.  Unfortunately, we sold out of books so there were some disappointed fairy fans but orders were placed online so hopefully the books will be with you soon.




Latest News

Its full steam ahead planning for the release of The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical in May.  I just love the cover and am looking forward to sharing it with you in the not so distant future.

Its all quiet again with events for a little while but that is to allow myself writing time. However, the diary is filling up for May and June and I am looking forward to returning to Waterstones stores and will be the visiting author at Benmore Botanical Garden again for their Open Day…for the third year running. I will keep you up to date with the publication on here and my social media pages as we get closer to the publication date…which i will reveal soon!

A New Year

Happy New Year and welcome to my first blog post of 2019.  

It was a busy end to 2018 with book shop events, festivals and school visits promoting my latest picture book, The Fairy in the Kettle’s Christmas Wish.  As always it is great to be able to go into schools to read to and chat with pupils about reading and writing and to listen as they share their own writing experiences and questions. I was also extremely lucky to share my books with fairy fans at various Waterstones events and their support is something I am extremely grateful for.  Unfortunately the snow put a stop to the planned Oban event but hopefully I will be across in the coming months with my next book. It was also wonderful to see returning fairy fans from previous rounds of events.



The start of 2019 is all about finishing pieces of writing while at the same time working on the production of the third book in the Fairy in the Kettle series, The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical. The illustrations (once again by the brilliant Debbie Bellaby) are with the publishers and they are currently working their magic while the font is added to the front and rear covers.  The next step is to lay the illustrations and text out for each page.  This is one of my favourite parts of the production process and anyone who knows me or my books will know my aim is always to have each page as visually exciting as possible.  Both the publication and cover reveal dates will be announced here on my website and on my social media pages…they are not too far away!

Once again Debbie’s illustrations are beautiful and her attention to detail has earned her 5 star reviews.  No surprise when you see this little teaser from The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical…

There is other book news to share too…but not quite yet. Another project I have been working on will be announced later in the year and is something quite different.

Meanwhile happy reading and as always upcoming events will be posted here and on my Facebook, Twittter and Instagram pages.


When a book comes to life!

I love this stage, when Debbie Bellaby has completed the internal illustrations for my next book and is just about to add the colour!  She has, yet again, managed to bring my story to life just as I had imagined while writing. After I signed off on her rough illustrations she set to work on the final drawings. Earlier this week I signed off on those too, and now I look forward to seeing them fully brought to life with colour.

Debbie has already completed the front and rear covers and they are safely with the publishers. In the past I have known how I wanted the front covers to look but with this book, the third in this series, it was a struggle and I had no real image in mind. In my brief given to Debbie, I left it up to her; knowing I could trust her artistic talents and I am delighted that she has captured the essence of the story, both beautifully and simply. 

It is a joy to see my stories coming to life through Debbie’s fantastic illustrations and I am looking forward to working on the production of this book in the New Year with both Debbie and the amazing team at SilverWood Books.

Some little teaser illos for you…

5th December 2018 – School visit – Stanley Primary School

It was a pleasure to return to Stanley Primary, this time to read The Fairy in the Kettle’s Christmas Wish. After reading to nursery and lower primary pupils and chatting to them about writing and the characters in my stories I read to pupils from the upper primary classes and answered their brilliant questions about writing. It was great to hear their enthusiasm when they spoke about their own writing. A lovely afternoon!

3rd December 2018 – School visit – Blair Atholl Primary School

I was thrilled to return to Blair Atholl Primary School to read my latest picture book to Nursery & P1-3 pupils before chatting and answering questions from P4-7 pupils about being an author.  The pupils were given 30 seconds to discuss with a shoulder partner what questions they would like to ask.  Their questions were inspiring and we discussed everything from writing/planning, finding an illustrator/publisher, typesetting and page layout, marketing and events. A lovely way to spend the morning!

1st December 2018 – Edinburgh Central Library 11am – 12pm

It was lovely to return to the Central Library to read my latest book, The Fairy in the Kettle’s Christmas Wish.  The children’s section of the library is brilliant for these events and the children enjoyed wing decorating after the reading before returning to the reading room to tell me about their wings and the fairies they had designed them for, magical!

27th November 2018 – Book News

The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical

The front and rear covers have now been completed and are with the publishers.  Next steps, front cover font and rear cover blurb.  Once again Debbie Bellaby’s illustrations are amazing and are bringing the next installment of Leona’s adventures to life.  I can’t wait to share these with you in the coming weeks.

13th November 2018 – Pitlochry Primary School

I was asked along to Pitlochry Primary school to speak to primaries 5 – 7 about their World of Work Week.  It was a pleasure to answer their many fabulous questions on writing/structuring a story, finding a publisher/illustrator, and life as an author.

There were definitely some budding authors and illustrators of the future there and one little artist drew me at the event and then asked if I would mind signing myself…which was a first!

21st November 2018 – Read-a-Licious Book Festival

I was at The Eastgate Theatre in Peebles for the Read-A-Licious Festival which ran in conjunction with Book Week Scotland. This was a really lovely event in a lovely theater. Primary 2-4 pupils from surrounding schools came along to hear The Fairy in the Kettle’s Christmas Wish and ask lots of great questions on writing/structuring a story, working with and finding an illustrator/publisher, how books eventually end up on book shelves and the working life of an author.

A huge thank you to Alex and her team.

14th November 2018 – School visit – Royal School of Dunkeld

It was lovely to be back amongst old friends at RSD, and reading my latest picture book to Nursery and Primary 1 was a pleasure.  This was a school visit with a difference though as I also officially opened their new Early Years Library!

It was great to see such young children so excited about their new space and the vast array of books they had to choose from.  The hot air balloons decorated with the children’s favourite book covers fitted in perfectly and it was lovely to spot a couple with The Fairy in the Kettle covers.



A strange couple of weeks

It’s been a strange couple of weeks, to say the least, with not much writing done.  I have, however, been busy with other fun book stuff.  Debbie sent through her latest sketches for The Fairy in The Kettle Gets Magical (out 2019) and it has been great revisiting the manuscript.  I loved writing this book and the illustrations for this are, as usual, going to be vibrant and fun.

Lovely reviews have also come though for The Fairy in the Kettle’s Christmas Wish via Netgalley and Goodreads. These reviews can be viewed either on their sites or my reviews page for this book.

I have also been putting my diary together for events during November and December with my latest picture book, The Fairy in the Kettle’s Christmas Wish.  These events will all have fairy colouring and crafts after the readings and, as always, will be a lot of fun. Details of all events are being added to the upcoming events page on this site as they are confirmed and will also be posted in my facebook page @ptauthor



Waterstones, Perth

Thank you to everyone who came along to make this a brilliant event.  A little early for Christmas but, The Fairy in the Kettle’s Christmas Wish was also available today and I am delighted that it is a new read for so many fairy fans.

Waterstones, Oban

21st July 2018 – I was delighted to return to the Oban store as part of their Fairies and Unicorns Day. How gorgeous are these Fairy wings, designed by one of the little Fairy fans who came along. Also a huge happy 5th birthday to Charlotte who came to spend the morning of her birthday with us.

Braehead Shopping Centre, Glasgow

12th July 2018 – It can’t get any more magical than reading The Fairy in the Kettle in a Magical Forest and that’s exactly what we did in Braehead! Lots of fairy fans came to enjoy The Fairy in the Kettle and joined in with fairy colouring and wing decorating.

Waterstones Braehead

29th May 2018 – I was asked along to speak to a local Brownie group as part of their “Oh no, Brown Owl is Four-0” badge. They had to speak to an author and ask questions as part of their badge and they did so brilliantly. I was asked about everything from writing to finding an illustrator to getting published. As always the Fairy colouring and wing decorating at the end of the session went down a treat.

Juniper Green Primary School

18th April 2018 – I was lucky enough to spend the day with the P1, 2 and 3 pupils of Juniper Green Primary School. It was inspiring to hear the pupils talk so enthusiastically about their writing and answer their many amazing questions. They told me about their stories and strategies for writing and I am sure I met some future authors.

Thank you for asking me along to spend the day with you. 

Edinburgh Central Library

14th April 2018 – There was a great turnout for the event at Edinburgh Central Library! 
After reading The Fairy In The Kettle there were plenty arts and crafts to choose from as the children enjoyed making and naming their own Fairies. There was of course the usual fairy colouring with a pair of wings to take away and decorate at home.

A Little Update

29th Jan 2018 – Just to let you know we are working away in the background and I will be able to share news on the publication of the second book in The Fairy In The Kettle series in the coming weeks. 

I am also working on something quite different, early stages at the moment, but as always I will share with you when I can!

RDM Primary, Scone

29th Nov 2017 – The topic this term for the P3 pupils of RDM was Enterprise. As it coincided with Book Week Scotland I was invited in to talk about life as an author and the business side of writing. The pupils were full of brilliant questions and great ideas.

Royal School of Dunkeld

28th Nov 2017 – As part of Book Week Scotland I spent the day with the pupils from the Royal School of Dunkeld. Great fun reading my story and chatting to nursery up to P2 before moving on to discuss writing structure, working with illustrators and publishers and the process of getting the book onto shelves with P3 to P7.



Walkin’ Cafe, Spittalfield

25th Nov 2017 – We had a lovely warm welcome today with lots of home baking and a log burner keeping us warm.  After reading my book, there was the ever popular fairy colouring sheets and wing decorating followed by juice and fairy cakes provided free of charge to every fairy fan by Karen, the Cafe’s owner.  A lovely way to spend the afternoon!

Tollcross Primary School, Edinburgh

4th Oct 2017 – This mornings visit took me to Tollcross Primary School where I read The Fairy In The Kettle to the P1, P1/2 and P2 classes.Thank you all for your warm welcome and for asking all your brilliant questions.

After I left the pupils of P1 set to work making their own Fairies and kettles and what a brilliant job they did too. I love how you can see the inside and outside of the kettles and such beautiful Fairies ….amazing! 



25th Sep 2017 – I have pencilled in some quiet time over the next few months to work on the production of the second book and finish writing the third in The Fairy In The Kettle series. I have a few school visits planned over the next few weeks and am very much looking forward to Bookweek Scotland at the end of November, more details on all of these to follow.

I am also looking forward to sharing some of the illustrations and front cover for the second book in this series, The Fairy in the Kettle’s Christmas Wish with you in the coming weeks.

Comrie Fortnight Festival

1st Aug 2017 – We took over Comrie Library this morning and enjoyed Fairy colouring and wing decorating after reading The Fairy In The Kettle. Thank you to everyone who came to join in the fun and to Comrie Library for asking me to be part of the festival.

Waterstones, Inverness

5th July 2017 – Absolutely fantastic event in Inverness! An amazing turnout and can’t thank the staff enough for all their on the spot organising! Many thanks to all those who came along on the day, hope they all enjoyed it as much as I did.


Aviemore Primary School

30th May 2017 – I spent the morning with P1 to P3 pupils and staff and after reading my story it was a pleasure to answer the many varied and brilliant questions. Thank you all for such a warm welcome and thank you too to Kelly from Waterstones in Aviemore for all her planning, it was very much appreciated.


Benmore Botanic Garden Open Day

28th May 2017I read my book throughout the afternoon in the enchanting Puck’s Hut at Benmore Botanical Garden.  After hearing my story the children had great fun fairy colouring and making their very own set of fairy wings.  An absolutely brilliant afternoon in stunning surroundings.

Waterstones Aberdeen

20th May 2017 – A huge thank you to the staff in Aberdeen for a brilliant event and to everyone who came along. We had a lot of fun with the activities including the very popular make your own Fairy wings which could be seen around the store!

Waterstones Dunfermline

6th May 2017 – Some Fairy magic was sprinkled in the Dunfermline store on Saturday! Story time was followed by Fairy colouring, Fairy decorating, Fairy Treasure Hunt and we even had some Fairy cakes! It was lovely to see so many Fairy wings and Fairy dresses too.


Wigtown Spring Book Weekend

29th Apr 2017 – Wigtown Spring Book Weekend!
Had a great time in Curly Tale Books during the Wigtown Spring Book Weekend reading The Fairy In The Kettle and showing off some of the early illustrations from book two!











Errol Primary School

26th Apr 2017 – Massive thank you to the staff and pupils of Errol Primary School. It was great to visit the Nursery, P1, P2 and P3 classes who got to use their lovely new library space for the first time today! Lots of brilliant questions asked and definitely some aspiring young writers in the audience.

Easter Library Visits

4th to 8th of Apr – Easter Library Visits

Had a very busy week visiting Strathearn Library in Crieff, Scone Library, Loch Leven & Kinross Library and AK Bell Library in Perth. There were some lovely Fairy costumes on show and after reading my story the children enjoyed Fairy hunts, colouring and activities.

Oxgangs Library, Edinburgh

21st Mar 2017 – Oxgangs Library, Edinburgh

Oxgangs Library and the P2 pupils, who braved the cold wind and snow, from Oxgangs Primary School were great hosts today. It is amazing how children as young as P2 can ask you such brilliant questions about writing a book and how that book appears in the shops.


Waterstones, Princes St Edinburgh

18th Mar 2017 – Waterstones West End, Princes St, Edinburgh

Our Fairy Activity day was very busy and a great success with book readings, wand making, Fairy bingo where we had two lucky winners and lots of Fairy colouring which was enjoyed by some of the adults as much as the children!

Many thanks to the brilliant staff who went all out for an amazing Fairy day and thank you to everyone who came along and joined in the fun. A lovely picture of a finished wand below.

Glendelvine Primary Visit

8th Mar 2017 – It has been a long time since I was last in Glendelvine Primary School but it was really nice to return today and read my book.  We had two great sessions,  P1-3 asked lots brilliant questions and we had a chat about writing a book and getting an illustrator.  P4-7 asked lots of fantastic questions about how to decide on an opener and structure their stories.  We had a great chat about getting a book out and onto the shelves.  I am looking forward to visiting them in a few weeks to read their finished stories.

Fairview School Visit

6th Mar 2017 – I was really lucky and had the chance to read my book to some of the pupils at Fairview School in Perth today.  It was lovely to see you all and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did….I even got to bring a wee momento home with me…..

Waterstones in Perth

4th Mar 2017 – Waterstone’s Perth event.  I had a great morning reading to children in Waterstones in Perth today followed by some fairy colouring.  Thank you so much to the staff for being to welcoming and enthusiastic and to everyone for braving our very Scottish weather this morning!


World Book Day!

2nd Mar 2017 –  WORLD BOOK DAY.  I was lucky enough to spend today with the pupils of Burrelton Primary School in the morning and Craigie Primary School in the afternoon.  It was great to see so many pupils and staff dressed up as their favourite characters from their favourite books.  Thank you for letting me spend World Book Day with you all.

A little fan who dressed up as her favourite character, Leona Rose, for World Book Day at nursery. Absolutely gorgeous, I love your outfit and thank you so much for sending me the picture and letting me use it here!


Auchtergaven Visit Part 1

2nd Feb 2017 – Another great school visit yesterday, this time I was at Auchtergaven Primary School in Bankfoot.  Great questions, we covered everything from writing a story to it arriving on a shelf.  Thank you all for a lovely morning.

Stanley Primary School Visit

26th Jan 2017 – I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon at Stanley Primary School reading my book to the pupils and answering their many varied and brilliant questions. 

Here’s some great feedback from the school:

“The kids and staff really enjoyed your visit! We had a parent council meeting tonight and a P7 boy spoke about how much he had enjoyed your visit! He had thought it would be babyish as the book is about fairies! He had learned loads! Thank you for taking the time to visit us today.”


Book Week Scotland

25th Nov 2016 – I have had a very busy Book Week Scotland.  Thank you to the staff and pupils at Pitlochry Primary School, Eastern Primary School in Broughty Ferry, Newhill Primary School in Blairgowrie and Murthly Primary School.  I was made so welcome by you all and a special thank you to all the pupils for all of your brilliant questions.

Charity Donation

18th Nov 2016 – Lots of people who have bought my book, either from me directly or at an event, have told me “just to keep” the 1p change and I have said that I would donate it to charity at the end of the year.  Today I have put all those pennies towards a donation to Quarriers to give a young person a gift this Christmas.  They will receive a box filled with gifts that they really need.