A New Year and a long overdue refurb of my website is complete. If this is your first visit, then it’s lovely to see you. If this is a return visit, then I’m very glad you took the time to pop back in.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time updating my frankly tired and out-of-date website. I’m hoping that the new look is sleeker, easier on the eye, simple to navigate and most of all fun and interesting. More interactive and less passive. That was the plan, at any rate.
This is the full view of the header photograph, which I took from one of my favourite thinking spots, on a forestry walk above Toward Point, looking out over the Clyde estuary. You can see the island of Bute in the foreground, and the clear split between the north and the south of the island where the Highland Boundary fault runs through it (I knew my school prize in geography would come in handy eventually). Majestic Arran is in the background – can you make out the profile of the Sleeping Warrior in the ridge of the mountains? It’s not a sunny view, the weather here in Argyll rarely is, but to me it epitomises all that is beautiful about the area where I live. There’s no doubting it’s dramatic, but does it work as a banner? Do you think it’s too gloomy? Does it leave you wondering what on earth this website is about – mountain climbing, ghosts, Highland dancing, perhaps? I’d love to know.
I’m a writer. I want people to read and enjoy my books, so of course I want to share lots of information about them. You’ll find excerpts and series links on the website book pages here. But I want this website to be a bit more than a vehicle to promote my books.
I want to give you an insight into my life as a writer, which can be pretty isolated at times: what I’m working on; what I’m researching; future ideas; and problems I’m wrestling with (there’s probably going to be lots of posts about that). The book I’m currently writing is set in Venice during Carnival, winter 1818-19. The poets Byron and Shelley had just quit the city, much to the despair of the women and the relief of their husbands. It was a time of political upheaval, spies and secret societies, and of course the decadant, colourful, outrageous Carnival of masked balls. So that’s what I’m going to be posting about next.
I know from my Facebook page that you really like the pictures I take from my many local walks and cycles, so I’d like to share more of those, and some local history too.
If you join me on Facebook, you’ll know that I am passionate about food and cooking, so I thought I might share some of my favourite recipes, maybe some of my disasters too – and then you can share yours. There’s a Pinterest page of my culinary efforts here.
Other things I could muse on? My renewed passion for sewing, thanks to my new machine, and knitting, thanks to my littlest nephew. Films and televison. Shoes and bags and nail polish – because yes, I am that shallow sometimes (not as often as I’d like to be). Favourite places. My ongoing battle with the deer that treat my garden is an all-you-can-eat buffet. And on it goes.
Basically, what I’m saying is that the blog will feature whatever takes my fancy at the time, with a dash of what you’d like to read and chat about. So I do hope that you’ll find the time to chat, and don’t leave me as a lone voice in the hyperthingy. Did I mention that I’m needy as well as shallow?
To celebrate the blog launch, I’m giving away a gorgeous pendant made of natural heather on a silver chain from Heathergems in Pitlochry.
The good news is that if you’re already subscribed to my newsletter, you’re already in the draw. (You should have received a newsletter telling you about this blog if you’re already on the list.) If you’re not subscribed then it’s the easiest thing in the world to sign up, using the button on the sidebar here, or just jump to the Contact page.
I’ll draw the winner on Wednesday 31 January, and will announce it here.
So that’s it. The blog is now officially launched. What do you think? What would you like to read about? And what not?I look forward to chatting with you.