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When my agency PFD approached me about writing for their new Ipso digital publishing arm back at the beginning of May, they suggested I come up with a character who could feature in a series.

I subsequently wrote a novella entitled, The Going and the Rise, featuring a 33 year-old character named Ruthie Gillespie. I think she’s the most likeable and attractive female character I’ve ever come up with, flawed but adorable.

So much did I enjoy her company that when I subsequently decided to make The Colony a trilogy, I embroiled Ruthie heavily in the plots of both follow ups to the original story. And I can’t see myself tiring of her company any time soon.

The Ipso editorial team like her as much as I do, though obviously it’s the readers who decide whether a character gets persisted with. I think the idea is to publish The Going and the Rise free when The Colony trilogy goes on sale.Only then will I learn of Ruthie’s long-term fate.

Things are progressing fast so I won’t have long to wait. In the meantime, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for her.


Finished the 3rd novel of my Colony trilogy this morning and sent it off to agent/publisher. Only began it on August 18 so could legitimately claim to have worked like a dog, except that I’ve honestly never enjoyed a writing experience more.

The feeling on completion is for me is a weird combination of pride and anticlimax. I think that’s just natural, though. I’m thrilled with the stories. It wasn’t me scraping the barrel or flogging a dead horse (since we’ve finished with dogs), it was stories that insisted to me on being told.

Those of you who’ve read The Colony might be interested to know that the dark legacy of the New Hope crofter David Shanks figures large in book 2. Book 3 concerns itself a lot with the antic wraith of Rachel Ballantyne, still tormenting the island’s unwary visitors.

I’m sorry to be saying goodbye to the main (surviving) characters in this series. Some of them might find a place in your hearts. And there are scares. I’ve ratcheted up the scares. It just seemed like the natural thing to do. These books will appear pretty soon and I can’t wait for your reaction.

Have a great weekend, everyone.


My Colony trilogy could be available for download as early as next month. Had a meeting with the people at Ipso who plan to publish it yesterday.

They loved the second book involving New Hope Island (which is a relief) and I’ve almost completed the third and final novel.

The Colony itself will be freshly edited and tbey’ll all come out together. It’s been a brutal schedule – two novels in just under four months – but it’s easier with characters you already know.

I’ve a feeling it’s going to be worth all the 5am starts. I’m optimistic about the prospects of this series and really impressed by the Ipso team. I’m in good hands.


‘A treasure trove of dark dreams and sinister sorcery’ –The Times

I’d like to send you a book, for free – the debut appearance of my favourite character, Ruthie.  

You just need to tell me where to send it…

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