Who are you?
I am the author of two contemporary novels. My first, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead, was published in 2017 (Accent Press). My second, The Space Between Time, is out this month.
My third, Love Potions and Other Calamities, is being published at the start of November.
Together they form a stand-alone trilogy of novels set in Edinburgh and East Lothian, although (and don’t tell Accent Press) I’m working on a 4th…which will really muck up their trilogy marketing strategy.
Apart from that, I am married with two children, live in the east of Scotland, provide writing services to a number of clients, and am starting to teach a Diploma course in Creative Writing.
I grew up in a small village in the west of Scotland. I could fish and swim in local rivers, and every winter could skate on frozen lochs. I suppose it was a place that allowed the innocence of childhood, the sort of place that all children should be able to grow up in.
I started my career as a journalist and, as London is the epicentre of print journalism, I moved there for a dozen or so years. However, the allure of London eventually faded and I wanted to go home. I suppose that we all have a strong sense of home, whatever and wherever that is, and Edinburgh, to me, is the one place I will always keep returning to.
Memorable moment working as a journalist?
I suppose my most memorable story was covering the Lebanese civil war. I was given a PLO bodyguard and visited a refugee camp outside Beirut. I met a lot of lovely people, adults and smiling children. Several weeks later the camp suffered one of the worst massacres of the civil war.
The Space Between Time is about second chances, right?
I think that a life well lived is also about failure and making bad decisions. The trouble is that it can take many years for us to realise that, and how small decisions can have unintended consequences. That was certainly the theme in my first book, and The Space Between Time takes that theme forwards.
It’s a book about love, loss and mental illness, but told with humour. I hope it balances poignancy with laughter, charting the central character’s story as she finally comes to terms with who she is. And, yes, she finds her second chance.
Does the book have a message?
I hope the book is uplifting, largely because I like happy endings! However, the book is also about the big stuff like family bereavement, and the smaller stuff that we live through every day. It’s a portrait of a mentally fragile young woman who gets some things right, and gets other things wrong.
Where do you get inspiration?
Inspiration only ever comes in bite-sized chunks, so the best approach is to take that first nugget and then figure out what happens next.
The idea of my first book came to me on a train from Edinburgh to London, which was apt because Edinburgh, being a civilised place, is the only city in the world to have named its main railway station after a book. When I got home, I wrote the first and last chapters. I had a starting point and a finishing line.
The first chapter changed out of all recognition, but the last chapter remains pretty much the same.
What are you working on now?
My third book, Love Potions and Other Calamities, is out in November…so that’s exciting. Confusingly, it was also my first book, published under a pen-name and under a different title by the smallest publisher in the known universe.
Apart from that, I am sort of writing three other books. I suppose I’ll now have to decide which one to finish!
About the book.
There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth…
Emma Maria Rossini appears to be the luckiest girl in the world. She’s the daughter of a beautiful and loving mother, and her father is one of the most famous film actors of his generation. She’s also the granddaughter of a rather eccentric and obscure Italian astrophysicist.
But as her seemingly charmed life begins to unravel, and Emma experiences love and tragedy, she ultimately finds solace in her once-derided grandfather’s Theorem on the universe.
The Space Between Time is humorous and poignant and offers the metaphor that we are all connected, even to those we have loved and not quite lost.