The Fiddlesticks orchestra recently put out a call for fundraising ideas.

I believe that it’s really important to offer children a wide range of great opportunities in order to help them to flourish – that strength of belief may stem from my 25 years as a teacher or my 10 as a father, not that it matters.

We’re lucky in Dunbar to have so many such opportunities, but they all rely on effort and cash.

Fiddlesticks, the orchestra which my eldest has been attending and absolutely loving, needs some help to maintain its attempts to keep it working at the best of its potential, including the putting on of a concert at the Brunton Theatre later this year.

I don’t have many skills to offer.  I have packed bags at Asda (can do that) and give up time for the swimming club (can manage) and have done my bit for the film society (admitedly, it was only a bit).

What I can offer is my writing.

To this end, all funds raised by my children’s/young adult/Dunbar-set novella are going to go the musicians.  I mentioned that in relation to the kindle edition recently, but I can now give you the link for the paperback.  It’s here.

The bonus with the paperback is that it’s illustrated.

Hopefully it will look great.

Take a look if you’re interested and see if it’s something that might interest you or your children.  £1.50 will go to the orchestra for each sale.

Many thanks,


The Rocks Below – a local fundraiser

I’ve just released a new piece called The Rocks Below.

rocks below cover

It’s a story aimed at older children and young adults, but I’m hoping that it will be a pleaser for adults, too.

The setting is Dunbar, so you might recognise a few things as you work your way through.

From now until the middle of June, all profits (£1 for every copy from a £1.53 cost) will go towards help funding the local children’s orchestra Fiddlesticks, a wonderful place for children to learn and to get together.

I’ve had one review already and it says:

‘This book was full of surprises and a bit scary at some points. One of the best books that I have read. I read this book from start to finish. I couldn’t put it down. I kept reading even when I was tired and my mum found me with my glasses still on asleep. I would recommend it to all. Angus (age 11)’

I was thrilled to see it because of the sincerity behind it.

The blurb reads:

‘When Sam hears that the storms along Scotland’s east coast, there’s only one thing he wants to do – catch the surf. Missing out is not an option. Taking his board out to sea is full of risk.

The storms are even heavier than Sam expects and he doesn’t escape unscathed. Nor do the local towns and beaches which are left battered, damaged and covered in the detritus of the sea, including some rather strange looking rocks the likes of which nobody has ever seen before.

It becomes clear that the local councils will need help in tidying up and the Surfers Against Sewage step forward to restore normality.

In the storm’s aftermath, however, there are a series of unusual events.

First of all, there are the missing dogs, followed closely by the disappearence of some young children who were last seen playing on the sand. Not to mention the unusual noises that have been keeping people awake at night.

Talk on the streets of Dunbar is that it’s Black Agnes returned to take revenge. Others fear environmental catastrophe. Still more cite ancient visions of the end of the world.

The Rocks Below is a tale suitable for adults, young adults and older children. It contains a subtle yet powerful message relating to environmental issues.

Fusing elements of crime fiction, science fiction and adventure stories, this is a book that entertains and stimulates thought in one exciting read.’

I hope you feel you can support both the book and the orchestra.
Many thanks.