Writers who write plays are not
disbarred from writing in other forms.
My first novel, Dancing on Ashes, is
a fictional story with fictional characters,
set on an existing island, Innisfree Upper,
lying off the Northwest coast of Ireland.
My mother was born there, and every summer until the outbreak of WWII, my family spent our school holidays there. Six weeks of freedom from our still-Victorian Edinburgh. The island offered us a long pristine strand behind our grandparents' home, where the incoming tide deposited hundreds of tiny shells and would leave in its wake rock pools teeming with tiny shrimplike creatures we'd capture in our long-handled nets, return them to the pools, and watch them dance away. There were huge sand banks to slide down, rocks for climbing, coves where rotting boats were ours to play in, and coffin-shaped bogs to fear when, as we walked
on the Cairn, a white blanket of fog enveloped us. And the islanders, young and old, who accepted us as just another part of their summer.
Dancing on Ashes concerns a woman who as a young girl of a family that visited the island each summer lost her parents and two older brothers when the boat they are in capsizes for no apparent reason. She later marries and goes to the U.S., where she lives her life blaming an island boy, a survivor of the boat's sinking, for her family's deaths. At the age of 80 and dying of cancer, she finds herself back on the island, on the day of the long-ago tragedy, with the same boy, an old and crippled man now, as her only contact, since she can see and hear but cannot communicate with the islanders she knew as a child. Eventually she learns the hard truth of the tragedy and her own terrible involvement in it.
Another novel, tentatively titled “Killing Mr. Skrooge,” is in the works, plus notes for yet another, “The True Story of Rumplestiltskin.”
My niece (also named Anne) and I at Innisfree, the setting of my novel Dancing on Ashes. Anne is the daughter of my sister, Jo.
This is my niece's husband Warwick,
a photo from the earlier days.