I came across this interesting article about the Martyrs’ monument in Greyfriars Kirkyard on the Scottish Covenanters facebook page.
James Currie paid for the original monument to be erected. I’m quite sure Helen was involved in that decision, and there’s something deeply moving about them including the same words that she had spoken to Mr Renwick when she visited him in prison many years earlier.
Exciting news – What You Call Free is now available to pre-order from Ringwood Publishing, ahead of the launch in March.
Cynthia Rogerson, award-winning novelist, said:
‘Flora Johnston has written a literary page turner about one of Scotland’s most turbulent and least talked about periods …. It’s a bleak story because it’s a bleak time, but the characters retain their warmth and humanity. All in all, a compulsive read. As addictive as chocolate, and as nourishing as a bowl of Scotch broth.’
Jenni Calder, novelist, poet and literary historian, said:
‘Flora Johnston tells a powerful story, steering a sure-footed path through perhaps the most complex and divided period in Scotland’s history in a way that resonates with many issues today.’
During the course of the summer I received the wonderful news that my debut novel is to be published by Ringwood Publishing next year.
I’ve shared a bit over the years about the progress of this novel. I began working on it years ago, alongside my freelance writing and heritage career, and it has been through many drafts! There were some really encouraging early moments, including being highly commended in the Bridge Awards Emerging Writer Award and longlisted for the Mslexia Novel Award, but there have been so many disappointments too.
The decision I took 18 months ago to move to a different part-time job, giving myself time to focus properly on my fiction, has proved to be really important, as was my second visit to Moniack Mhor in June 2019.
After a drastic rewrite, which included removing an entire storyline (around half the manuscript!), What You Call Free (yes, new title too) has at last found its perfect home.