I’m never sure what to write in these areas, so here goes, I will probably add to this as I go along.
Born in 1964 in one of the rougher areas of Edinburgh, an unremarkable childhood and schooling, aiming for the dole as most of the kids in our area were and getting on with this quite nicely…
One of my first ‘jobs’ was on a Y.O.P. with a photography lab in central Edinburgh but transitioned to taking photographs for the Craigmillar Festival Society for a year or so while helping with the drama outreach programme.
Then I met a girl who was training to be a nursery nurse whilst I was training to be a doss head, kept meeting her from her training placement with under -5s earlier and earlier, going in and reading stories to kids, me with my Robert Smith hair-do as well. Eventually the head teacher said I should apply to become a nursery nurse, I think this was just to get me out of her face.
I then worked with children for over 30 years. Running my own nursery for a couple of years and for 20+ years I’ve worked with children on the autistic spectrum, more specifically Asperger’s Syndrome, in a residential school in North Yorkshire. Eventually it took its toll and I now work as a senior children’s bookseller for Waterstones.
Whilst working for Waterstones I’ve been a long list reader for the Children’s Book Prize several times and on the judging panel for the winners once, and I’m currently reading for the HWA Gold Crown Award 2022. I was also one of The Booksellers Bookshop Heroes in 2021.
I’ve also set up the two directories Indie Bookshops and Indie Publishers, cataloguing independent bookshops and publishers with the goal of having a post for each one, a written directory for the publishers, and to visit every indie bookshop in the UK and Ireland (big goals).
You can always email me on email@example.com with any suggestions.