Twister and other Fantastic Females.

So chuffed I’ve been picked to join this incredible list of Fantastic Females. Thank you to everyone who recommended Twister.

Twister. The Book Trust’s Book of the Day.

I am so delighted the Book Trust has chosen Twister to be their Book of the Day. A huge thank you for reading and reviewing the book. This means so much to me.

Twister’s father has gone missing. Her mother is depressed, and people are accusing her father of starting a fatal fire. Even school is horrible now, despite Twister’s love for learning, and other than her Aunt Honey and her dog Point she feels that everyone is now against her. Then one day Twister finds a magic necklace with transformative powers. Will this discovery help her to find her missing father, or will the dark forces looking for the necklace be too much for Twister?

Forrest has created a compelling protagonist, with all the hallmarks of a great heroine. Twister is brave, smart, strong willed but also relatable in her adolescent uncertainty about herself and the world around her. While magic features heavily, it does not detract from the emotional pull and character development that are so key to this book. The story rolls from hilarity to horror, and even extremely touching and heart-wrenching moments, without missing a beat and never feeling forced.


Irresistible, warm and fierce as a summer storm: it’s Twister.


Thank you to the wonderful children, teachers and bloggers who have taken the time to read and write reviews about Twister. And I didn’t even have to offer up one bribe. Honest.

This story takes you on a journey of emotions. If you were to use it in English lessons, it would be a great text to challenge your class. If just used as a class story, all would enjoy.” Sophie Bartlett, Year 6 teacher, Rivermead Primary School, Berkshire.

Twitter is as irresistible, warm and fierce as a summer storm and many a young reader will dream of having her bravery and strength. A book not to be missed.” Linda Lawlor, The Bookbag.

After reading this book, I see the world as a place to be free, to be wild, to be yourself.” Eliza Varga, Year 6, Rivermead Primary School, Berkshire.

Twister is a fantastic, all-action adventure with thrills, chills and mystery aplenty, and with an inspirational heroine who is gutsy, fierce and loyal, and more than ready to tackle her enemies, whether they come from the real world or places of fantasy and magic. Gritty, exciting, inspirational… and not to be missed!” PNorfolk Book Reviews.

An original, powerful story which mixes magic and at times brutal reality, ‘Twister’ is a compelling read. Twister herself is an intriguing character, loyal and spirited. Her voice is beautifully captured, with her dry commentary on the actions of those around and her wonderful turn of phrase.” North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award.

Sharp as a pin, brave as a bear and kind, loyal and clever as you could hope, Twister would give Hermione Granger, Lyra Belacqua and Scout Finch a run for their money.” Scoop the Mag.

I would recommend it to adult readers, because then they can learn and understand about young children’s problems and feelings.” Shruthi Moka, Year 6, Rivermead Primary School, Berkshire.


Meet Twister.

It is a big deal when you first get to hold your book in your hands. It is a product of sheer, bloody hard work and determination. It symbolises some of the happiest moments I’ve ever had and some of the darkest ones too. It is sitting in front of me because along the way, people and organisations – such as the amazing Scottish Book Trust, took the time to help, train, support and cheer me on. And, of course, I was lucky enough to find my creative champion, Polly Nolan – without her, this book would still be a stack of loose pages I’d be jotting shopping lists down on.

Thanks to Scholastic and the fabulous Lauren Fortune, the editing process was an enjoyable one where I learned so much. (If I’d known how much work was involved I might have given up at the first hurdle.) Writing books is not for the faint hearted.

I can’t believe something that has rattled around my head for years has been illustrated in such a beautiful and vibrant way. Ever the art director, I LOVE the typeface! A huge thanks to the designer, Sean Williams, and to the artist and printmaker, Alexis Snell.

Twister launches on 1st February. Here is a link to a terrific review that made my heart sing and me ready to start the whole process all over again for my next novel.


Homegrown authors are the hottest properties in print.

A huge thank you to The Scottish Book Trust and the Daily Mail for this fantastic article. I can’t tell you how chuffed I am to be in it, but also to be alongside such an amazing bunch of writers. I know I wouldn’t be in this position had it not been for the support of the Book Trust who are a lifeline for writers in Scotland. Twister launches on 1st February, so I’ll be posting all the latest news here. I think 2018 is going to be an extraordinary year.

The beginner’s guide to copywriting

It was my absolute pleasure to talk to Ladies, Design and Wine about copywriting in September. Ladies, Design and Wine is a fabulous opportunity for women to meet up, network, support each other and share valuable skills in Glasgow. I only wish there had been a group like this when I was starting out – females working in creative departments in the early nineties were extremely rare creatures.

We crammed a heck of a lot into one evening: brand values, tone of voice, standing out from the crowd, engaging with your audience and converting readers into customers. Plus my top tips, which come from nearly 30 years working in advertising. (Trust me, they’re simple yet guaranteed to work.)

I felt so fired up after the talk, it got me thinking – perhaps I could help others out there? Are you self-employed and struggling with what you should be saying about your company, product or service? Could a few of you in the office do with brushing up on your copywriting skills? Even if it’s just for a morning, I’m available for hire, so please do get in touch for a chat.

Never work with children or animals.


Having spent my career toiling away in advertising this well-known saying was always muttered on TV shoots that involved children or animals or both. I’ve had the pleasure of working with unnaturally gregarious children who chose to turn into statues on the big day and dogs that decided to exit stage centre after watering the set. Don’t even ask about the donkey. It quickly became apparent in the land of TV commercials that no matter how prepared you were, something reassuringly always went wrong. Which is the clear message I’m getting from The Working In Schools Industry Lab I’m attending at the moment: expect the unexpected and you’ll do just fine.

I’ve gone back to school. Well, sort of. I’m fortunate enough to have been chosen by The Scottish Book Trust to do this amazing – if slightly terrifying course. At some point in the future, I’d love to run workshops for kids and I’m so glad to have been able to hear all about it straight from the mouths of teachers, authors, librarians and staff at the Book Trust. The sharing of knowledge has been extremely generous, the tips vital and the pitfalls highly entertaining. But as children’s writer, Lari Don said: it’s not about you, it’s all about the kids. And if you’ve managed to fire up their imaginations then the rewards know no bounds.



The wonderful world of Brahma beer and Fram oil filters.

I’m clearly not the only one beginning to find GIFs annoying. Now it’s hard to get through the day without seeing permanently twitching cats or a horrendous car smash replaying over and over again. Thank goodness I’m such a technophobe, I wouldn’t have a clue how to attach one here, so for now this will be a GIF-free zone. Except for the ad below. It’s excellent. Excellent. Excellent. OK, I’ll stop right there.

How I love Jonathan Banks – I think he’s got to be one of my favourite actors. You’ll recognise him from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. He’s now starring in Fran oil filter ads as ‘Frampa’ and teaching a new generation of DIY enthusiasts to do right by their car. And just when I was thinking I’ve not seen a decent TV ad in ages. Watch out for their strapline, it’s catchy.