Frequently Asked


Most Asked

I’m a blogger and I was wondering if you could send me a copy of your book for review?

Thanks for your interest! Unfortunately, authors receive very few review copies of their books. I save mine for giveaways so that everyone, bloggers and non-bloggers, have the same opportunity to receive a signed copy. If you’re interested in reviewing the book, try looking for it on either NetGalley or Edelweiss, or send a message to my publisher.

Can you tell me when your book is releasing in my country?

It’s very, very likely I have no idea. Book release dates change all the time, and especially in the case of international editions, I’m just not in communication enough with my various publishers to remain updated on when their edition will release. The most accurate answer you’ll receive will be by messaging my publisher in your country.

How can I get a signed book?

I’m happy to sign books at any events or signings, and I do occasionally give away signed copies here on my site.

Will you donate books to my library?

I receive a lot of requests for donations, and I regret I’m unable to send books.

Can you do a Skype visit for my school?

Please send an inquiry via my contact page, and I’d be happy to discuss!

General Questions

Why can’t I find your book in my bookstore?

Bookstores usually start clearing out their stock every three months to make way for new releases. So not every store will have my book in at all times. However, you can ask a bookseller to put in an order for you, and they’ll let you know when the book is ready for you to pick up. Alternatively, you can order my books from Book Depository, and they’ll deliver it to your house for free.

Where are you from?

I grew up in California and later relocated to Scotland. People ask about my accent (a combination of Californian and Edinburghian, with a bit of Canadian I picked up from my husband), but I generally just tell people I’m from Edinburgh since I haven’t been a resident of California for 10 years.

Did you go to university for writing?

No, not at all. My degrees are in Anthropology, my specialties are in folklore, mythology, and storytelling, specifically Scottish.

What are some of your favourite books?

I read several different genres regularly: YA, adult historical romance, scifi, and fantasy, so my favourite books keep changing. Some amazing books I’ve read in YA lately are Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Stolen by Lucy Christopher, Sanctum by Sarah Fine, and Far From You by Tess Sharpe.

In Scifi: Catherynne Valente’s Silently and Very Fast, Neil Stephenson’s Snow Crash, Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine.

In Fantasy: Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, Garth Nyx’s SabrielGood Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews, Robin McKinley’s Sunshine, Ursula K. LeGuin’s The Left Hand of Darkness.

Hybrid books: Kristen Callihan’s Darkest London series (historical romance/fantasy), Lauren Beukes’s Zoo City (fantasy/cyberpunk), Catherynne Valente’s Deathless (folklore/historical/fantasy).

Do you have an agent?

Yes, I have two incredible agents representing me: Russell Galen at Scovil Galen Ghosh for US rights, and Heather Baror at Baror International for foreign rights.

On Covers

Is that you on the cover of your book?

Nope! They are lovely models chosen by the book cover photographers.

Did you take the photographs for your book covers?

No. I occasionally do cover photographs for publishers, but not my own. My respective publishers are responsible for all book art. The artists for both The Falconer and The Vanishing Throne are Gene Mollica (UK) and Daniel Castro (US).

Why does The Falconer have different book covers?

I have different publishers around the world and they each choose different cover art for my books. The two most frequently seen are the UK and US covers — the US cover because it’s the biggest market, the UK cover because I’m a UK-based author.

On Writing

Where do you get your inspiration/ideas?

Not going to lie, I get most of them in the shower.

When did you start writing?

I wrote my first story when I was five and my first book when I was 12. So, really, I’ve been writing for quite a long time. I was just a bit self-conscious about sharing it.

How do you come up with your characters?

Also in the shower. And I can say that I often come up with characters before the story.

How did you get published?

First, I wrote, edited, and polished my manuscript (well, 10 manuscripts. But the last one was the only one worth seeking publication for, I promise!). Then I did a lot of research on literary agents and decided which ones would be best qualified to represent the book and any future work I was interested in writing. I began the process of querying, which is a very stressful ordeal that can lead to many instances of email refreshing.

I wrote a query to Russell Galen in July 2011, held my breath and sent it off. He responded 30 minutes later and asked to take a look, and 6 days later made an offer of representation. In October, he sent the book off to various editors, and that same month we had the book deal. Which . . . well, I suppose all sounds easy, but took a number of years, previous manuscripts and all.

Are any of the characters in your book based on people you know in real life?

Not at all. At least not consciously.

How do you write a book?

Sit down every day, put words into Scrivener, repeat until I type “The End,” and hope the result is coherent enough to edit into something clean and pretty. If not, repeat steps until success.

Will you read the book I wrote/send it to your agent?

I’m so sorry, but I need to spend what time I do have to write my own books. But I do recommend forums like AbsoluteWrite, Query Tracker, or crit groups like Critters.Org if you’d like to find people to share your work with. Critique partners can be a great help.

The Falconer Series

Does The Falconer have a sequel?

Yes! The Falconer has two sequels: The Vanishing Throne and The Fallen Kingdom.

Can you send me an Advanced Reader’s Copy for review?

There are no longer any ARCs for The Falconer or either of its sequels as the books are all now available in bookshops.

Why did you decide to put steampunk technology in THE FALCONER?

I don’t really consider the trilogy to be steampunk. My publishers are marketing it as that, but I’d personally say it’s historical fantasy.

In regards to the historical anachronisms, I decided they would be primarily in the form of Aileana’s weaponry. Her invented weapons are meant to level the playing field and give her a chance of surviving against faery opponents.

The advanced technology I wrote into Aileana’s society at large is meant to create a separation between actual historical Scotland and the Scotland depicted in the books, because this is, ultimately, a fantasy world. It’s not strictly historical, nor is it intended to be.

What language does Kiaran speak in THE FALCONER?

The parts of language that I share in the books (in italics) is in Scottish Gaelic, and I tried my best to check it for Victorian Era accuracy (and I hope Gaelic speakers will forgive me for any mistakes). Any mention of the language Kiaran speaks in length to other fae (Gavin or Sorcha) would be in their own fae languages, which would be similar to a form of proto-Celtic language.

Can you explain what some of the words in The Falconer mean?

I know there’s a lot of unfamiliar terminology in The Falconer. Not just period specific words, but a lot in Scottish Gaelic that goes unexplained. I’m working on a lexicon page that’ll translate the whole sentences in Gàidhlig, but until then, Oh the Books has done a fabulous guide on the terminology if you’re interested.

Why write about faeries? Why make them evil?

The idea of the fae being harmless is a relatively modern notion. The Scottish basically considered the fae to be any supernatural or even nightmarish creature you could possibly think of.  Scottish myth had its own names and legends for vampires, spirits, goblins, monsters, and shapeshifters, and all of them were considered types of faeries. And these faeries were often thought to be the source of tragedies, deaths, massacres, and kidnappings. They were feared and many humans carried talismans or objects to protect themselves from the fae. These are the faeries I chose to write about. They are the faeries from Scottish myth.

Did you always plan for THE FALCONER to be a 3 book series?

Yes. From its very conception, I have always intended for Aileana’s story to span three books.