Years and years ago in St Andrews, in a state of shock at discovering I couldn't be an undergraduate forever, I decided to stay on and do a Ph.D. I'd heard about people like Ali Smith and Ian Rankin who'd started Ph.Ds and ended up writing plays and novels and I thought I could do that too. Four years and 98,883 words later, I'd written a Ph.D. And not a whole lot else.
Still, the experience was enough to make me realise I really didn't want to be an academic and so I got a job processing application forms for a government agency. This doesn't sound very exciting and it isn't but I still fully appreciate the pleasure of leaving the office at 5:30pm and not having to think about work at all. When not working I was trying to write stories. In 2005, I was fortunate enough to get a Scottish Arts Council Bursary. This allowed me to take 2 months off from work to write short stories. About mid-way through I discovered I really wasn't keen on writing short stories and decided I would finally pluck up courage to write a novel. Fortunately, in 2007, I won a place on the Scottish Book Trust Mentoring Scheme and got that first novel written with the help of the fantastic Sam Kelly.
In 2008 I became a member of the illustrious Writers' Bloc, a spoken-word collective based in Edinburgh. I've also read as part of the late, lamented Forest Cafe's Golden Hour and at Inky Fingers although now, I've decided to take a bit of a break from reading aloud (aside from when I get an offer I can't refuse, of course - see Story Shop).
In 2009 I got myself an agent, Nicola Barr at Greene and Heaton now I'm working on the second novel...it's about superheroes. Scottish superheroes. Come follow me @KirstiW
And huge thanks to Helen Jackson and Adam Brewster for making this blog look good.