I write long and short fiction, poetry and non-fiction. My novel ‘The Falling Sky’, about a female astronomer who discovers the Universe and loses her mind, was one of three finalists for the Dundee International Book Prize 2012 and is published by Freight Books. It was also longlisted for the Polari First Book Prize 2014.
I have a PhD in astronomy and worked as an astronomer for several years at Imperial College, where I studied quasars and galaxies in the early Universe using data collected from telescopes and satellites. I’m a graduate of the MLitt course in creative writing at the University of Glasgow and I was a winner of a Scottish Book Trust/Creative Scotland New Writers Award for 2011/2012.
I enjoy being a writer in residence – particularly at scientific institutes where I can interact with scientists and learn more about their work. I was a writer in residence at the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum (based at the University of Edinburgh) from 2008 to 2010. In 2013 I was an unofficial writer in residence at the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh. And I’m currently a writer in residence on the interdisciplinary ‘Fiction Meets Science’ programme at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg in Bremen, Germany.
My short stories and poetry have appeared in a wide variety of publications including Gutter, New Writing Scotland, The Scotsman and anthologies such as Where Rockets Burn Through: Contemporary Science Fiction Poetry from the UK (Penned in the Margins, 2012).
I also write non-fiction and my article about European astronomers in Chile was published in the New York Times in September 2013.
I’ve appeared at Wigtown Book Festival (where I was the writer in residence in 2012), Edinburgh International Book Festival, Linlithgow Book Festival, Aye Write!, Orkney International Science Festival, Edinburgh International Science Festival and Dundee Science Festival. I’ve run workshops at some of these festivals (most recently at the Edinburgh International Science Festival) encouraging other writers to be inspired by science.