The Hive

This section provides information and some links to other websites that are important to me and may be of interest to you, my reader.

First Reader

My long-suffering wife Margaret is my First Reader. Nowadays nothing escapes from my laptop without her input. Usual errors are double words, spelling, punctuation, syntax, logic leaps, logic gaps: you get the picture.

She also suffers my long ‘departures’ into the ether when I may not hear or pretend not to hear and therefore may not answer her questions, or fail respond to her comments as I tap, tap, tap away at yet more drivel for you to read.

Thank you Margaret!

Margaret is also an accomplished artist. You can view her work on Pintrest.

My Editor

In recent times I have been blessed in finding Kareth Paterson, my equally long-suffering Editor.

Kareth is an accomplished writer who also has sharp yet kindly editing skills. She seeks to improve my work, offering further corrections and nudges, but only after Margaret becomes unwilling to read a piece yet again. If, despite Kareth’s ministrations, you spot errors, I claim them as mine, all mine!

Kareth is a fellow member of The Writers’ Circus, a small group of like-minded writers who met at David Pettigrew’s creative writing classes at the CLL.

David Pettigrew

David Pettigrew is a genius!

Ask anyone who has benefited from his classes at the Centre for Lifelong Learning at Strathclyde University.

Find David at:

Find CCL at:

Nick Hinton

Nick has illustrated two children’s books for me.

See “Dominic the Donkey” and “Krokka”.

He is freelance and his business is called Artistic Licence Ltd.

Contact Nick at:

Marlen McMaster

Marlen is a multi-talented phenomenon who paints, takes photographs, writes stories, makes patchwork and illustrates children’s books.

Most importantly for me, she is a good friend and she has illustrated “Theo’s Big Secret” and “The Green Balloon”.

Find examples of her other work at:

Les Adams

Les is also a multi-talented artist with a great eye for detail and quirkiness.

He is a member of the CLL Art Club, the Bearsden Art Club, and the Milngavie Art Club.

Les also organises Antonine Artists, an informal group in which Marlen McMaster and my wife Margaret also participate.

At exhibitions Les’s paintings are usually among the first to sell.

Les has recently agreed to illustrate a children’s story called “Matthew and the Cake Pirates”, his first venture into this branch of art.

Find Les Adams at:

Louise Keay Bell

I first met Louise when she was about to start her degree course at Edinburgh College of Art. Now that she has graduated we hope to co-operate in the future.

Louise is (I quote her website) “an award winning animator, wandering photographer, mad artist and writer”.

So much talent in one slim and elegant frame!

Visit Louise at:

Purple Edge Graphics, Bearsden

Many of my children’s books have been printed in order to make them more accessible to smaller children and for “read to me” purposes for parents and grandparents.

Susan and her small team at Purple Edge have been brilliant at providing DTP support and putting up with my many tweaks and twiddles as I adjust the images and words, ever seeking the perfect effect while driving them mad.

Thank you Team!

Visit Susan at:

Dr Michael Mackenzie

Michael is a film buff extraordinaire! And he is clever in multi-dimensions.

Michael is also wise beyond his years and has kindly created this website, by steering me gently but firmly away from my madder ideas to what you see today.

Visit Michael at:

The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust

This is a very able, efficient and industrious charity led by Heather Armstrong and her team of many Helpers. The Gambia is one of the smallest and poorest of countries in Africa.

The GHADT also organises and supports a parallel endeavour called Stella’s School.

Several years ago I sent Heather an early version of a story called “Theo the Donkey”. (This has now morphed into “Theo’s Big Secret”, see under Marlen McMaster, above.)

Those long years ago, Heather emailed by return asking if I could re-cast “Theo” as a story for the kids at Stella’s School, kids who have little experience of life outside their own small villages.

Heather provided a wealth of background information about these kids and their teachers, and I crafted “Dominic the Donkey”. The GHADT provide me with Nick Hinton (see above) who provided the brilliant illustrations.

Should you feel moved to find out more about the work of the GHADT and perhaps offer financial support, please visit:

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