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Lindsay MacLeod

As a child

I first began writing books when I was five. As I grew up, I had shoe-boxes full of mini-books, all illustrated and stapled together. Several began as bedtime stories for my younger brother (he often demanded particular subjects -“one with a witch and a cat tonight!”), or were made up to pass the time on long car journeys from Glasgow to Leicester to visit our grandparents. The books grew longer, until they filled thick ringbinders. When I was ten, a babysitter asked to show two of them to her English teacher, whose husband was an author. He suggested sending them to his publisher, much to my surprise – I had never considered publication… That only happened to adults! However six weeks later, Robert Hale Ltd asked to publish one of the stories (providing I cut 40,000 words!). The Treasure of Dubarry Castle came out when I was twelve, and I was swept on a whirlwind publicity tour down to London – a whole new world for a very shy girl from Scotland… I survived the media interviews, including a nerve-wracking live “Blue Peter”, and enjoyed this unusual spell of going to fancy restaurants, with sweet trolleys and giant strawberries! I later read my book on BBC’s “Jackanory”, and wrote a second, The Secret of the Silver Lockets, which was also published. But after that, school exams took over from writing, and life went in other directions…

As an adult

After a degree in English at Edinburgh University, I tried to get a job (anywhere but London…). I ended up in London, working as an Editorial Assistant in a book publishers, then later moved to their marketing department. I enjoyed my London experience, but eventually I couldn’t stand squashing into sweaty rush-hour tubes any more! So I returned to Scotland to retrain in Graphic Design, for which I had discovered a passion whilst designing the book catalogues. I then worked for over ten years as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator for two Glasgow hospitals, got married and had the first of two children, a boy. When my daughter was born four years later I gave up work to spend time with them at home. But once they were both at school, I decided to start writing again…

As an artist

My first two published books were written when I was ten and twelve (under my maiden name, Lindsay Brown). The Treasure of Dubarry Castle and The Secret of the Silver Lockets were 30,000-word adventure stories for ages 7-11. They sold well and were translated into several languages. My inspiration comes from many sources, but especially from my own experiences and from nature. My son is mad keen on wildlife, so this has also influenced my writing. And my husband’s family are originally from the Isle of Skye, which has inspired some stories. I also work part-time in a nursery, where ideas often spring up from the things children say and do! Mia’s Magic Uncle is inspired by my brother, Graeme. He is the kind of fun uncle that children love – playing games, making things, and doing magic tricks with my two children. He is in a wheelchair with MS, but this makes no difference to them, and I wanted my story to convey this! Most of all he is about fun and magic! As well as writing I enjoy illustrating, and have produced drawings for a couple of books.

Things you didn't know about Lindsay MacLeod

  1. I am addicted to swimming and ice-cream!
  2. I love sitting in the sunshine (especially with an ice-cream…).
  3. As a child, I liked to sew small stuffed mice, all with different costumes.
  4. I love walking, but I can’t ride a bike…
  5. I used to do Ballroom and Latin Dancing – Foxtrot, Cha-cha, Rhumba etc!
  6. My favourite sound is a babbling brook, or autumn leaves crunching under foot.
  7. I love painting, taking photos, and decorating birthday cakes.
  8. I can touch the floor with my palms without bending my knees.
  9. One of my happiest childhood memories is shelling peas in my Grandma’s garden.
  10. 10. I never wear all black.

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