About me

I travelled extensively as a child, living in England, Africa, Wales and Scotland. After leaving school I worked as a cowgirl in Australia, an English teacher in Japan, and my degree in Hispanic Studies took me to Spain where I lived and worked in Catalonia for two years. In 1998 I settled in Glen Lonan, Argyll. I have enjoyed writing for much of my life - novels started, notebooks filled and half-filled, love letters sent and unsent.

            This interest in writing stepped up a gear after a whisky-tasting evening in summer 2014. My enjoyment of the whiskies was intensified as a friend described the layers of flavour created by ingredients and the whisky making process. I realised that the same would apply to writing, that my experience would be enhanced by consciously studying the craft of writing. I contacted the University of Stirling the next day and was accepted onto the MA in Creative Writing course that September. This turned out to be one of the best learning experiences of my life.

            I have recently completed a travel memoir, Marram, the story of travelling through the Outer Hebrides with Highland ponies. I also write poetry and fiction. My work has appeared in publications such as Northwords Now and Causeway/Cabhsair under my married name, Leonie Charlton. This winter I am looking forward to finishing my first novel. I am fascinated by human relationships, and love in its many forms. Much of my work is influenced by nature and our connection with the non-human world.

A few of the things that inspire me

Anything written by Deborah Levy. Faces that have seen a lot of weather. The designs of love, the draw of sex. Hands dyed red with oak sap. Hands telling other stories. Grey seals singing. Leonard Cohen singing. Laughter. The sound of a cow tearing at grass. A hen harrier flying low and slow, watchful for tiny tremors below. Poems. Poems. Poems. Lichen overwriting rock. Knowing that there is a word in Gaelic for the pattern cloud shadows make on a hillside. Stags - black with peat - roaring through an October nighttime. Sleep. The smell of honeysuckle in June. A man describing how music takes him right to the bone. A woman gently turning her lover away from her before getting on the airport bus. My children. The smell of horse and the shape of their hoof prints. The steadfastness of limpets. A north wind and the peculiar light it brings.