I believe that writing fiction is often a response to catastrophe. 'The State of Me' (2008) is an expression of the illness myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) - erroneously labelled as CFS - through fiction. I've been ill since I was an undergraduate at Glasgow University in 1980s. (My illness was triggered by the Coxsackie virus, there was an outbreak in the west of Scotland at the time. I'm glad I didn't have a crystal ball to see what havoc this virus would wreak. I had just gone to live in France and had to come home, I was so ill.) The novel is, I hope, the antithesis of 'sick-lit', and is my weapon against the ignorance that prevails. There is black humour in the novel, though the illness has diminished my life hugely. I occasionally write short stories and was shortlisted for the Asham Award (2001), the RLS Award (2005), the Bridport Short Story Prize (2011) and the Bridport Flash Fiction Prize (2012). In 2012, I appeared in a BBC Alba documentary, 'Toxic Tiredness', in which I discuss the book and the illness (the consultant neurologist who diagnosed me with ME in 1984 also appears). In 2013, I read at 'Dissecting Edinburgh', a Medicine and Literature event at Surgeons' Hall in Edinburgh. I was also invited to a Medical Humanities book group to discuss the novel with medical students. In early 2014, I had a short story in 'The Write Stuff' feature in the Scotsman, and later in the year I had flash fiction in Issue 5 of The Istanbul Review.
I blog at www.velo-gubbed-legs.blogspot.com (there are links in the sidebar to some other writing) and I tweet as @velogubbed.