Author Archives: Graeme C

Flash Fiction Competition

Attention all librarians & English Departments

Would you like a free author visit from author Philip Caveney? Winner of the Scottish Book Trust Teen award 2016 and author of the Sebastian Darke, Alec Devlin and Crow Boy series of books.

To celebrate the launch of his recent title,The Slithers, Fledgling Press and Philip Caveney are holding a writing competition to promote creative writing in schools.


The Slithers is based on the the nuckelavee, a demon featured in Scottish and Norsk mythology, which came ashore to wreak havoc and devastation on dwellers.

Write a flash fiction of no more than 250 words about how you would survive a visit from one of these creatures coming to your school.

Eligibility: P7-S4


A visit from The Slithers author, Philip Caveney at your school and a copy of The Slithers for the winning entrant.
Winners will be chosen by the panel at Fledgling Press and Philip Caveney.


Send your fiction to by 19 Jan 2018
Any questions? Contact

The Slithers – Advanced Information

About the Book

After the death of his mother and the end of his father’s high-powered career, Zach and his Dad have come to the north of Scotland to live rent-free in Grandfather Alistair’s cliff-top cottage. Dad asks Zach to clean out the old garden pond, a rotting nightmare where not even a tadpole can survive. But when he drains the pond, he unearths something unexpected– a trapdoor leading down into darkness…

He ventures down there and discovers something amazing – a glowing egg-shaped stone. Once brought back to the surface, Zach’s run of bad luck seems to change entirely. Suddenly, he can’t seem to stop winning and even Dad’s career is unexpectedly back on track. But good luck can’t last forever…

The stone belongs to a race of ancient creatures that dwell deep beneath the ground – and they want it back.

Pretty soon, unspeakable things begin to claw their way to the surface in search of the stone – and for Zach and his new friend, Pepper, there’s one all-important question. Can they stay alive until morning?

About the Author

Philip’s first novel was published in 1977. Since then, he has published many novels for adults and since 2007, a series of children’s books that have sold all over the world, the Sebastian Darke series and another well-received series – The Alec Devlin Mysteries.

He has written the successful Crow Boy trilogy for Fledgling Press. Philip also writes as Danny Weston – winner of the Scottish Book Trust Teen award 2016.

The Slithers

The Slithers by Philip Caveney develops steadily into a genuinely scary Gothic horror novel, and a book that delights with its invention at the same time as it sends shivers down your spine… This is an outstanding novel for teen or young adult readers who can associate with the two central characters, Zach and Pepper.”

Wants of the Silent

Wants of the Silent

Wants of the Silent by Moira McPartlin

Published July 31st by Fledgling Press

The Handmaid’s Tale crossed with Kidnapped

Written for young adults and set in a dystopian world of the late 21st century, Wants of the Silent is the second electrifying volume of the Sun Song trilogy.

‘We’re all responsible. The signs were there; the mounting hatred of the immigrants, the growing wealth gap, the total disregard for people’s human rights, the media. Why didn’t ah believe they would go so far as to imprison the academics, the writers? Had it not happened before, many times? The purge and DNA classification, the separation of Privilege and native classes.’ recalls Scud, disenfranchised historian.

The Sun Song trilogy takes place in a post-apocalyptic Britain, in the aftermath of a finally broken society. Out of the disarray comes The State, the Privileged, The Land Reclaimists, the Noiri, the Purists, many disparate groups and of course the natives!

In Wants of the Silent the main protagonists, Ishbel and Sorlie deal with kidnapping, murder, intrigue and unrest. They must decide who to trust in the strange settlement of Steadie, while trying to stay alive and to bring freedom to the eclectic mix of survivors, whose existence is fraught with danger.

About the Author
Moira McPartlin’s debut novel was a critical success and shortlisted for the Saltire Society First Book of the Year Award. The Incomers, tells the tale of a West African woman moving to a small town in 1960s Scotland, Moira is a prolific writer of short stories and poetry and has been published in many literary magazines. Ways of the Doomed, the first book in the Sun Song Trilogy was published in 2015.

Reviews for Moira McPartlin’s Previous Work

“TIf you liked Divergent and that one about hunger, you’re going to love Ways of The Doomed. Moira McPartlin’s prose is rich but unpretentious, her storytelling, thumping. An exciting new voice in YA fiction.”
Helen Fitzgerald, bestselling novelist and screenwriter

“Chilling, intelligent, and thought-provoking, this richly imagined vision of the future gripped me from the outset. Beautifully written with fully realised characters, vivid settings, and a clever and playful use of language, Ways of the Doomed makes for a thrilling read. I loved it! My only complaint? I can’t wait for book 2”
Christina Banach, author of Miny

For a copy or to talk to Moira McPartlin or for further information, please contact​ Linda MacFadyen:

Linda MacFadyen
Fledgling Press
Tel: 0191 280 1080
Mb: 07768 390172

Zander Wedderburn

Zander Wedderburn

Zander Wedderburn. 1934-2017.

It is with great sadness that we have to announce that the founder of Fledgling Press – Zander Wedderburn – died yesterday morning, 23 Feb 2017, peacefully at home with his family.

He will be missed greatly by all who knew him.

For My Sins Press Release

Move over Hilary Mantel and Philippa Gregory!

For My Sins

Published March 20 by Fledgling Press

Critically acclaimed and prize winning YA author, Alex Nye wrote the first draft of For My Sins after leaving university in the late 80s. She spent two years pacing the cobbles of Edinburgh, visiting significant historical sites and re-imagining the life of Mary Queen of Scots.

Meticulously researched and factually accurate, Alex brings the tragic Queen to life, in this evocative, historical novel that lay forgotten in a drawer for many years.

Imprisoned for nearly 20 years in various castles around Britain, Mary Stuart contemplates her past and the struggles of being a woman in a man’s world. Awaiting execution in Fotheringhay Castle, Mary chronicles her life; the intrigue, conspiracy, religious division and conspiracies that brought her to this gruesome end.

Beautifully written, For My Sins is a great way of discovering the past without having to plough through the dryness of historical texts and will be enjoyed by both adults and YA readers.

About the Author
Alex Nye is an award-winning children’s author living in Scotland since 1995 where she finds much of her inspiration in Scottish history. At the age of 16 she won the W H Smith Young Writers’ Award out of 33,000 entrants, and has been writing ever since. Her first children’s novel, CHILL, won the Scottish Children’s Book of the Year Award. She also teaches and delivers workshops on creative writing/ghost stories/Scottish history. For My Sins is Alex’s first historical novel for adults.

Reviews for Alex Nye’s Previous Work

“This is a skilled time-slip tale of time, life and consciousness swirled up into a heady brew of mystery and danger.”
Historical Novel Society

“If you are feeling nervous, and would like to read a book to calm you down, I suggest you don’t choose Alex Nye’s new novel Darker Ends.”
The Bookwitch

“Alex Nye’s involving CHILL is set near Stirling, in a snowbound house with a ghost in the library. It’s a tense confection of mystery, historical intrigue and adventure for eight to 12-year-olds. Young heroes Samuel and Fiona find they cannot ignore a call from the past to put things right.”
Lindsey Fraser, Sunday Herald

“Nye’s prose undulates like the brooding sea she writes about, and you can almost hear the echoes of the island people and the local legends she brings to life in her unfolding mystery story. She easily weaves the narrative with lessons for those at the very start of their life, exploring meaty themes of belonging, change, friendship, meaning, love and loss.”
Heidi Kingstone, journalist and author of Dispatches from a Kabul Café

For a copy or to speak to Alex or for further information, please contact​ Linda MacFadyen:

Linda MacFadyen
Fledgling Press
Tel: 0191 280 1080
Mb: 07768 390172

Press Release: Times Witnesses


Women’s voices from the Holocaust

Times Witnesses

Published by Fledgling Press to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January 2017

Time’s Witnesses is the history and words of ten Jewish women who survived the Nazi concentration and extermination camps during World War Two.

These are women who lived through an unimaginable time, yet are still prepared to remember, so that the world does not forget.

The women tell of a time of degradation, deprivation, starvation and hopelessness, but each one, with incredible strength of spirit survived and extraordinarily share a common desire for resolution and a hope that by sharing their experiences these horrific moments in history will never be repeated.

Time’s Witnesses is not a comfortable book to read, but one that needs to be experienced if we are to learn.

Judith Meisel tells of the mother of the baby that a SS soldier dashed to the ground and killed. The mother afterwards refused to open one of her hands—she was clenching something she did not want to show. When the soldiers finally got the mother to open her hand, they saw a baby’s shoe. The SS soldier ordered her to hand it over. When the mother refused, she was shot. This mother is one of the heroes of the Holocaust: a hero with moral integrity who not only showed great love of her child but also impressive courage.

This is just one example of the horrors these women encountered, making their hope and warnings against hatred, even more remarkable.

Editor Information
Jakob Lothe (b.1950) is Professor of English Literature at the University of Oslo. His previous publications include Time’s Witnesses: Narratives from Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen (co-edited with Anette Storeide,2006) and After Testimony: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Holocaust Narrative for the Future (co-edited with Susan Rubin Suleiman and James Phelan, 2012). He is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and the leader of the Academy’s committee on human rights.

Dr Anne Marie Hagen has a postgraduate degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Oslo (Cand.philol. 2003) and a PhD in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh (2015). She recently completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (University of Edinburgh) and currently teaches in the University’s Department of English Literature in addition to working as a freelance translator and editor. Her first language is Norwegian.

Reviews of Time’s Witnesses: Women’s Voices from the Holocaust:

“This book is an absolutely unique work of documentation, and it makes a unique impression.”
Sindre Hovdenakk, VG

“The women’s narratives are important, awareness-raising work, soberly penned by Jakob Lothe.”
Espen Søbye, Morgenbladet

Reviews of Time’s Witnesses: Narratives from Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen:

Survival is never something one should take for granted. Nor that history will remain history. What almost all the interviewees have in common is a burning wish for peace, brotherhood, and fight against racism.
Lasse Midttun, Morgenbladet

For further information, a copy of the book, or to speak to Jakob Lothe, please contact:

Linda MacFadyen
Fledgling Press
Tel: 0191 280 1080
Mb: 07768 390172

Press Release: Tokyo Nights


Tokyo Nights

by Jim Douglas


Charlie Davis, a modern-day heretic, ditches his past and rushes into a picaresque journey through the glistening nights of Tokyo and the desolate wilds of northern Hokkaido. But the past is not so ready to ditch him; wistful private investigator Colin McCann, hired to look into the death of a wealthy businessman’s daughter, has a few hard questions for Charlie and won’t give up until he’s got answers. And he’s not the only one on Charlie’s trail.

Enter a world of empty orchestras, night butterflies, polite assassins, decadent TV celebrities and a pit-bull called Marvin. Tokyo Nights is a quest and an investigation into what we have become, a dark parable, a wake-up call to the dead 21st century obsessed with compromise, safety and longevity, and a novel that celebrates the excitement and energy of a culture like no other. Jim Douglas is the pen name of two writers – Jim Hickey and Douglas Forrester. Douglas died in September 2016 shortly before the publication of this, his first novel.

Jim Hickey was raised around Dublin and bruised and blessed into a reluctant maturity by boxing trainers and Christian brothers. Back in England, he attempted gentler pursuits such as studying the visual arts, writing poetry in a cottage that bordered the Humber river. He took a job as a manager of a nature reserve in Easington, a hamlet of a river that blends into a sea with little fuss and looked after little terns. The terns flew away and the velvet revolution opened-up a teaching opportunity in the former Czechoslovakia. He taught girls in a music academy how to pronounce Beatles’ songs. He then tried his hand at normality and growing properly up by working as a civil servant in Burnley. Before long he was in Australia, deep in the bush and living with an Aboriginal tribe called the Noongars, officially employed as their teacher. Things came to a halt when he docked in Tokyo. Something ran out and another thing came in. Tokyo Nights is a novel spun from his eventual captivity, minor enlightenment and spots of contentment in Japan. It is a blessing and a sneer. He lives near enough and far enough from the metropolis and remains at pen on the second instalment of this book.

Douglas Forrester was born and raised in Glasgow. He studied law in both Scotland and Amsterdam and spent the mid-summer months working as a grouse beater in the Highlands. After completing university, he​ worked for the Royal Bank of Scotland as a financial advisor before setting off for an expected short-lived sojourn in Japan. He never returned to the bank, nor to law and began to forge out a career of kinds at the now defunct NOVA, where he was Jim’s boss, and then at an international school and several universities. During this time he became a fluent Japanese speaker. He was also an accomplished Shodo-Jaoanese calligraphy-practitioner and showed his work in a number of exhibitions as the only foreigner with work on display. He always had a keen interest in books and shared a passion for the work of Gavin Maxwell and R.L. Stevenson with his co-author. Their collaboration led to Tokyo Nights and is a cornucopia of their often very different experiences and impressions of Japan’s capital city. Doug returned to Glasgow early in 2016 for medical treatment and to be with his family.

Linda MacFadyen
Fledgling Press
Tel: 0191 280 1080
Mb: 07768 390172

Press Release: Charley Chambers


A YA novel published by Fledgling Press
3 October 2016

Take a pinch of magic, a pinch of romance and a pinch of intrigue and – Abracadabra – a spellbinding novel is created.

Rachel Kennedy has dreamt up a singular character – Charley Chambers. From a very early age Charley has felt unlike her peers – she seems to possess unusual powers.

Charley has never really understood or been able to control these powers until she meets Aiden, who teaches her how to handle her magic. But then the devilishly handsome newcomer, Marcus, arrives in school and spells begin to be cast.

Rachel has written a Young Adult novel, brimming with colourful characters. As the story progresses, so does Charley’s understanding of the new world that has been opened up for her and she realises that she must make difficult choices to protect those around her.

Author Information

Rachel Kennedy studied Acting and Performance at college. Charley Chambers is her second novel. She was born in Glasgow and now lives in Balfron, with her daughter, Sian. As well as writing, Rachel is also very passionate about theatre. She also likes nothing better than discussing books over a bottle of wine with her successful crime writing step-father, Denzil Meyrick.

For further information, a copy of the book, or to speak to Rachel Kennedy please contact:

Linda MacFadyen
Tel: 0191 280 1080, Mb: 07768 390172

Press Release: The London Cage

The London Cage by Mark Leggatt

The London Cage

Mark Leggatt

Published by Fledgling Press 22 June, 2016

Combining the intelligent intrigue of le Carré with the action of Bond and the drive of Bourne, THE LONDON CAGE weaves a fascinating tale of deceit International conspiracy and Cold War Legacy.

Mark Leggatt has based his pacy thriller on the current Cold War between the US, Russia and China, who are all trying to gain supremacy over Near Space. (March 2016)

THE LONDON CAGE features the second outing for ex-CIA IT technician, Connor Montrose, who first appeared in Names of the Dead. Still running for his life from his previous employers Connor joins forces with Kirsty, who outdoes even Lisbeth Salander in terms of intelligence, courage and ingenuity, but with a wicked sense of humour!

Together they struggle to solve the conundrum of a long buried puzzle. Should the answer fall into the wrong hands then that country or organisation could bring down the rest of the world’s communications and defence systems. The action-packed race against this happening careers apace round London and nearly goes badly wrong in THE LONDON CAGE.

Author Biography
Mark Leggatt was born in Lochee, Dundee and lives in Edinburgh. A former specialist in Disaster Recovery for oil companies and global banks, his career has taken him around Europe, especially Paris, where he lived for a number of years. History and modern global conspiracy lie at the heart of his work, and are the backdrop for the adventures of CIA technician Connor Montrose.

Review for The London Cage

“Ticks along with the precision of a fine Swiss watch. A worthy follow-up to Names Of The Dead with all the slick dialogue, action and intrigue we’ve come to expect from Leggatt. A cracking read.”
Neil Broadfoot, author of The Storm and Falling Fast

Reviews for Names of the Dead

An action-packed story with good locations . . . and lots of plot twists.
Alex Gray, author of The Bird That Did Not Sing, latest in the Detective Lorimer series.

Mark Leggatt is an exciting new voice, and in Names Of The Dead he delivers an intense, page-turning, fast-paced thriller that is blistering with action and frighteningly real. The story is told with slick, snappy dialog against a backdrop of international landscapes, and in CIA technician Connor Montrose, we have a tough, crusading hero to root for, in an entertaining blend of Bourne, Bond and Indiana Jones.
Ava McCarthy, author of The Harry Martinez series.

For further information, a copy of the book, or to speak to Mark Leggatt please contact:

Linda MacFadyen
Fledgling Press
Tel: 0191 280 1080, Mb: 07768 390172

Press Release – The Calling by Philip Caveney

The Calling by Philip Caveney Published 31 March by Fledgling Press


THE CALLING is a combination of an intriguing crime novel for Young Adults, with a new case for Sherlock Holmes and a reawakening of Scotland ‘s forgotten heroes!

Set during The Edinburgh Festival, The CALLING is a magical story and nearly all of its cast of characters can be observed standing on plinths in the heart of the city. Only one human or ‘Softie’ is able to witness the phenomenon of the statues coming to life for just one day of the year and he hopes they can help him discover who he is.

,p>David Livingston, Sir Walter Scott, Colonel Alexander Macintosh, William Wallace, Dr Clerk Maxwell, Robert Burns and King Charles II, to mention but a few, are there to help or hinder Holmes in his quest to help ‘Ed Fest’ regain his memory and to solve the crime.

Greyfriars Bobby lends a paw, The Gormleys are not the best of chaps and the Dreaming Spires Giraffes do rather rush about aimlessly, but all do what they can to help.

THE CALLING will subtly introduce children to an eclectic range of historical events and people, but with a cracking story, the book will appeal to a wide-ranging audience.

The Calling by Philip Caveney

Author Information

Philip Caveney’s first novel was published in 1977. Since then, he has published many novels for adults and since 2007, a series of children’s books that have sold all over the world, the Sebastien Darke series and another well-received series – The Alec Devlin Mysteries. Philip was born in North Wales in 1951. After leaving college, he worked extensively in theatre, both in London and Wales, and wrote the lyrics for rock adaptations of The Workhouse Donkey and Oscar Wilde’s Salome.

For further information, a copy of the book, or to speak to Philip Caveney please contact:

Linda MacFadyen
Fledgling Press
Tel: 0191 280 1080, Mb: 07768 390172
Email: @LindaMacFadyen