Other writing

Short stories and poems

When I set out to write a novel I quickly discovered that writing is a craft.  And that there was no better way to learn the craft than by writing short stories.  I learned an immense amount about characterisation, dialogue, description, plotting, viewpoint and editing.  I’ve written quite a few short stories over the years and roughly half of them have been published or placed/shortlisted, so I must have been doing something right half of the time. Writing poems also turned out to be useful, as they gave me a sense of rhythm and sound.  A sentence, whether in a short story or novel has not only to make sense but to sound right. That’s not always easy so I was gratified when one agent said that my writing was eloquent and, in places, very poetic.

A collection of my short stories, ‘The Man who Loved Landscape and other stories’ was published in November 2020.  The e-book is available for £1.99 and the paperback for £4.99. Click on the button to purchase from Amazon.

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Extracts from recent reviews of ‘The Man who Loved Landscape’ (all 5 star)

A simply astonishing book of forty short stories of various lengths covering a wide range of genres and subjects. The author clearly has a deep understanding of the workings of the human heart and mind, because all the tales offer a crystal-clear window to peer into the inner workings of a person’s soul. (Julia Blake, Author of Black Ice)

Each story  proved both comforting and inspirational through the dark of this winter. We catch a glimpse of ordinary, vulnerable human beings in their landscape; created with a skill in which science and art combine.

It was Ernest Hemingway who advised writers to start with ‘one true thing’. Barbara Lennox goes a bit further. There is a true thing on every page of this collection – whether that be an observation on the human condition or a beautiful evocation of our connection to the natural world. 

This is a beautifully written collection of short stories, so well researched and with a terrific sense of place. In particular, the Scottish landscape sings out.

These are beautifully crafted examples of the short story writers art, replete with finely drawn characters, compelling twists and the clarity of insight that comes from a writer who has really taken the trouble to get to know her characters. 

One of my longer short stories has already been published as an e-book.  Song of a Red Morning is set in Dunpeldyr, the setting of the beginning of The Wolf in Winter, but at a slightly later period. Click on the button to purchase from Amazon.

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Extracts from recent reviews of ‘Song of a Red Morning’ (4 and 5 star)

What a bittersweet and poignant tale this is. Perfect coffee break length, the power of the author’s words transport the reader to Iron Age Scotland.  Beautifully written, one can almost smell the woodsmoke and scent of fear on the men, and it didn’t end the way I was expecting. Highly recommended. (Julia Blake, Author of Black Ice)

Poignant and poetically honourable, it’s an atmospheric 30 minute read.

Thoroughly absorbing and beautifully written. A trip back in time.

It’s one thing for a writer to conjure up the atmosphere and lifestyle of an ancient world but this short story achieves something much rarer – offering us an insight into the psychology of Iron Age man. Highly recommended.

A beautifully atmospheric tale that draws you in. Grounded in history but with a tantalising aura of mythology, this short story will appeal to fantasy and historical readers alike.

A number of my poems have been published in various collections and a full collection was published in March 2021. Click on the button to purchase from Amazon.

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Extracts from recent reviews of ‘The Ghost in the Machine’ (5-star)

Barbara Lennox observes the natural world with loving and critical detail and analyses what she observes through the lens of a poet and a philosopher. She speaks of the profound and shows us illuminating flashes of the ghost in the machine, the spirit in all living things, the delicate balance of life and death, endurance and extinction, pure joy and bittersweet loss. She teachers us about the connectivity of everything and how a single moment of true immersion in nature can give us a moment of true transcendence. We not only can experience the ghost, we are of the ghost ourselves. (Sherry L Ross, Author of The Seeds of the Pomegranate)

This is an excellent book, nuanced, accessible, human. It’s full of powerful ideas and exquisite language. Highly recommended. (Steve Griffin, Author of The Boy in the Burgundy Hood)

Work in progress

My next novel, provisionally entitled The Eagle in the North, is in the early planning stages.  Like The Trystan Trilogy, it will be a historical novel, and will be set in Scotland during the Roman campaign in Scotland in the late first century.