My blog

caravan heaven

I have a caravan on the west coast overlooking the beautiful islands of Eigg and Rum and Muck. How’s that for words! And in this caravan there is no electricity, or internet connection, and very little mobile phone signal. I gaze at the sea, walk, write, talk….. and listen to the birds and the waves. Inspiration to write stories, it seems, needs that big space, like big listening.

Janis Mackay

a wonderful tree near the caravan

First Minister’s Writing Challenge

Delighted to be a part of this with my novel THE ACCIDENTAL TIME TRAVELLER. So if you haven’t started yet, there is still a few weeks of school holidays to get your nose into a book. Good luck. There are 100 all together!!!JANIS-KIDS

David Bowie

was an inspiration to me. when I was fourteen I dyed my hair red and cut it as much like David Bowie’s as I could. This was in his Spiders from mars period. He gave me permission to experiment, to be different, to be a bit wild and flamboyant, and I was all of this things, and to sing his songs and make his lyrics into the poetry of my youth.
And the sun shines, the sky is blue and after so much, much, much rain a legend dies and the day is beautiful.
‘I’m in heaven,’ he sings in his latest song.
Let’s Dance!

tiny daffodils growing in a tree stump

yes, it’s a new year…wet, mild, and buds forming on the thin ends of branches and already shoots pushing up out of the ground. And there they were, on the 7th of January as I walked my dog along the water of Leith – near the very spot I saw an otter, like brave yellow flowers. I meanwhile have begun the exciting process of researching towards writing a new novel. I am steeping myself in the 18th century, wandering round museums and gazing up at the Royal Mile. In Edinburgh the 18th century is cheek by jowl with the 21st. Having recently completed the third in my Time Travel series of novels – and there I was steeping myself in an imagined 22nd century – I am now stepping back… Re that futuristic third in the trilogy – it comes out this May. And it is called The Unlikely Time Traveller.
Talking of travels I saw the new year in in the wild and wonderful west highlands.
Happy New Year xxx

it’s Christmas

a very happy Christmas to everyone, and for those especially who have read my books, or invited me to visit schools and libraries during 2015 – many thanks. It has been quite a year, with Wild Song coming out this year, and I have just heard it is to be published in French, and it is also nominated for a Carnegie medal – how exciting. I love the way it is with writing books – you do your best, offer them into the world then see what happens – a bit like throwing a stone into a still pool and the ripples go on….
I have recently finished writing the third in the trilogy of time travel books. This third and final book about Saul and his gang and his time travels, is set one hundred years in the future. The book is called ‘the unlikely Time Traveller’ and it comes out May 2016, published by Floris books. I have also been busy writing another novel for children – this one is to do with a wishing tree – there are a few in Scotland, these mysterious trees draped with coloured rags and ribbons and all sorts of other things. I very much hope this book will be published and will keep you posted. Keeping posted is my intention for 2016 – and I plan to write a blog on this website once a week – every Friday. Until then, don’t overdo the figgy pudding, mince pies and crackers!!! Have a wonderful time. Keep reading. Keep believing in your wondrous imagination!

late and beautiful summer

What a day! What a week. Thank you to all who came along to the spectacular launch on ‘The Reluctant Time Traveller’ and thanks hugely to the six school children who read parts of the book. You were wonderful. Thanks also to Kingsland Primary school were I launched the book that same afternoon – and signed so many books. So Saul, Agnes, Elsie and Frank are now journeying into the world in that special and magical and always quite unknown way that books tend to travel. Where, I wonder, will it end up? thanks also to the lovely people at Waterstones at Fort Kinnaird in Edinburgh. They hosted an event there last Saturday afternoon. Lots of good folks turned up and how great to see a bookshop thriving.
happy September days

the summer season of book festivals is upon us.

My next event takes me south of the border to Leamington Spa. I am short-listed for the Warwickshire children’s book awards, so very excited about that – also glad to be taking the train and hope to gaze out the window aka J.K. and find new idea for next book!! Then it’s off to the Commonwealth Games – or a small part thereof – on Sat 26th July in Glasgow Green – in a huge tent as part of Commonwealth culture festival. And I have a little athletics link to make – my own athletic past! Then I have delighted to be taking part in book festivals in Islay, Moray, Wigtown and Tarbert. If you are near by come and say hello. I will have my new book ‘The Reluctant Time Traveller’ out by then, also the completely beautiful picture book ‘The Selkie Girl.’ Happy reading in the sun. x

sunshine and stories

wonderful to see blue sky and the light stretching till late at night. Putting the last few touches to my next book ‘The Reluctant Time Traveller’ which comes out on August 21st 2014. spent this morning at St George’s school talking to P5 and 6 girls – who were all dressed up like characters from Harry Potter so I felt they had definitely got the wrong author! But we had a good time and they wrote beautiful stories – sorry I couldn’t hear more. Keep writing girls. this random photo is not St George’s – but Janis is waving her arms in the air. RE JK,  I have yet to bump into her but we live in the same town! janis mackay pittenweem 1

Reluctant Time Traveller – coming soon

really excited to have very nearly almost….finished this sequel to the award winning book – The Accidental Time Traveller. In this new book – due out this autumn – Saul and Agnes travel back to 1914. So look out for tricks and time travel trouble – with a bit of a World War One atmosphere!

Because of the hugely exciting win – The Accidental Time Traveller – won the Scottish Children’s Book Awards – then I have been invited to lovely book festivals over the next few months. Looking forward to going to Islay Book Festival, Moray Book Festival, Tarbet book festival, Wigtown book festival, even a Scarecrow book festival – plus delighted to be involved in some literary book things in Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games.

wee seal

my first picture book is launched with a splash and a fair wee bit of screaming! thank you Floris for creating a lovely book launch and thanks also to Lari Don and her new picture book – the Magic Word – for being a comrade author and launching her book with me. I now have five books out there in the world, which feels lovely and exciting. And more in the making. Biggest book news for me this year has been the short-listing onto Scottish children’s book awards for the Accidental time traveller. This prize is read and judged by children, so any children out there reading this – ask your school teacher to get involved with the Scottish Children’s Book Awards. Information about that can be got from

On a different tack, Dawn Breslin – a wonderful inspirational speaker and author – see and myself, will be running a one day workshop in Edinburgh on Sunday 10th November. This workshop will focus on the story that is our life, and will make use of techniques to help us better understand this story, and make the changes we want to make. We will use storytelling, creative writing, life coaching and guided imagery processes. If you book before the end of October the price for this one day workshop is £79. Thereafter £105. To book contact or you can also contact me on this email address to ask questions about the day.

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