Portrait Welcome to my website, I do hope you enjoy your visit (best accompanied by tea/ coffee and mint chocolates…).

Covid-19  Update  

In this strange world in which we find ourselves just now, I trust that you  are taking care and staying safe. For all of us Lockdown has had a profound impact on how we must live our lives. For me, as an author, there are two very significant results. 

1) For the foreseeable future I cannot be involved in live events, which is a source of great disappointment. However I am very happy to take part in virtual events, singly or as part of a panel and have used both Zoom and Streamyard to do so. Please feel free to contact me.

2) Those who are interested in purchasing paperback copies of my books may find that they are more difficult to obtain from UK bookshops just now, though they are all still available from Amazon. However I am happy to post out signed copies to UK addresses at a special discount price – see below.

3) I also have a very limited number of Sanderling 1st editions of Turn of the Tide (currently on its 3rd reprint) and Katharina Deliverance (currently on its 2nd reprint) available also as signed copies, but as the saying is, once they’re gone, they’re gone!

Signed copies  of any of the books can be ordered here, or via my FB author page.

Please provide the name / postal address of where the book is to be sent and specify any dedication that you wish to have written in it. (If you want 2 books, please add an additional £2.00 for  p+p.  Other quantities / areas on request.)

Cost: Turn of the Tide  £10.99 (inc postage)

          A House Divided   £9.99 (inc postage)

         By Sword and Storm  £10.99 (inc postage)

         Katharina: Deliverance  £10.99 (inc postage)

         Katharina Fortitude  £10.99 (inc postage)

        Dust Blowing and other Stories     £6.99 (inc postage)

Audiobooks of the Munro trilogy are now in production and the 1st title – Turn of the Tide – should be available within the next few weeks, with books 2 and 3 – A House Divided / By Sword and Storm following at c 1 month intervals. To aid listeners I have added a Character list and Glossary for each book which can be found under the relevant title tab.

Background and publications to date.

Although I now live in the Scottish Borders, I grew up in Ulster at the height of the ‘Troubles’, so perhaps it was inevitable that I would one day write about living within conflict and the problems and pressures that diverse loyalties place on families, on relationships, and on personal integrity. The Turn of the Tide is that story, but set in the turbulent clan warfare of 16th century Scotland. The tale of the fictional Munro family trapped within a real-life 150 year-old feud, and the first in a series, it is available in all good bookshops in the UK and online.

The Historical Fiction Winner in the 2011 Harper Collins / Alan Titchmarsh People’s Novelist Competition (pre-publication), it has now been awarded the Beryl Bainbridge Award for Best First Time Author 2014.

Beryl Bainbridge Award for Best First Time Author

Beryl Bainbridge Award for Best First Time Author

The sequel A House Divided was released on 15th October 2016 under my own new imprint Sanderling Books.  It was long-listed in the Historical Novel Society New Novel Award 2016.

The third volume By Sword and Storm was released in eformat in the summer of 2018 and in print in October 2018 and completes (for the time being) the Munro series.

October 2016 saw the publication of Dust Blowing and Other Stories – a collection of shorts, many of which have won or been placed in national and international competitions, such as Fish, Neil Gunn, Mslexia and Tom Howard.

October 2017 was the Luther 500 Anniversary and to mark it I released Katharina: Deliverance, a fictionalised biography of Katharina von Bora, Martin Luther’s wife.

I am delighted to announce that Katharina was placed 2nd in the Historical Novel Society New Novel award 2018 It is available from UK bookshops and internationally in both Kindle and PB format.

Katharina: Fortitude, the follow-up volume to complete Katharina’s story was published in summer 2019 and was shortlisted for the BookBrunch Award  2020.

Distribution of all the books except Dust Blowing is via Central Books / PubEasy and the paperbacks should be available through all good ‘bricks and mortar’ bookshops in the UK, (don’t let them tell you otherwise!) and also online, nationally via Waterstones, and internationally  via Amazon  and the Book Depository   They are also all available on Kindle.

Dust Blowing is currently available in ebook and paperback via Amazon, aside from signed copies – as noted below.

As a new venture for me the website for Sanderling Books is still a work-in-progress… but for anyone wishing to contact Sanderling please email marjorieblake@sanderlingbooks.co.uk

One of the best things about being an author is having the opportunity to meet and chat to readers and to share my experiences with both adults and young adults in a wide variety of contexts, from festivals to book groups.

Currently, of course, courtesy of Covid-19 that isn’t possible, but I’m looking forward to expanding my programme of events when this crisis is over. In the meantime I would be delighted to take part in virtual events for audiences big or small. And for those in Scotland, as I am on the Scottish Book Trust’s Live Literature database, it’s possible to access funding to help with the cost of staging an event, whether forward planning for a live event or, at present, for virtual events.

For a calendar of events (past and forthcoming) please click here. If you’d like me to visit your group, whatever the size or format, do please contact me. I am happy to give presentations on various aspects of writing, the process of getting published, and the inter-relationship between history and fiction. And for reading groups, I’m equally happy to be quizzed following your reading of any of my books. I can visit your group virtually via Zoom or Skype.

Visit Gallery to see some pictures (more comprehensive selection to be uploaded soon) and a video clip of Turn of the Tide discussed on the Alan Titchmarsh Show.

See Turn of the Tide page to read an extract from the novel and information on the historical background, the setting, characters, research and a selection of reviews.

Visit A House Divided to learn more about the book, to read reviews and sample an extract.

On the Katharina: Deliverance page you will find an extract and reviews.

An Hawthornden Fellow, my recent short story credits include: Overall Winner Neil Gunn 2011, Chrysalis Prize 2010, and Winchester Short Story Prize 2009. 3rd in Rubery International Short Story 2013, a finalist in the Historical Novel Society Short Story 2012, shortlisted in the Mslexia Short Story Competition 2012 and long-listed for the Historical Novel Society Short Story 2014, the Matthew Pritchard Award, Fish Short Story and Fish One Page Prize, I’ve been published in a range of magazines and anthologies in Britain and the USA.

One of my prize-winning short stories is available to read on the Short Story page. It is also included in the short story collection.

Publications gives a list of currently available anthologies which include some of my winning and placed short stories.

Visit the blog page for links to articles I find of interest and / or articles of my own.

I returned to Hawthornden Castle in mid-February 2016 and  used the month-long fellowship to begin the third novel in the Munro series – By Sword and Storm. Read a short piece on that Hawthornden experience here.

I love to hear from visitors to my site, so please do use the Contact me form and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

And finally…for information on what’s important to me personally please visit the About page.