Book Fair - 8th-9th June 2013

  • Free entry, although you may encounter somebody giving you the opportunity to buy a raffle ticket.
  • A vast selection of second-hand books, fiction and non-fiction at bargain prices.
  • Specialist booksellers who bring with them some fascinating historical items. Sure to spark many a conversation.
  • Our cafe will be running all day with a range of home-made treats. Stay for lunch!
  • The sunny Struie Room hosts a full program of interesting talks from some of the Highlands' most prominent writers. See below for details.
  • A music room, with a record player and a huge selection of classical LPs to play and/or buy. Relax with cup of tea and listen to Beethoven, Mozart, Bach or whatever you want to put on.
  • A literary quiz and some intriguing competitions are planned.

Saturday evening entertainment -Ribald wit, poetry, prose and song, featuring Nick Trumble (aka Mulbert) and Alan McLeod. £12 including wine and nibbles. (For bookings phone 810958). 


All proceeds from this book fair will go to the new community centre building fund

All queries to: dornochbookfair@gmail.com



Throughout the weekend we have a full progrm of authors talking about their works and, no doubt, life in general. Listen to and meet the authors, ask them questions, get signed books and generally be stimulated and entertained.

Clio Gray is the author of six novels and an award-winning collection of short stories. She has been Judge Chair of the Annual HISSAC (Highlands & Islands Short Story Association www.hissac.co.uk) for the past seven years, reading upwards of 400 short stories a year, and also runs mentoring courses for HISSAC, so knows a thing or two about short story writing! Clio was also Chair of the Board of Trustees at Moniack Mhor for two years, and on the founding committee of Bloody Scotland, Scotland's first international crime writing festival.
For more info go to www.cliogray.com

Alec Hyde grew up in rural Worcestershire.  After studying Ancient History & Latin at Edinburgh University, Alec went on to work for the Civil Service in London. For much of his twenty-year career, Alec was involved in the crime, security and intelligence fields.  2007 saw Alec relocate to the Scottish Highlands, to enjoy a better work-life balance.  When he isn't writing, Alec enjoys playing guitar, drums and keyboards; trying, with varying degrees of success, to emulate his favourite rock bands. So far, Alec has avoided any attempt at singing.
SECOND SIGHT is the opening novel of Alec's supernatural thriller trilogy, THE FALSE LIGHT CONSPIRACY. Book two, FIRST VISION, is currently in preparation.  Alec is planning to release a stand-alone political thriller, IN THE NATIONAL INTEREST, later this year.  For more information about Alec, visit his website at: www.alechyde.com.

Chris Murray. “Winchman is the life story of Chris Murray from Stornoway. As a winchman on Search and Rescue helicopters for 22 years he was involved in the rescue of many people from the seas and mountains around the north of Scotland and further afield.  He details his exploits from his early days as a Royal Navy diver in the elite Faslane diving team, disabling explosive devices; as a civilian diver working offshore for various companies and finally – 22 years as the winchman on a Sikorsky S61; frequently hanging from a wire in stormy seas and snowstorms, risking his life to aid fishing vessels in distress and on one memorable occasion, receiving the Queenʼs Gallantry medal for the rescue of crewmen from the fishing vessel The Hansa.” quoted from Fledgling Press website. http://www.fledglingpress.co.uk/store/products/winchman-chris-murray/

Callum Night was born in North London in 1961; and was the youngest of a large family.  He went to Albany Comprehensive School, leaving at the age of 15. He started working straight away at a local fishmongers, where he stayed for 17 years, working my way up to manager and support buyer for this company, in a variety of jobs from delivery driver, market stall trader to kitchen worker. Callum has always loved music, with the likes of Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Bob Dillon, Doors, Dr Feelgood, Pink Floyd and the Eagles, and has been a singer and songwriter in a few bands, where he first started writing music. His main focus for writing is his passion for the Earth and all the wonderful species that live on it. He is a keen sponsor of many animal charities including WWF, WSPA, Dogs Trust and The Gorilla Foundation.
Callum now lives with his wife in the Scottish Highlands. http://www.callumnight.me.uk/index.php

Margaret Skea grew up in Ulster at the height of the ‘Troubles’, but now lives with her husband in the Scottish Borders. 

An interest in Scotland’s turbulent history, and in particular the 16th century, combined with PhD research into the Ulster-Scots vernacular, led to the writing of Turn of the Tide. which was the Historical Fiction Winner in the 2011 Harper Collins / Alan Titchmarsh People’s Novelist Competition. 

An Hawthornden Fellow and award winning short story writer – her recent credits include, Overall Winner Neil Gunn 2011, Chrysalis Prize 2010, and Winchester Short Story Prize 2009. Shortlisted in the Mslexia Short Story Competition 2012 and long-listed for the Matthew Pritchard Award, Fish Short Story and Fish One Page Prize, she has been published in a range of magazines and anthologies in Britain and the USA.


It's amazing how many books we sell over a weekend and we need to keep our stocks and variety at a high level, particularly as we expect this to be a very busy weekend. If you have spare books to donate (on any subject!) we would welcome them. We can collect. (Call Mark on 810958). Remember, your books are going to a great cause - helping to build a new community centre in Dornoch.


Can you spare some time to help out at some point over the weekend? We need more helpers both with the setting up and general running of the Book Fair. Get involved! Join the team!


Selling space/tables are available. Contact us for further details.


For a press pass, and to arrange interviews with the organisers or writers, please contact dornochbookfair@gmail.com. More details and press release to follow upon finalisation of schedule.




Throughout the weekend we have a full program of authors talking about their works and, no doubt, life in general. Listen to and meet the authors, ask them questions, get signed books and generally be stimulated and entertained.


11am Philip Paris

Philip Paris moved to the Tain area in 2005 with ‘about twenty years of writing ideas!’  However, a visit that summer to the Italian chapel in Orkney, put all these ideas on hold. Despite its fame no one had ever researched the chapel’s history before and this became rather a quest over the following four years.   His first novel, the historical fiction The Italian Chapel, was published by Black & White Publishing in 2009.  It was followed twelve months later by the non-fiction Orkney’s Italian Chapel: The True Story of an Icon.  His memoir, Nylon Kid of the North, was published during the summer of 2012 and the Dornoch Book Fair coincides with the publication of his controversial novel about domestic violence, Men Cry Alone. Of his latest book, Philip said ‘Back in 1977 I had the idea of writing a stage play about domestic violence where a man was the victim of a woman.  I never did write the play, but the idea has been rumbling along ever since.  Researching this subject over the last eighteen months in order to write Men Cry Alone has been the most extraordinary experience of my life.’ I never did write the play, but the idea has been rumbling along ever since.

12am Clio Gray

Clio Gray's most recent work is The Brora Murders, set at the time of the famous Kildonan gold rush. She was born a few streets away from the sea in Saltburn, Yorkshire, and later moved to Devon. After a brief stint in London, went to Leeds University, and from Leeds  to the Highlands in a camper van, and has been here ever since, again, just a few streets away from the sea. Active in the region's writing community, she was Chair of the Board of Moniack Mhor Writing Centre for two years, and on the founding Committee of the Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival, as well as being judge Chair for the Annual Highlands and Islands Short Story Association.

1pm Shona MacLean

Shona MacLean was born and brought up in the Scottish Highlands. She has a Ph.D. in History from Aberdeen University, specialising in C16th and C17th Scottish History. After many years living in Aberdeenshire, she returned with her family to her native Ross-Shire in 2010. The first book in her Alexander Seaton historical mystery series, set mainly in C17th Scotland, was published in 2008 and was shortlisted for the Saltire First Book award and the CWA Ellis Peters historical crime dagger. The fourth book in the series is due to be be published in March.

2pm James Andrew

James will be reading from his book Birdsong and Flame, which is a book of poetry he wrote when working and living in Istanbul, Turkey.  It deals with his reaction to his experiences there, particularly the culture.  He found this rich and fascinating.    This book was illustrated by Ishbel Macdonald, the Highland artist. 
    This is James' second book of poetry.   His first received a Scottish Arts Council grant.  James has also had short stories broadcast on the BBC and published in different magazines. He has a Masters degree in Creative Writing from St Andrews University.

3pm Kate Ashton

Kate Ashton was born in Beith in 1948. She trained a nurse at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, then went into nursing journalism. She lived in the Netherlands for 25 years, at first writing romantic novels and later working as freelance editor and translator. Meanwhile she authored a biography and a literary monograph, both published in the ancient but still surviving Frisian language. The latter is currently in preparation for English publication. Returning to Scotland in 2003, she continued freelance translation until ‘retiring’ late last year. Her poems have appeared in magazines including Shearsman, THE SHOp, Envoi, Equinox, and soon Northwords Now, and her reading will be based on excerpts from her new pamphlet from Lapwing Publications in Belfast: The Concourse of Virgins.

4pm Nick Trumble (aka Mulbert)

The Brora-based performance poet will be reading some of his poems with subject matter ranging from the big bang, global warming and the dreaded Scottish midgie to the retelling in comic verse of a couple of great old gags including a tribute to the late great Dave Allen. He may also do his poems about the antics of the naked rambler and his feminist poem entitled The True Story Of The Three Bears! As well as writing and performing himself, Mulbert also promotes poetry gigs called RENEGADE Nights with guest poets and the occasional comedian. He has performed at festivals, comedy gigs and the Poetry Cafe in London.


11am Peter Wright

"Acclaimed author Peter Wright will take the audience on an incredible and highly original journey, from one end of Scotland to the other - over 1,200km of bog, rock, mountain, moor and forest. Following the novel route of the Watershed of Scotland, and based on his epic walk that he carried out in 2005, he will treat those present to a rather special view of the landscapes of our country. The start will be on Peel Fell on the border with England, and the finish at Duncansby Head in the north east. Along the way, he`ll explain the very simple concept of the Watershed, and give some insight to the the unique character upon this Scotland-long megga meander.

12am Annie Mellor

     Do you have concerns about your child's progress with reading?  Does your child's school express concern? Is your child dyslexic? If yes - then this is a chance for parents/carers to learn simple techniques, which are fun and effective, to help children - of any age and ability - gain confidence and enjoyment when reading.
     A qualified teacher with extensive, specialist experience with dyslexics, dyscalculics and dyspraxics, Annie Mellor now runs the Educational Achievement Centre from her home in Fearn. As well as working 1:1 with pupils, she gives workshops and talks in schools, and takes small groups of teachers/parents, introducing them to her innovative and successful methods.

1pm The Literary Quiz

From Hamlet to Harry Potter. Join us for a lively bookish quiz

2pm Jean McLennan

Jean McLennan is a qualified lawyer with extensive experience in both civil and criminal law. This background gives her a unique insight into her subject as does her work as an honorary Sheriff in Wick. Her recent work, Blood in the Glens, is is a fascinating collection of true crime stories from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Murders and unexplained deaths happen wherever there are people and, despite its sparse population, the Highlands have had more than their fair share. Now Jean McLennan, a honorary Sheriff from Wick, investigates some of the most chilling crimes committed in the north over the last sixty years. This is an intriguing and authoritative look at the background to each crime, the motives of those involved, the crimes themselves and their repercussions.

3pm Catherine Byrne

Catherine Byrne has always wanted to be a writer, and began at the age of eight by drawing comic strips, and later as a teenager graduated to poetry. Her professional life however, took a very different path. She first studied Glass engraving with Caithness Glass where she worked for fourteen years. During that time she also worked as a foster parent. After the birth of her youngest child, she changed direction, studying and becoming a Chiropodist with her own private practice. At the same time she did all administration work for her husband's two businesses, and this continued until the death of her husband in 2005. However she still maintained her love of writing, and has had several short stories published in woman's magazines. She has now retired in order to write full time.


The raffle will be drawn. Winners to be listed here.



DADCA's second Book Fair, held on 2nd and 3rd June 2012, was another resounding success.  It had been the brilliant brainchild of DADCA Chairman Jerry Bishop and Committee member Pat Murray. Right from the start customers were coming through the door in a steady stream, looking for some new reading material to keep them out of mischief. 

Thanks to the generosity of DADCA members and friends, the numbers of books were prodigious!

Thanks to the generosity of DADCA members and friends, the numbers of books were prodigious!  All tastes were well represented: customers could find fiction to suit every taste (from Beowulf to Mills and Boon!) If non fiction was your bag you could also find yourself well provided for, with books on a wide range of topics (even the most anoraky!)

We were also happy to welcome the members of the Highland Book Fair Tours, whose antiquarian and collectible book stands and book signing added a cachet and glamour to our event.  The good news is that around £600 was raised.

Even better news is that if you missed the June Fair, the November Fair promises to have more books, more specialist book dealers, together with a program of author talks and signings.

Many thanks to everyone who supported this event: those who supplied books; those who kindly did the baking; and those who came along and bought. If you would like to get involved in any capacity we'd love to have you. Contact Pat on 810282.


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