Loch Awe in spring - Photo courtesy of Neil Donald Photography






Saturday, 2 January 2016

NEW YEAR, NEW FACES...

Novel Points of View is introducing a few changes for 2016. We want to say goodbye and many thanks to Jenny Harper and Mary Smith, and a big hello and welcome to new members Rae Cowie (writer), Jennie Bohnet (writer) and Neil Donald (photographer). We’re really looking forward to having new voices – and amazing photographs – in the weeks and months ahead.

To get things rolling we have asked each of our new members to give us three words or phrases that best describe their creativity. And also to tell us a little bit about themselves. Over to you, Rae…



Hello and a thousand thanks to the Novel Points of View team for inviting me to join their not-so-secret gang.

This is the perfect time of year for setting those New Year writing goals and thinking about how best to describe my creativity was just the push I needed to return to the typeface after the sloth of the festive season.

So what do I write? - Contemporary women’s fiction stuffed full of family drama with a tender sprinkling of romance.

And how best to describe my creativity? - Well I’m a bit of a chameleon when it comes to inspiration, as that magical ‘what if?’ question can be sparked by places, photographs, objects, song lyrics…anything really.

However, like most writers I’m drawn to write about what interests me and travel has always been a firm passion of mine. Part of the joy of writing, for me, is researching other cultures, finding out what makes people and places tick. My current work-in-progress, Leaving Baku, is set in Azerbaijan (to the east of Turkey, cradled by the Caspian sea). It’s the story of a young, local widow, Samira, and the relationship she develops with a Western oilman, against her family’s wishes.

Which brings me to my second phrase - family and relationships. Having been lucky enough, along with my three siblings, to be brought up in a picturesque fishing village, where community spirit was strong, perhaps it was envitable that as a writer the importance of family and friendship would feature strongly in my writing. However, just as in real life, the road any family follows is far from smooth and part of the fun in fiction writing is throwing boulders in characters paths – testing those relationships to the limit.

My final phrase links both travel and family/relationships, as I love to write of individuals who are struggling to find their place in the world, searching for where they belong, finding friendship and romance in unexpected places.

Whilst enjoying travel, I also love home which nestles in a tiny hamlet in rural NE Scotland, overlooking the fertile Ythan estuary, where geese come and go with the seasons. As well as my imaginary characters, I also have my ever-patient husband and two lively teenage sons to keep me company. I bake to relax  - think lemon drizzle cake or red velvet muffins - not exactly to Bake Off standard but good enough for my family to appreciate. Then, to work off those calories, I walk and cycle the farm roads and dirt tracks, which crisscross the surrounding fields...perhaps not quite so often as I should!   

And so, in joining the wonderfully talented Novel Points of View team, I feel I’m travelling to an exciting new land, with lots to discover and enjoy – here’s to friendships, old and new, in 2016! 

29 comments:

  1. Lovely to have you here, Rae. And to learn more about you and your writing. Leaving Baku sounds fascinating, I'm looking forward to hearing more about it!

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    1. Thanks, Gill. Being asked to join the blog was such an exciting start to the year and I'm looking forward to hearing from Jennie and Neil later in the week.

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  2. Great introduction Rae, so no pressure.

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    1. Thanks, Neil. You'll do a fantastic job and your photo of the dawn breaking is truly amazing!

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  4. Lovely introduction Rae and like Neil says 'no pressure'! So glad I've got a few more days to write mine! Looking forward to being part of the team!

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    1. Really lovely to meet here, Jennie and looking forward to your post. Lots to look forward to in the coming week...

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  5. Hi Rae, what a great post. If your novel reads as fluently as this, you'll sell shed loads - well one to me, at least. anne stenhouse

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    1. Thank you, Anne - I'll hold you to that!

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  6. Good to hear your take on the writing game, Rae. I hope 2016 is successful and productive for you.

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    1. Great to hear from you, Bill and may 2016 be a sparkling year for you too.

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  7. A lovely and enjoyable intro post Rae. Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!

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    1. Thank you, Janice and a Happy New Year to you and yours. May your travels be fun filled and exciting!

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  8. Nice to 'see' you here, Rae. Look forward to hearing about the progress of your novel.

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    1. Thanks Kate, and good luck with all your 2016 writing goals, too.

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  9. Wonderful to have you on board, Rae. I love the sound of Leaving Baku - just my sort of book. :)

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    1. Delighted to be here, Jennifer. Blogging with friends is a dream come true!

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  10. I'm very, very, pleased to meet you, Rae. Welcome to the gang. Your blog post got me interested in you and what you do right away...... keep 'em coming!

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    1. Thanks so much, Linda. Joining the team has made for a fantastic start to a new writing year - no January blues for me!

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  11. Nice to learn a bit more about you and your writing, Rae, and I wish you and all the new members a happy time with Novel Points of View.

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    1. That's very kind, Mary. Wishing you a very happy and successful writing year too.

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  12. Lovely photo, great post! Let's hope 2016 is THE year for you Rae, good luck with the novel. And keeeeep blogging!

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    1. Thanks so much, Jenny. Us newbies have big boots to fill, coming after yourself and Mary. May your writing star shine even brighter in 2016!

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  13. Rae - sorry, I must have missed your lovely post! It's great to see become part of the blogging community - all th best with your novel this year.

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    1. Thank you, Rosemary. It's been such an exciting week, blogging with friends - and I look forward to hearing all that the Gemmell family of writers gets up to in 2016.

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  14. Great first post - Looking forward to more words from you.

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  15. Lovely to 'meet' Maria and thank you for taking the time to comment - much appreciated.

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  16. Hope to read Leaving Baku soon, Rae, sounds great! :-) xx

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    1. Thank you, Christina. I'm working hard! x

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