All About Linda Stratchan
Linda Strachan has written over 60 books for all ages, interests and abilities and has helped to inspire thousands of young people through her author visits and writing workshops.
Perhaps best known for her Hamish McHaggis series for young readers and her award winning books for teenagers Spider and Dead Boy Talking, Linda has also written picture books, books for reluctant readers, non fiction books, books for educational publishers and a writing handbook for aspiring and newly published writers – Writing for Children.
She has presented to schools, libraries and festivals in the UK and abroad, including the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Bath Children’s Festival and she recently visited Sydney, Australia to speak to adult writers there and toured schools in North Island, New Zealand with the New Zealand Book Council.
Linda’s School Visits
Linda delivers interactive, informative and fun author sessions, tailored specifically to different age groups, from the youngest children to the top of the senior school. She enthrals her audience with her energy and enthusiasm and is happy to speak to large or small groups. Her passionate approach is simple but effective, when pupils are engaged and gripped by what they read this can lead to a life long love of books and learning.
For senior pupils –
Linda is happy to speak to large audiences or single year/class groups and can provide hour long author sessions featuring her young adult/teen novels, the award winning Spider and Dead Boy Talking. These books open up many opportunities for reflection and discussion about real life issues facing teenagers worldwide today. Linda leads the audience on a journey talking about decisions, actions and consequences; about loyalty, friendships and peer pressure – discussing her characters, how their lives will turn out and what can be learned from their stories. Using her PowerPoint presentation, she shows the lengths an author will sometimes go to in developing believable characters, plot and setting. She discusses her painstaking and detailed research including visiting young offenders, meeting police liaison officers, shadowing paramedics and watching fire-fighters in training.
There is always time for questions from the audience and following on from this Linda introduces the audience to the world of publishing, revealing who and what it takes to produce a book – from idea to bookshelf.
Creative writing workshops:
Linda is also an experienced creative writing teacher. In her creative writing workshops (preferably with smaller groups- a single class or less) pupils are encouraged to explore ways of releasing their own creativity in developing characters to drive a plot forward, exploring voice and dialogue and writing short stories.
For junior pupils –
Linda will speak to large audiences but in primary school prefers that the age range is not too wide so that the children will all benefit from the event. She can provide hour long author sessions featuring some of her books for younger children – the best selling Hamish McHaggis series, What Colour is Love?, Greyfriars Bobby and Gordon Gets Even.
For ages 5 to 8 Linda’s author sessions focus on the Hamish McHaggis series. These stories feature an osprey, a pine marten and a hedgehog from Kent, as well as the loveable Hamish (a cuddly haggis). They follow the characters on a variety of adventures and cover topics such as canals and transport, friendship and natural history, family and traditions and a variety of other topics. There are free downloadable teachers’ resources for lesson plans and class work based around the series. For the younger children, What Colour is Love? introduces younger readers to colours, animals and feelings.
For ages 7 to 9 Linda’s author sessions focus on Greyfriars Bobby which retells the famous legend of a little dog’s loyalty to his master and Gordon Gets Even which opens up, in a positive way, a discussion on bullying.
For ages 10+ Linda’s author sessions will follow the same format as for senior pupils, detailed above, focusing on her award winning books Spider and Dead Boy Talking. The books deal with some difficult issues but the sessions are tailored to be age appropriate. Linda has run many events on these books for this age group. If you have any concerns about content or the subject matter of the books teachers are advised to read them beforehand, but please feel free to contact us to discuss it further.
Creative writing workshops:
Linda is also an experienced creative writing teacher. In her creative writing workshops (preferably with smaller groups- a single class or less) pupils are encouraged to explore ways of releasing their own creativity in fun activities to develop characters, move a plot forward, explore voice and dialogue and write short stories.
Creative writing workshops can be tailored for younger pupils of almost any age.
For adults and teachers:
Linda can provide inspirational creative writing workshops on all aspects of writing for personal enjoyment or for publication and professional development courses on ‘Teaching creative writing in the classroom’. Her book Writing for Children is a writing handbook for adults who are interested in writing for children.
*Linda signs all copies of her books purchased by students on the day of her visit.*
Spider – Winner of the Catalyst Book Award 2010
Spider is on his last warning. If he’s caught joyriding again he’ll be sent down, no questions asked. He’s trying to stick to the straight and narrow but his girlfriend Deanna and mate Andy reckon he should risk one last run.
Spider is an adrenaline-fuelled ride – a compelling glimpse into a life spinning out of control.
‘A triumph of teenage fiction’ – Irish Examiner
Dead Boy Talking
Josh has 25 minutes to live.
Lying alone in a pool of blood, Josh hasn’t much time to think. Yesterday he stabbed his best mate and now it’s happened to him. But there are questions he can’t get out of his head. Like, how did he get into this mess? Will anyone find him in time? Will his girlfriend forgive him and what really happened to his older brother?
As his life slips away, the events of the last 24 hours start to look very different.
‘I was totally hooked from the very first sentence – “In 25 minutes I will be dead” – .it must have one of the most stunning, shocking opening pages of any book’ My Favourite Books
The Hamish McHaggis Series:
An osprey, a pine marten and a hedgehog from Kent have fun filled adventures with their friend, an engaging haggis called Hamish, on their travels around Scotland.
The internationally renowned story of a little dog who’s loyalty to his master made him a legend.
Gordon Gets Even
Gordon is in trouble with Big Kev. Will the plan he makes with Aunt Caroline help him stand-up to the bully? (Ginn – Lighthouse)
What Colour is Love?
Introducing colours, animals and feelings to younger children.
Writing for Children
For aspiring and newly published writers. This offers advice on the whole business of writing for children from pre-school to teenage, from initial idea to publication and beyond.
Recommendations & Reviews
‘Fast paced and uncompromising’ The Herald
‘An intense ride…You can almost hear the wheels spin. Smell the tyres burn’ The Scotsman
‘Spider is fuelled with emotion. I couldn’t put it down until I’d read the last page.’ Waterstones
‘A pacy, touching story that never palls… compelling, insightful’ Irish Examiner
Dead Boy Talking
‘I was totally hooked from the very first sentence – “In 25 minutes I will be dead” – but it must have one of the most stunning, shocking opening pages of any book’ My Favourite Books
‘..a powerful story made more so by the author’s understated style of writing. …never once does she veer into being preachy or a told-you-so tone which would have teens running for cover. The fast pace and direct approach will have a particular appeal to reluctant readers. A definite must havefor any school library‘ The Bookette
Writing for Children
‘The advice in this book is utterly invaluable’ Nicola Morgan
‘Linda really knows how to hold her audience’s attention. You could have heard a pin drop!’ International School of Aberdeen
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Linda Strachan, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org