Extras – stuff, things, bits, and bobs…

Ex-World’s-Best-Stovies Recipe

That’s right – in 2014 I won the World Stovies Championship (making, not eating, you cheeky monkeys) and right now I’m going to share the secret(s) of my success… Stovies has to be one of the most iconic dishes in Scotland, and a hell of a lot nicer than our official national dish – deep-fried pizza. Stovies: a thick gloopy unctuous meaty blend of leftover roast lamb, onions and tatties. You can tell it oozes Scottishness, because it’s got tatties in it. Not ‘potatoes’, tatties. Get that bit right and you’re halfway there. Now, true stovie experts are able to…

Read more

DIY Beard Kit

You! Yes, you with the smooth chin. Think people aren’t taking you seriously, because you don’t have a manly beard? Think your life’s blighted by that naked chin you’re wearing? Well sorry no more, because I have just the solution… Wish you were bearded too? Back when my first book was published, someone left a comment on the blog asking if being bearded was a pre-requisite for taking part in my web-based shenanigans. Sadly the individual in question was one of those unfortunate individuals unable to grow a full and manly beard on their own (because she was – and…

Read more

Swedish Q&A

There are probably hundreds of these Q&A things knocking about on my hard drive, but this was the closest one to hand. This is a wee Q&A I did for my Swedish publishers for a feature called ‘Close Up’. It was meant to be about Flesh House, but as I’m a contrary sod, I’ve edited out all those bits… 1. Big break: The biggest break I ever had was my ankle. My wife’s heavily into horses, so I thought I’d be supportive and learn to ride. One lesson later I was in Accident and Emergency with a fractured ankle and torn…

Read more

Glossary

Ever wondered what a ‘rowie’ was, or what ‘shoogle’ meant? Well, wonder no more – here’s a guide to many of the lovely Scottish words that feature in my books. This is a wee glossary I did for the American edition of Flesh House to help those not lucky enough to have been born (or live) in the North East of Scotland. And as there’s a large number of unfortunate people like that in the world, here’s a copy of it for their delectation and delight. If there’s any term you’re still puzzling over, drop me a message and I’ll add…

Read more

Mushroom Soup

I made the mistake of including a wee throwaway line in my biography for Cold Granite about how I’d perfected a recipe for mushroom soup. People kept emailing me and asking for it, so here it is… Something strange began to happen to me the moment I went full time as a writer: I became a much bigger man. By which I don’t mean that I became important, or special, or even taller… actually, I’ve been getting shorter for the last fifteen years. Shorter and rounder. For some God-forsaken reason I’m slowly turning into a pasty bouncy castle with a beard.…

Read more