Latest updates

Final few days for new Subscribers

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Until midnight on 24th February, if you pledge your support for Green Gold by pre-ordering your copy direct from Unbound, you will have your name printed as a Subscriber in the book.  Alternatively, you can provide the name of a someone else instead for a totally unique gift.

Once this deadline passes, then the final proofs will be prepared, including the lists of my lovely Subscribers. If…

Book launch and exhibition in Edinburgh

Tuesday, 15 January 2019


I'm excited to announce that there will be major exhibition hosted by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh running from 27th April, until the end of June. The exhibition will feature original botanical paintings by Nicola Macartney, letters and minutes from the garden's archives, and a range of herbarium specimens. The garden will also be hosting a book launch on the opening day of the exhibition…

Green Gold cover revealed

Thursday, 29 November 2018

First the manuscript is written, then a publishing offer negotiated and contract signed, fundraising started, fundraising successfully completed, then work started again on the manuscript with a first edit then second edit, followed by copyediting . . . it’s a long process writing a book! In fact, since completing the manuscript of Green Gold, it’s been about two years of hard work with publisher…

Editing Green Gold

Saturday, 3 November 2018

I've just finished the first main edit of Green Gold, working with the Editor, Laura, and the Editorial Team from Unbound.

It's such a privilege having a professional editor read your completed novel.  Yet, when you submit a final manuscript to the publishers, so many questions and fears go through your mind. What will they think of it? Does the plot work? Is it interesting or gripping enough…

Funding complete!

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

I am delighted to report that crowdfunding to support the publication of Green Gold: The lost journals of John Jeffrey is now complete.

Thanks to a generous donation from Forest Holidays Ltd., the crowdfunding effort has just received the much-needed final push over the line.

I had completed the manuscript even before launching the crowdfunding with Unbound, but knowing that 100% funding…

Talk at WoodWords 2018

Saturday, 26 May 2018

This week I was pleased to give a talk about GREEN GOLD at WoodWords 2018, run by Sylva Foundation.

I've uploaded a recording of the talk which you can listen to here (13m39s). If you would like to see some relevant images, I've uploaded a few in a slideshow on my blog:

WoodWords 2018

Sunday, 13 May 2018

I'm looking forward to taking part in WoodWords 2018, run by Sylva Foundation, on the evening of 24th May. I'll be reading some extracts from Green Gold, and describing more of protagonist John Jeffrey's incredible feats and achievements. If you're interested in coming along it'd be great to meet you, and I'm sure you'll enjoy the great line up of authors. More information and tickets…

A special literary event and more botanical art

Friday, 9 March 2018

I'll be taking part in a unique literary evening with Sylva Foundation on 24th May. I will be reading some extracts from Green Gold alongside talks from four other authors, featuring a wonderfully diverse range of books, all on the theme of trees and nature. The event will be held among the community of woodworkers at the Sylva Wood Centre in Oxfordshire. It's sure to be a special evening. Find…

Limited edition print now available

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

We're pleased to release a new subscriber reward of a very special limited edition print.

Thanks to a collaboration with botanical artist Nicola Macartney, with links to Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, we are able to offer 100 readers the chance to own a print of Nicola's latest work, depicting the Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi ). The species was discovered and collected by the protagonist…

Green Gold newsletter No.9

Sunday, 3 December 2017

No.9 of my newsletter is now available, featuring stories linked to the creation of my historical novel: Green Gold - the lost journals of John Jeffrey.

Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi) painting in progress by Nicola Macartney

In this issue, a new extract from the book, more stunning botanical art by NicolaMacartney, how to gift a book patronage this Christmas, plus good news on…

Gift a book patronage

Monday, 16 October 2017

Why not gift a book patronage this Christmas for a truly unique present. Every supporter will have their name listed inside the book.

Giving a book which doesn't yet exist

The one downside to the gift of a Green Gold book patronage is that the book doesn't yet exist (remember it's your support which will make it happen)! To help you give something physical to prove your endearing love…

Book extract: Lampreys, 15th June 1853

Saturday, 14 October 2017

An extract from John Jeffrey's lost journals

Lampreys, 15th June 1853

At Klamath Falls there was a great gathering of Indians, apparently from several tribes, given the varieties of costume and appearance on display. They were all there for a common purpose however; to gather lampreys.

The only lamprey I have seen in this country before now was firmly attached to the flanks of a large…

A new discovery

Monday, 25 September 2017

Following visits to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) and Benmore Botanic Garden, collaborating botanical artist Nicola Macartney has started work on some painted sketches of western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) including foliage, cones and a small section of bark. These are the elements which she intends to include in the final painting.

John Jeffrey, the protagonist in GREEN GOLD…

Talk at Oxford Blackwells

Saturday, 16 September 2017

I'll be talking about GREEN GOLD at Oxford Blackwells on Friday 13th October (19:00-20:00).

The event is a 'pledge party' organised by the publishers Unbound, and I'll be keeping good company with five other Unbound authors offering short talks on an eclectic selection of topics. It promises to be an interesting evening.


Kalypso Nicolaidis – Exodus, Reckoning, Sacrifice: Three Meanings…

Stunning botanical art will help celebrate the life of John Jeffrey

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Drawing of the cone from a Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi) by Nicola Macartney.

Botanical artist Nicola Macartney and I are collaborating to help make an exhibition together at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RGBE) in 2018. Nicola is hunting for plant material associated with John Jeffrey, the main protaganist in GREEN GOLD. Some reward levels include an invitation to the exhibition and other…

Gifting a voice beyond the grave

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Now I've completed the draft of my first full-length novel—a work of historical fiction—I feel as though I travelled alongside my protagonist as he walked thousands of miles across North America in search of plants. Yet I went on a very real journey myself, learning about Victorian exploration, the wildernesses of North America, the Gold Rush, and Native Americans. Then further challenges came…

Collaborations with Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Behind the scenes I've been collaborating closely with Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) ever since starting work on GREEN GOLD.

Plant-hunter John Jeffrey, the main protagonist in Green Gold, was employed by RBGE, and his exploits managed by a newly formed group - the Oregon Botanical Association. I therefore relied on the archives of RBGE for my research as it holds many letters and the…

The extraordinary journey of John Jeffrey

Sunday, 14 May 2017

John Jeffrey, the main character in my latest book Green Gold, walked, paddled and rode at least 10,000 miles across North America while hunting for plants from 1850-4. During the two years I spent researching and writing the book I plotted his travels in detail and can now publish the route in full for the first time.

After sailing 2,600 nautical miles from London, via Stromness in the Orkney…

Jeffrey's shooting star

Friday, 5 May 2017

In September 1852 young Scottish plant hunter John Jeffrey came across an attractive flowering plant in northern California. After samples were received by his sponsors at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh it was named in his honour.

Jeffrey's shooting star (Dodecatheon jeffreyi) is also known as Sierra shooting star or tall mountain shooting star. Its glowing pink flowers, which appear between…

Film released to mark book launch

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

I'm delighted to see my first book with Unbound Publishing launched.

It's taken two years of research and writing, interupted frequently by a busy day job, to reach this day yet I've enjoyed writing the story more than I ever imagined.

They say truth is stranger than fiction, and in the case of the true story of John Jeffrey I've learnt it's even more extraordinary too.

During the winter…

Publication date: April 2019
107% funded
108 backers