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you can read extracts from it here:

‘Daisychains of Silence’ is a literary fiction novel that narrates the story of Daisy (christened Deirdre), a woman whose discovery of her husband’s treachery drives her to return to the household of her mother, Ellen. Tormented by her husband’s betrayal and troubled by her complicated relationship with Ellen, Daisy begins to reflect on the childhood experiences that shaped her.

The narrative of ‘Daisychains’ is rich with imagery of the Scottish Highlands and the motif of needlework, both of which give it a fresh and unique feel: this did not feel like a novel I have read before, which is a great start as far as grabbing an Editor’s attention goes. The opening sequence, too, hooks and engages the reader; juxtaposing the colourful picture of Daisy sewing beside her mother with the dramatic image of her stitching together her lips. There are numerous other strengths in the plotting of and characters in the narrative. The dynamics of Daisy’s relationships, particularly with Jo and Ellen, are great. I was especially drawn to Ellen, her mental deterioration, and how this affects Daisy’s feelings towards her and their interaction. Equally, I liked the parallel storylines of the young and the old Daisy.’

‘you prove yourself capable of writing skilfully and without affectation; I’m thinking particularly of lines such as “her hair, rich as peat, was swept into a careless chignon, a loose tendril stuck to lips that were mysteriously darker at the edges where lipstick met the rest of her face”.’

‘The underlying concept is strong; for the most, your characterisation is vivid and fresh; and your setting is rich. This book has a strong literary quality … I genuinely wish you all the best progressing with this novel.’

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I started writing Daisychains of Silence in 2003, and the first four thousand words were lost in the depths of an old hard drive, under the inauspicious file name of ‘Stitcher’.

I opened the file early this year, something about it clicked and I carried on writing. In March, I uploaded the first 10,000 words onto Harper Collin’s website, and to my shock it flew up the charts, rocketing to number 12 in just three weeks. I was told it was the fastest rising book ever. It was thrilling and frightening – I knew it wasn’t ready to receive a review so I removed it to carry on writing.  It’s now a finished manuscript – a completed novel of 80,000 words.

I sent it to Hilary Johnson’s Advisory Bureau for their thoughts. They described Daisychains as ‘a sensitively and intelligently written story’, which I found very encouraging.

I’m also the copyright holder of all my father’s works. Alistair Mair was a successful novelist in the 1960s and 1970s and was the Scottish President of PEN from 1965 – 1970.

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