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Linda Strachan Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights

illustrated england rigby london

Born 0022;Scottish/Italian." Education: Attended Kilgraston School (Perthshire, Scotland).

Addresses

Agent—Fraser Ross Associates, 6 Wellington Place, Edinburgh EH6 7EQ, Scotland.

Career

Author and storyteller. Bacteriology lab technician, 1972–73; fashion model, 1973; retail fashion buyer, 1976–80; co-owner of business, 1986–96. Freelance writer, beginning 1996; writer-in-residence and creative-writing tutor. Member, Literature Forum for Scotland, 2003–06. Kilgraston Association, president, 1996–2001.

Member

British Society of Authors (committee member of Scottish branch, 2003–06).

Honors Awards

Scottish Arts Council, grant, 1999, and professional development award, 2004.

Writings

FOR CHILDREN

What Colour Is Love?, illustrated by David Wojtowycz, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2003.

"HAMISH MCHAGGIS" SERIES; FOR CHILDREN

Hamish McHaggis and the Edinburgh Adventure, illustrated by Sally J. Collins, GW Publishing (Thatcham, Berkshire, England), 2005.

Hamish McHaggis and the Ghost of Glamis, illustrated by Sally J. Collins, GW Publishing (Thatcham, Berkshire, England), 2005.

Hamish McHaggis and the Skye Surprise, illustrated by Sally J. Collins, GW Publishing (Thatcham, Berkshire, England), 2005.

Hamish McHaggis and the Search for the Loch Ness Monster, illustrated by Sally J. Collins, GW Publishing (Thatcham, Berkshire, England), 2005.

Hamish McHaggis and the Wonderful Water Wheel, illustrated by Sally J. Collins, GW Publishing (Thatcham, Berkshire, England), 2005.

Hamish McHaggis and the Skirmish at Stirling, illustrated by Sally J. Collins, GW Publishing (Thatcham, Berkshire, England), 2005.

Linda Strachan

Greyfriars Bobby, illustrated by Sally J. Collins, GW Publishing (Thatcham, Berkshire, England), 2005.

READERS; FOR CHILDREN

The Hut, illustrated by Michael Reid, Rigby Heinemann (London, England), 1998.

The Cat in the Tree, illustrated by Michael Reid, Rigby Heinemann (London, England), 1998.

Coins!, illustrated by Michael Reid, Rigby Heinemann (London, England), 1998.

Fire!, illustrated by Michael Reid, Rigby Heinemann (London, England), 1998.

Popstars, illustrated by Michael Reid, Rigby Heinemann (London, England), 1998.

Jamie the Paranormal Investigator, illustrated by Michael Reid, Rigby Heinemann (London, England), 1999.

Beth Runs Away, illustrated by Michael Reid, Rigby Heinemann (London, England), 1999.

The New Teacher, illustrated by Michael Reid, Rigby Heinemann (London, England), 1999.

Hope's Pizza Party, illustrated by Michael Reid, Rigby Heinemann (London, England), 1999.

Beth's Talk, illustrated by Michael Reid, Rigby Heinemann (London, England), 1999.

(Reteller) The Trojan Horse and Other Greek Myths, illustrated by Ross Watton, Pearson-Longman (London, England), 2000.

A Ball Called Sam, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas, Rigby Educational (Orlando, FL), 2000.

The Giant and the Frippit, illustrated by James Cotton, Rigby Educational (Orlando, FL), 2000.

Korka the Mighty Elf, illustrated by Mike Spoor, Rigby Educational (Orlando, FL), 2000.

Fizzkid the Inventor, illustrated by Woody, Rigby Educational (Orlando, FL), 2000.

Space Station Orion, illustrated by Chris Robson, Rigby Educational (Orlando, FL), 2000.

Rascal, illustrated by James Browne, Rigby Educational (Orlando, FL), 2000.

Computer Error, illustrated by Tony Albers, Rigby Educational (Orlando, FL), 2000.

The Grey Boatman, illustrated by Liz Alger, Rigby Educational (Orlando, FL), 2000.

Flood!, illustrated by Bruce Hogarth, Rigby Educational (Orlando, FL), 2000.

(Reteller) Tales on a Cold Dark Night, illustrated by Barbara Vagmozzi, Pearson-Longman (London, England), 2000.

The Galapina Treasures, illustrated by Debbi Mourtzios, Rigby-Heineman (Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

Who Lives Here? (nonfiction), illustrated by Wayne Ford, Nelson (London, England), 2003.

What's That Sound? (nonfiction), illustrated by Ruth Rivers, Nelson (London, England), 2003.

What Is It? (nonfiction), illustrated by Mike Phillips, Nelson (London, England), 2003.

Walk in the Woods (nonfiction), illustrated by Pricilla Lamont, Nelson (London, England), 2003.

Can You Get Our Ball?, illustrated by David Mostyn, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2004.

Melting Snow, illustrated by Arlene Adams, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2004.

Gordon Gets Even, illustrated by Kelly Waldek, Ginn (Aylesbury, England), 2004.

Tarella, illustrated by Julian Bruére, Educators Publishing Service, 2006.

The Astonishing Book, illustrated by Debbie Mourtzios, Educators Publishing Service, 2006.

Contributor of short fiction to anthologies, including Other Worlds, 1999, and Collections 6 and Collections 8, both Rigby-Heinemann, 2001.

"ZOOLA" SERIES; READERS

Zoola, illustrated by Julian Mosedale, Ginn (Aylesbury, England), 1997.

Zoola and the Green Burger, illustrated by Julian Mosedale, Ginn (Aylesbury, England), 1997.

Zoola and the Funfair, illustrated by Julian Mosedale, Ginn (Aylesbury, England), 1997.

Zoola and the Burglar, illustrated by Julian Mosedale, Ginn (Aylesbury, England), 1997.

Zoola and the Plane, illustrated by Julian Mosedale, Ginn (Aylesbury, England), 1997.

Zoola Is Kidnapped, illustrated by Julian Mosedale, Ginn (Aylesbury, England), 1997.

Zoola and the Ghost, illustrated by Julian Mosedale, Ginn (Aylesbury, England), 1997.

Zoola's Box, illustrated by Julian Mosedale, Ginn (Aylesbury, England), 1997.

Sidelights

Linda Strachan told SATA: "I always envy those who can say they have 'always wanted to be a writer.' I almost fell into writing by accident and now I wonder how I could ever have done anything else. My only regret is that I didn't start writing years earlier, but perhaps I wasn't ready.

"Looking back I have always loved books and stories. But one rather unfortunate remark, "This child lacks imagination" in a school report when I was very young left me with the firm conviction that I would never have any ideas of my own! I would sometimes like to meet that teacher again and show her my books.

"Some of my books have been for children who are less able, or reluctant readers. I love the idea that they might encourage children to discover the delights of reading. When I go into schools I am always keen to show the students that they each have their own wonderful imagination!

"I am fortunate in that there are so many talented children's writers and illustrators in Scotland, close to where I live. Children's writers are very supportive of each other and I enjoy having the opportunity to work with other writers or even just to meet up and discuss books, publishers, opportunities and ideas. We also have the Edinburgh International Book Festival every August which is two weeks when we can all get together and have the chance to listen to authors from all over the world. Writing is essentially such a solitary occupation that it is great to meet with other writers and illustrators to exchange views and information.

"One of the things I love about writing for children is that it is so varied. I can be writing a picture book one week and doing research for a teenage novel the next. Deadlines for educational books (those written for use in schools) can sometimes be incredibly tight and there is usually a very detailed brief to work from, whereas a trade publication can often have a much longer timescale and is left very much more up to the author. Each is a different challenge.

"When I wrote What Colour Is Love? I wanted to explore the juxtaposition of the senses and emotions in a way that we do not normally expect, while still producing a story that parents can read with very young children to introduce them to colour and animals. I find it works well in schools I visit when I can get the children to make animal noises, make faces to show different emotions and also to think about what colours they think different emotions might suggest to them.

"Some of my books have been translated into languages such as French and Portuguese. I love to see how the text has been translated and where the differences are.

When an elephant poses a question, all his jungle friends puzzle over the answer in Strachan's picture book What Color Is Love? (Illustration by David Wojtowycz.)

"While I am writing an illustrated book I usually think in pictures which can sometimes cause bit of a surprise when my mental images contrast with the illustrator's ideas. But a picture book is a work of two halves and I think the illustrator's ideas bring an essential added dimension to the story.

"Usually I am finished writing before the illustrator starts work. However, working on the "Hamish McHaggis" books has been an exciting time as the illustrator, Sally J. Collins, lives near me and we are able to work very closely on everything from characters to layout. The books have been very well received and Sally and I continue to add to the series."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Carousel, summer, 2003, Valerie Bierman, review of What Color Is Love?

School Library Journal, May, 2004, Kathleen Whalin, review of What Color Is Love?, p. 125.

ONLINE

Linda Strachan Home Page, http://www.lindastrachan.com (January 25, 2006).

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