Margaret Skea grew up in Ulster at the height of the ‘Troubles’, but now lives with her husband in the Scottish Borders. Her degree in linguistics at St Andrews University was followed by PhD into the Ulster-Scots vernacular, which led, in turn, to an interest in the 16th century history of the west of Scotland. Fascination with this period became the genesis of her debut novel Turn of the Tide – the Historical Fiction Winner in the 2011 Harper Collins / Alan Titchmarsh People’s Novelist Competition. An Hawthornden Fellow and award winning short story writer – her recent credits include the Overall Winner Neil Gunn 2011, Chrysalis Prize 2010, and Winchester Short Story Prize 2009. Shortlisted for Mslexia Short Story 2012 and long-listed for the Matthew Pritchard Award, Fish Short Story and Fish One Page Prize, she has been published in a range of magazines and anthologies in Britain and the USA.