Marie Macpherson holds a PhD in Russian Literature from Strathclyde University. She spent a year in the former Soviet Union to research her thesis on the 19th century Russian writer, Mikhail Lermontov, said to be descended from the Scottish bard and seer, Thomas the Rhymer. Returning to Scotland, she held posts at the universities of Strathclyde and Edinburgh teaching languages and literature. Now retired from academic life, she has time to pursue her interest in writing historical fiction set in Scotland. She won the Martha Hamilton Prize for Creative Writing at Edinburgh University in 1994 and in 2011 was named ‘Writer of the Year’ by Tyne and Esk writers.