Sea Change launch

I’m excited to share that the book launch for Sea Change will be held 3rd July 6:30pm, at the fabulous Blackwell’s bookshop on South Bridge, Edinburgh. Do register if you’d like to come along, and bring all your questions. (I’ll try my best at the event to avoid spoilers!)

Register here

Sea Change with Sylvia Hehir

by Blackwell’s Edinburgh South Bridge                 Free

Event Information


Blackwell’s is pleased to be hosting the launch of Sylvia Hehir‘s Sea Change, an edgy YA thriller that isn’t afraid of tackling tough issues.

About the Book

Struggling to look after his grieving mother, sixteen-year-old Alex wants nothing more than to leave school. All right, he made some poor decisions during the summer holiday, not least of which was getting involved with Chuck, a stranger hiding out in this remote part of the Scottish Highlands. Chuck was exciting, challenging Alex to take ever-increasing risks. But Chuck wasn’t supposed to turn up dead next to Alex’s fishing boat. With the bills mounting, Alex has to accept that he is struggling to cope. But things get even worse when his best friend goes missing.

About the Author

Sylvia Hehir is a former DFA Creative Writing student at the University of Glasgow. She was shortlisted for the Penguin Random House mentor scheme 2017 following their WriteNow Live initiative and she received a Scottish Book Trust New Writer Award for children’s fiction. Her young adult novel Sea Change won the 2018 Pitlochry Quaich from Scottish Association of Writers and was shortlisted for Caledonia Novel Award 2017. Her radio play One Last Push featuring Gary Lewis and Sharon Rooney was broadcast by BBC Radio Scotland, and her short story A Time to Leave was longlisted in BBC Radio 4 Opening Lines and was winner of the John Severn trophy from the Scottish Association of Writers.

For more information, or if you would like a signed copy because you can’t make it to the event, please contact the Blackwell’s Edinburgh events team on 0131 622 8237 or


Short Fiction

Entering the Tarbert Book Festival short story competition last year was a great experience and my winning story, Oban – The Perfect Destination, provided me a with the prize of a week of crime writing tuition at the fabulous Moniack Mhor Writing Centre.

The story started life as an exercise at a Craft and Experimentation class when I was studying at Glasgow University.

Oban Times 09/11/18

Oban – The Perfect Destination

Duncan angled Mother’s chair at the dining table. She liked to be able to see the bird table through the bay window, although this blustery morning the only visitors were the resident blackbirds and the ubiquitous chaffinches.

In the kitchen, Duncan filled the kettle before turning on the gas, striking a match and placing the kettle amongst the blue flickering flames. ‘Coffee or tea for the flask,’ he called, but any answer was drowned out by the spitting of the bacon in the frying pan. It was an unnecessary question anyway. When had Mother wanted anything other than tea? Still the day might come, he considered, when he would have a say.

He turned around suddenly; a shadow had passed behind him. And was that the smell of Mother’s Gardenia perfume? He chastised himself, knowing full well that Mother couldn’t get out of her chair by herself.

He watched a jay fly past the kitchen window and counted out loud, but there was just the one. He disliked their unnecessary noise, and their tawdry colours were decidedly out of place around here. Still, they were preferable to those magpies. He wondered if there was a superstition attached to the number of jays seen. He hoped it wasn’t the same as for magpies. One was not a good number to see, not today of all days. But as he recited the rhyme in his head, no other number seemed appropriate either. He was thankful, at least, that he’d not seen two.

They had decided on Oban for today. They’d tried Mallaig first – the fish and chips there were the finest in all of Scotland, Mother had always commented when they’d been there for family holidays – but the wind had been far too strong. And at Kilchoan – another favourite holiday destination – the waves had been thrashing the rocks. So, Oban it would be.

After clearing away the breakfast things, Duncan selected appropriate outerwear. Pushing aside his anorak, he opted for his father’s old overcoat, hoping the weather wouldn’t get too warm as the day drew on. Then gathering up his backpack, they set out for their bus.

He’d been right. Oban was the perfect place. A gentle ruffling onshore breeze caused him to push his hat on more securely as he settled Mother into a secluded spot behind the seafront wall. Unused to such an action at his age, he spread out the overcoat and sat down beside her on the rounded pebbles.

The lid was a bit stiff, the thread sticking as he unscrewed it. But in a few turns the contents of the ornate jar could be seen. He upturned the jar gently and tipped Mother out onto pebbles at his side, letting her mingle with the sand and the tiny empty crab shells. A seagull squawked at him. That was all right too – you expect seagulls at Oban. He took out the flask from the backpack and poured out the weak tea. He could have coffee another time.