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Confessions and Truestories with Shelley Day and Catherine Simpson

  • Dunmuir Hotel Queen's Road Dunbar, Scotland, EH42 United Kingdom (map)

Confessions and Truestory with Shelley Day and Catherine Simpson 

Shelley Day and Catherine Simpson discuss their debut novels, The Confession of Stella Moon and Truestory, and talk about writing their debuts after other careers in law, academia, journalism and raising their families.

Shelley Day 

I have been a litigation lawyer, a psychology lecturer and a research professor. These days I mainly write fiction. 

My debut The Confession of Stella Moon was published on 7 July 2016 by Saraband. The novel won the Andrea Badenoch Award, was long-listed for the Bath Novel Award, and shortlisted for the Charles Pick Fellowship and the Dundee International Book Prize.

In 2016, one month after its release, it was long-listed for the Guardian’s #NotTheBooker prize. 

My short stories have also won prizes and have appeared in magazines, newspapers, anthologies and online. I have read at the Hexham Book Festival and the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and on the Edinburgh Fringe. 

In 2013 I was named as one of Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature‘s emerging writers.

In 2015 I won a Northern Writers’ Award for my collection of short stories A Policy of Constant Improvement (to be published in 2017).

I divide my time between Northumberland and Edinburgh and like to spend as much as 3 months a year in Norway.

The Confession of Stella Moon 

The Confession of Stella Moon is a disturbing psychological tale of matricide. The story opens as Stella is released from prison after serving time for killing her mother. She wants to restart her life but her plans are soon ruined when she returns ‘home’ to a semi-derelict boarding house and finds herself pulled back into a past she didn’t even know she had. Stella is forced to realise she has killed more than once… This is a novel about Family Secrets, how they hover like phantoms across generations, blighting lives.

Catherine Simpson 

Catherine Simpson, is a novelist, journalist and short story writer based near Edinburgh.

Her debut novel ‘Truestory’ was published by Sandstone Press in 2015.

In 2013 she received a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award for the opening chapters of Truestory. Her work has been published in various anthologies and magazines, published on-line and broadcast on BBC Radio.

Catherine Simpson is CoastWord's writer in residence 2016/2017. 


Truestory tells the blackly comic tale of Alice who is struggling to raise her son on the isolated farm he refuses to leave.  Sam has Asperger’s and an inner world hidden from his parents.  

Alice’s marriage to Duncan is failing and their farm verging on bankruptcy. Alice longs for the outside world, but everything changes when her husband brings home the mysterious Larry who has a plan to save them all.

Vivd, perceptive and acute
— James Robertson