About Me

I graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2005 with a degree in classics. Studying the classics allowed me to look at ancient religions and magic, subjects which I was greatly drawn to. My dissertation was on Erotic Magic of the Ancients. I figured if I had to write 12,000 words I should write about something I’d find interesting! The Nods to the Old Gods series and the Return of the Olympians series are both influenced by my degree subject.

The year I graduated, I was asked to direct a play for the Glasgow University Classics Department’s Alexandrian Society. I decided a challenge was in order and chose the Satyricon, a Roman novel. It meant adapting the content, but I thought the end product would be worth the effort. My stage adaptation is based on the translation by P G Walsh. Although the subject of a film by Fellini, the Satyricon was staged for the first time in history in the Debating Chambers, Glasgow University Union on 30th January 2006. The play highlighted themes of male rape, mental illness and suicide, which were not necessarily evident in the original text.  The play is available on Kindle.

The following summer I adapted and merged together two famous works. One, a play called the Bacchae by Euripides; the other, Robert Burns’ Tam O’ Shanter. The Bacchae was performed posthumously in 405 BCE. Tam O’ Shanter was first published in 1791. Self-educated in the classics, Burns’ poem bears a striking resemblance to the Euripidean tale. Bacchae: The Pie-Eyed Piper was first performed at The Pleasance Theatre in Edinburgh for the Scottish Pagan Federation Conference on 9th June 2007, by Glasgow Labyrinth Theatre Company, which I started in 2006.  Glasgow Labyrinth Theatre Company has recently developed into Glasgow Labyrinth Productions! (See video at end).

I am a trained English language teacher and cognitive-behavioural hypnotherapist. I studied social psychology (2012) and psychology of addictions (2013).  I am starting a psychology degree course in October 2013.  Studying psychology is hugely helpful to my writing, as well as my career as a hypnotherapist. There are themes of far away places, ancient history and psychology throughout my stories.

I am a writer of fantasy and fiction. I try to set my books in Scotland. However, if this is impossible, there is usually a Scottish connection of some kind. The stories are normally on topics of myth, magic and ancient religion. Some are quite dark and some are comic, but they all attempt to have a significant message.

I have written on subjects such as ancient Greek religion, Celtic myth and European folklore and legends, including stories about vampires and werewolves. Some of the stories are set in ancient times, some in modern.  I love symbolism and I try to use it as often as possible. Sometimes the characters themselves are symbols of something much more fundamental.

You will probably notice that I play with the traditional idea of having a set genre for the story, so something which seems to be comical might have quite dark undertones. Or vice versa. Or maybe it’s just comic. Or maybe it’s just dark.

I am heavily influenced by fantasy, supernatural, horror and psychology.

I hope you will enjoy my world, and it will give you some insight into life, the universe and everything. If not, I just hope you find it mildly amusing (or disturbing)!

I have added some extracts of unfinished projects to this website.  Hopefully they will be on bookshelves soon!  I am currently working on a post apocalyptic psychological horror thriller.

Here is the first Glasgow Labyrinth Productions film, a short horror which was made for the Horror Channel’s 666 Short Cuts to Hell Competition!

I have finished writing a script for a slasher horror, which I hope to be filming soon.  Production companies and agents should email me at: alysondunlop@achilleshealing.co.uk

Here is my first YouTube video!  A reading of The Raven and The Crow by Ovid.

7 thoughts on “About Me”

  1. I’m a Folklorist who is currently putting together a site to improve peoples understanding of how folklore and fairy tales can be used to better understand religion and culture. Also given your background as fantasy writer this could also be used as a resource to better understand fairies for such stories.

    I’ve written a free eBook available at http://zeluna.net/pagan-fairytales. This is the first set of downloadable essays on the subject of folklore and ancient religions although I have dozens throughout my site and blog.

    I’m looking for people interested in reviewing the information in this eBook. I realize that the opinions of the first essay may differ from some generally held ideas, so I ask for understanding that there are many traditions and that I’m just bringing up a little understood one that was extensive throughout Europe.

    Please let me know if you would be,

    Thanks,

    Nukiuk

  2. Good to hear from you Nukiuk! Thanks for your message. Of course I will review your ebook. Happy to do that. I will take a look later, as I have a deadline for Monday, so am on a tight schedule over the weekend. I’ll write again soon, though.

    Best wishes,

    Alyson

  3. Hi again Nukiuk ,

    I am just having a look through your website just now. It’s vast! It’s an incredible resource for fairy/fantasy writers, and I know someone else who has just published a children’s fairy story, so I am sure she would be more than happy to help out with reviews too.
    I have also had a quick look at your ‘About’ page. Are you also “Worlds Rise”? I was a little confused, but there is no doubt that you have put a huge amount of effort into this site and are obviously someone who takes the subject extremely seriously. I noted your academic study at the University of Hawaii.
    Where would you like me to send feedback to?

    Alyson

  4. Hello Alyson,

    Obviously I need to change the Worlds Rise page. Initially I’d hoped to have a literary magazine of fairy stories and that is still my goal. However for the moment I’m focusing on developing fairy and fairy tale resources.
    If you check out my section at zeluna.net/fairies you’ll see a number of fairy related stories. In addition I’ve also posted info on the Proto-Indo-European peoples and Pre-Indo-European peoples on my site. I’m looking to add a Proto-Celtic post as well.
    Feedback and requests can be sent to my email below. I’m currently also looking to get reviews from bloggers to help spread the word, but any feedback is appreciated as it helps me to better improve the site.

    Thanks,

    Ty Hulse

  5. I hope your Celtic section will include more about specifically Scottish fairy tales. There are loads of them :-)
    Talk to you soon.

    Alyson

  6. (Tried to add this to your blog 10 or more times, Ty Hulse, but the word verification doesn’t seem to be accepting):

    “500 Fairytales Discovered in Germany”. Apparently locked away for the last 150 years. Something for you to research!

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/mar/05/five-hundred-fairytales-discovered-germany?newsfeed=true

    Alyson

  7. I have had a look at this fairy website and find it very intriging as well. I do hope you will inlude Scottish fairytales as there is a wealth of tales and soures out there, Nukuik, as Aly points out. I think what you’ve done so far is immense and a wonderful resource. I write fairy tales/folk lore stories for older children about the Sidhe, based on stories of my grandfather and books.
    Keep up the good work!
    Norma.

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